Title: I Made It...
Description: Flashbacks from Derek's Past
Derek Addams - April 1, 2011 07:52 AM (GMT)
Shortly after the events of At the Gates of the Temple
He laid on the ground. His eyes wouldn't focus. His ears couldn't detect anything other than the blaring hum of pain that clouded his mind. He couldn't even remember his name. He couldn't even understand the shouts in the language he could barely remember as the one that he grew up learning. Nothing but pain. And even that was a sensation that was foreign to him at that point. Hell...
The thought shot through his mind. I'm dead.... and this must be Hell...
It fit the description. Glaring heat. A dry mouth. Pain that he couldn't even comprehend. Insanity. Inabilty to do anything to alleviate the terror that wracked his mind, body, and soul. I can't get up.... I've fallen! And I can't get up!
He wheezed a bit. The futile attempt at a laugh just made the pain even more blinding. He felt something gritty in his fingers... Sand...?
The more he tried to pull on it, the more it slipped through his hands only to add to the primal haze that permeated everything.
His ears began to pick up on the sounds surrounding him. The sounds of human voices. The sounds of screams. More people in pain. If this was Hell, then it all fit.
"Over here!" A voice shot off right next to his head, jarring his entire body. He felt hands turning him onto his back. He whimpered only slightly as the motion refreshed the burning, aching sensation that tore through his body."He's still alive... But barely..."
A weak smile formed on his lips.
"Angels....?" he muttered.But angels don't exist anymore... they died... they died and I...
__________________________Approximately one month later
His eyes were burning. It amazed him that in spite of that burning pain, he could feel moisture. Tears were welling up in his eyes, dulling the pain just enough for him to open them slightly. Everything was blurry. His eyes wouldn't focus. All he could hear was a slight beeping sound, and the faint, whirring hum of machinery.Machinery...
he thought. A hospital?
He could hear people talking nearby. He focused on it for a moment, trying to think, or at least remember something. A dull haze hung over his mind. He closed his eyes once more as tears streamed down the sides of his face. He wasn't coherent enough to cry, these tears came strictly for his eyes to get moisture.
"He's stable..." a voice came from the blackness. "As stable as can be expected. His ability gives him incredibly high endurance, but, also makes him slow to heal. And since the conversion affected him on the cellular level, well, I think you can assess the damage for yourself. But, amazingly, for all the trauma done to his system, he's holding together rather well. The life support systems are, in fact, strictly precautionary. Other than the feeding tubes, of course."
"He's awake." came another voice. One he could tell belonged to a woman. Footsteps followed, along with the presence of someone leaning over him. "Can you hear me?"
Derek tried harder to open his eyes completely, but the stinging sensation and the fact that both of his eyelids felt like they each weighed about fifty tons warned him against it. But he managed to open them just enough to see the blurry image of red hair framing the woman's face. "How do you feel?" the voice called again.
"Like hammered shit." Even his own voice sounded strange, like he'd been gargling pebbles for a week straight. A slightly amused huff registered in his ears. Although he couldn't see her face clearly, he could still tell she was smiling. He tried to pull himself to a sitting position, but upon trying, found that his arms and back wouldn't respond. What the... why can't I...?
Hospital... Medical Facility... Emergency Room... Every possible explanation he could think of shot through his mind. He wanted to rub his eyes, but even the attempt made them sting even more, and made it even clearer to him that he couldn't move. "You've taken a bad beating."
The redhead's voice rang through his head. For a moment, he wondered why her lips weren't moving. "Don't push yourself."
He squinted, feeling more tears run from his eyes. When he opened them, he was finally able to see the face clearly. The woman looked to be in her late twenties/early thirties. She was very pretty, and the compassion in her smile reminded him of Penelo.
"Penelo?" the name came forth without him even realizing he said it. But then, everything else came into focus. The heart monitor nearby began to beep at a faster rate. The source: He glanced down long enough to see the tubes connecting to his mouth, and the needles penetrating his skin from the IV drips. Nothing had EVER been able to break his skin before, so the only conclusion he could come to? He'd been caught to be experimented on. He began to hyperventilate. "Easy! Easy!"
The redhead's voice rang in his head again as hands came down on his stomach and shoulder. Derek suddenly felt a wave of calm overcome him. His vision blurred again as more tears came to his eyes. He was confused. "You're safe... trust me."
The woman's voice came again. "You're in a medical facility, and we're going to take care of you. You're safe. But you need to rest..."
He could hear the beeping on the monitor slowing down. He didn't really care anymore... he felt exhausted.
He closed his eyes. His body ached. He felt the woman's grip loosen on his shoulder. "My name is Jean. Can you say your name for me?"I don't care anymore... I just wanna sleep....
Derek Addams - April 5, 2011 08:00 AM (GMT)
Approximately 2 years before the events of Apocalypse.
"Uh, Excuse me?"
Derek was used to people interrupting his meals. Especially when he had to get his meals by way of ordering a 75 cent cup of coffee and waiting until the guy 2 tables across from him decided he needed to piss before he stole his fries. Or when someone "conveniently forgot" their takeout box because the guy who ordered the same 75 cent cup of coffee was struggling to find his change in his "really deep pockets" and would babble incessantly about the fact that the person's "girlfriend" was texting someone all through dinner.
But that night, he was dumpster-diving. If you caught the trash at just the right time at any diner or fast-food place, chances were you could find some arrogant bastard's leftovers from a meal that he'd decided he was "too full" or " it just didn't taste right". The sogginess usually came from the discarded ice and sodas other people just decided they'd had enough of, so, if you caught it just when it hit the dumpster, you had less chance of it actually being something potentially fatal.
That night, he'd made a mistake. Just as the resturaunt worker dropped the first few bags, he moved in.
He tore open the most recent refuse bag, for a moment, only finding straw wrappers, napkins, and other trash bearing the name "Penelo's Cafe" somewhere on them.
"Uh... Ex... cuse me?"
That's when he realized he was staring at him. The resturaunt worker looked more annoyed than shocked. He had a lit cigarette dangling between his lips and a dull expression on his face. Derek only casually took note of his spattered apron and blonde hair before he hit pay-dirt. A half-eaten burger with cheese, lettuce and tomato that only had a slightly-soggy bun. And the kicker? Fries, already drenched in way-too-much ketchup. Without a second thought as to how bad it looked, he pulled the discarded burger up and smiled.
"What, you want this for yourself?"
"Uhm... No..." came the response. The blonde man tossed the bags in his hands into the dumpster before taking another drag off his cigarette. At that point, Derek knew he was in for one of two things. One, the guy would just turn right around and walk back in, leaving Derek with his scraps. But then again, he realized, this was "Mutant Town". Whoever this guy was, it was quite possible he'd decide to torch the dumpster or try to attack him if he felt like it. Derek took a bite of the soggy burger, glaring at him all the while. If the blonde wanted to try something, he welcomed it.
Unless he's got somethin' I've never seen before... And ya know what? I really don't give a damn, I'm fuckin' hungry...
Instead, the man simply arched and eyebrow before flicking his cigarette down the alleyway. "Ya know... you shouldn't be eating that..." He mumbled as he turned to walk back in. "Go around front if ya want somethin' fresh... I'll meetcha there." Without even so much as a second glance, he closed the back door to the resturaunt behind him, leaving Derek to the cold alley with his burger, which, given the strangeness of the last words spoken to him, caused him to stop chewing long enough to actually taste it.
He spit it out in a flash, going to the point of scraping his fingers across his tongue. There were doubts... slight suspicions that made him wonder if the guy was being serious or just needed him to be out front when he called the cops on him. Either way, he didn't want to pass up the possibility of the offer being a real one.
As he rounded the front of the resturaunt, he saw the last few customers leaving. What time was it? 10? 11 PM? As he walked to the door, he saw the blonde man again with a set of keys in his hand. He opened the door for Derek as he apprehensively made his way in. He saw some movement in the kitchen. He assumed it must have been the chef.
"So what would you like?" Came the blonde man's voice again as he locked the door to the cafe. He was facing away from Derek, which gave him the sense that either the guy was way too trusting for his own good, or he really didn't feel he had anything to fear from Derek.
Suddenly a voice, high and shrill came blaring at the both of them from the kitchen area. Derek turned to see a woman about his age yelling in Spanish at the blonde. The man returned the yelling in the same language, at one point gesturing to Derek. The woman's eyes narrowed, but her anger completely disappeared. She glanced at him as she came out of the back area through the double swinging doors that led to the kitchen area. She made her way to the register and tried her best to form a smile, her eyes remaining suspicious of the street rat let in after-hours. She then spoke in English, only traces of a hispanic accent hanging on her words.
"All right, then, what would you like?"
Derek suddenly felt extremely awkward. He glanced at the blonde man, expecting him to save him from answering the question.
"Don't worry 'bout Penelo, she's always just a little angry." The blonde spoke up, making Derek turn his attention back to him and also making him acutely aware of the fact that he somehow was able to pick up on what was making him nervous. He'd been doing it for a bit, now, he realized. Even now, the guy.... what the hell was his name? The girl's name was Penelo, but, he'd realized he never bothered to ask the name of the guy who was offering him this bit of charity.
"Jason. My name's Jason." he smiled as he gestured to the nearest booth. "And you're...?"
He was getting uneasy now. He was starting to regret accepting the invitation. From what he could tell, Jason must be one of those "mind-reading mutants". It made him worry just how much he'd picked up on. How much of his past was readily available to this guy he'd just met who then, out of the blue, had decided to let him in for a second.
"Don't be paranoid, man, this is Mutant Town." Jason patted him on the back as he gently led him to the booth himself. "We help each other when we can, now do you want something to eat, or not?"
A simple question. Derek liked simple. And the man was right. He was being paranoid. Years of conditioning wouldn't allow him to be any other way. But, from what he could tell, these two really didn't mind throwing a stray dog a bone.
He took a seat at the booth before looking back up, his gaze going back and forth between them. "Mutant Town... Right... so... you guys are mutants, too?"
Jason nodded, a faint smirk coming to his face. "Yup. Both of us. You got nothin' to worry about on that." He leaned over slightly. "We're not gonna try and hack ya up or anything... so just relax... uh..." He snapped his fingers at Derek, making him realize that he never answered the question.
"Derek.... My name's Derek."
Derek Addams - April 9, 2011 04:07 AM (GMT)
May 22nd, 2009
A familiar voice rang through his head as his eyes opened. They opened to a very unfamiliar, very metallic-looking ceiling. He could still hear the beep and pulses of medical equipment, but upon looking down, saw little more than a heart monitor on his right index finger.
He immediately noticed that it was a very dark blue index finger, and a very dark blue hand. the main comfort he took from the sight was the fact that he was at least able to move both with some effort.
He turned his head to see the redhead who called his name. It took him a moment to remember the woman's name. His memory was fuzzy. He could clearly remember the fact that his name was Derek Addams, social outcast and pariah in the state of Tennessee since the moment he survived a homophobic jock crashing into him with his car. He could clearly remember running out of the apartment he lived in with his mother shortly after. He could even remember the fact that on the night of March 3rd, 1985, the distinct smell of what seemed like sausage beckoned him to the lower floor of the condo his family lived in at the time, only to find his parents around the dinner table with little more than a few beers and and ashtray.
But.... past his memory of waking up with Jason in his arms on the roof of Penelo's Cafe, both of them bundled up in worn-out coats and clothes and a half-empty bottle of rum.... and the sound of an explosion... Nothing. It was a hole.
"Jean, right?" He spoke clearly enough, although his voice still sounded like he'd been chugging sulfuric acid. He pulled himself to a sitting position, fully aware than he wasn't able to do so when he woke up last. He could feel his muscles spasm and twitch as he did it.
Jean crossed the room swiftly. Remember, take it easy... her voice came in a ringing tone across his mind. You've taken a severe beating, and you're a slow healer.
He'd heard it before. And knew what she meant. But at least right now, he was able to sit up.
He looked at the woman who called herself Jean. It felt like his head was emitting a buzzing sound that couldn't let him focus. He felt a sense of dread. But nothing was making sense.
At that particular moment, he happened to catch his reflection clearly in a nearby mirror positioned over his head. The black, blue, and green hues covering his skin made him almost unidentifiable as human.
"My God... I look like Hell..." he managed to utter the words just before exhaustion overtook him.
Derek Addams - April 20, 2011 01:36 AM (GMT)
July 18th, 2008
Derek swore, quite loudly as he slammed another slab of steak on the grill. The fifth one in the last 5 minutes. And even worse, they were all different. Bastards were insisting on medium, medium rare, well done, and medium well, respectively. Wait a sec, how the fuck did that last guy want it?
To his dismay, the ticket had managed to blow off right into the fry vat. "Shit.. HEY JESSIE! I need a reprint on that last one!"
A petite Spanish girl made her way to the window, a horrible scowl marring her face from the stress of a busy lunch rush. Penelo's younger cousin yelled at him in Spanish. Derek just glared as he did his best to piece her ranting together from what he'd learned over the past year since Penelo offered him the job and a place to stay. He even went as far as leaning on the grill. Although his hands made a sizzling sound, he felt no pain. He clearly recognized the words "idiot" and "butt-boy".
He responded with a veneer of calm and as best as he could, told her if she wanted her damn order, she should shut up and get to reprinting. He could see the other two members of the crew smirking out of the corner of his eye. Not that he cared. His shift was almost over. Almost on-cue, another of Penelo's "family" entered the kitchen. Eddie.
Penelo's family included not just her blood-relations, but many of her friends and the occasional "stray dog" she would take in when she could afford it. And most, if not all, were mutants of some kind. Even Penelo herself. She was a flier. At a whim she could just lift off the ground. There'd be no wind, no stirring of the air at all. She would just... lift. Derek was a bit jealous of her in that respect. He often wondered how it must feel to be able to fly.
After Eddie had clocked in, Derek gave him the run-down on the orders of the sudden spurt of meat-lovers in the cafe. He needed a smoke. He felt a slight pang of guilt on leaving Eddie with the big order, but knew that if he stayed any longer, Penelo would roast his ass. And that's if she was in a good mood. Worse... she'd sic Jason on him.
He took a deep breath as he thought of Jason and clocked out. The three of them, Derek, Jason, and Penelo, they had formed a bit of a "3 Musketeers" relationship over the past year.
However, last night, Jason had brought up a rather sensitive topic: Mutants and Religion. Needless to say, with that much alcohol in their systems added to the many kinds of tension Derek already felt any time he dealt with Jason, it wasn't pretty.
The three of them also lived right above the cafe itself. The upstairs area had three separate rooms. Derek had been given the "storage" room. Considering he'd been squatting in an abandoned building with no heat or air conditioning, dealing with the clutter of that room was a step up for him. Especially since it had a very soft and cushy bed.
Jason's room was right next to his. As he climbed the stairs, he couldn't help but notice the door was open. He also noticed the faint sound of Classical music.
It wasn't his favorite genre, but Jason had managed to turn him on to it over the course of his stay. And the song playing at that moment was one of his favorites. Open door... favorite song playing... Yeah... it's an invitation...
Even after all this time and the blowout last night, Jason still unnerved him a bit. He acknowledged to himself the very first night he'd met the blonde that he found him attractive. And that was most of it... but then there were other things. Such as his strange ability to figure out exactly what was bothering the bruised mutant. He'd said he was a mutant himself, but any time Derek asked him about his ability, he'd shoot him a look that turned his veins to ice. He was one of the quietest, gruffest people he'd ever met. And also the most secretive. He knew that he liked Family Guy, Classical music, and tended to just dismiss anything overly complicated with a wave of a hand. Even Penelo couldn't tell Derek much about him. Couldn't, or maybe wouldn't...
He paused at the door. He wanted to apologize for the things he'd blurted out of anger, but also worried that he'd just call him an asshole and blow him off.
Jason's room was a bit nicer than the one Derek crashed in every night. It was neater, for one. Probably because he actually gives a shit...
Derek thought. The furniture and belongings were actually arranged instead of looking like they'd just been thrown in the middle of the room. It made him feel a bit awkward. It wasn't that he necessarily LIKED the clutter of his own room. It was just that he didn't feel it was his place to rearrange and sort anything. What if Penelo or Jason came into his room looking for something and couldn't find it? HIS fault.
He finally saw him on the balcony, leaning over the railing and watching the people below him. He inhaled sharply before he made his way out over to him, intentionally letting his feet clomp the floor under him to announce his arrival. Not that it mattered. He was pretty certain Jason already knew he was there.
"Hey..." He called as he made his way to the railing and pulled out a pack of smokes. He glanced at the side of Jason's face as he lit one of the cigarettes. Jason barely even glanced at him. His face held a fixed smile upon the people on the street below. Derek took a drag off the cigarette as he worried if maybe the guy had lost it.
"Just people-watching..." his voice suddenly rang. It unnerved Derek even more. He was getting a little sick of it.
"Did I ask?" came his harsh-toned reply.
"You don't have to... right?"
Derek just shook his head and took another drag. He wondered if it was always going to be like this with him, if maybe he was wasting his time being nice to him. He worried that no matter how well he got along with Penelo, if he was always going to be at odds with Jason.
Derek Addams - June 12, 2011 09:54 PM (GMT)
"Yeah... well... You start at 3... so you may as well get ready..."
Derek mumbled before he turned away from Jason to head back inside. If he wanted to make snarky comments, he could do it to the assholes downstairs. HE didn't have to put up with it.
"I can sense fear."
He stopped in his tracks. Jason's comment just seemed so random. He turned back to face him, his brow furrowed in confusion as he remained silent. Jason kept a hand on the banister as he stared at him. Okay... what is he getting at now? With a sigh, Jason looked to the floor.
"I sense people's fear..." he continued, his face fallen. "I... I sense people's fears... and I know exactly what it is that scares them. And I can amplify it... or lessen it..." It was the first time he'd ever seen that expression on his face. It was a look of regret, of exhasperation. He'd seen it before... It usually meant that they had given up and were writing Derek out of their lives forever... or were making one last bid at explaining themselves.
"Okay." Derek answered curtly. If what he said was true, it did answer many of the questions swirling the mystery that was Jason. He closed his eyes and smirked. He didn't know whether to feel relieved or angry at that point. Relieved that he finally answered the one question that always bothered him about his incredible sense of intuition, or if he should feel angry that he'd probably been messing with his head since the moment they first met.
"And...? So what? Why are you telling me this now?" He waited for a response, his own eyes meeting Jason's head-on.
"I just..." Jason seemed to be fumbling for words. Although he'd always been several inches taller than him, and at least twice as built than Derek, now, slumnping backward against the balcony railing, the man seemed to be shrinking right before his eyes. Derek couldn't remember a single time that he didn't have something to say. A quick joke, an insult, a quick quip to cut him down any time he started to feel a little too cocky. His loss for words was all the proof Derek needed to know that he was trying to speak plainly. As much as Jason usually intimidated him, this time he was just trying to talk to him. Man to man.
It pissed him off.
"What...? Nothing?" He glared at him even harder as the fury began to build. It gave him a grim bit of satisfaction to know that he was actually ABLE to get angry at him. All those times he was intimidated... how much of it was just his "ability"? And how much of the confidence he saw in Jason was just because he was afraid of what he was going to do to him? Because of his "ability"?
Jason mumbled something under his breath as he glanced down at the road below the cafe. Derek was sick of it. It was more than the idea that his head had been toyed with. More than all the memories of discomfort around him. It was more the fact that he could not believe this guy that he respected, admired, and always seemed so confident and demanding was now cowering and stammering like a 5-year old with his hand in the cookie jar.
"Motherfucker just fucking SPIT IT OUT!!!" he ordered as he marched back toward him, his face twisted in rage as he put his face so close to Jason's he was practically spitting on him as he continued to yell. "Or can you only talk shit when you know you've got the power!?" His anger was reaching a boiling point. His face felt hot and his heart was pounding. "You've been fucking with my head ever since I got here, haven't you? That night in the alley!? And that's not even your ability! What the fuck do you want from me!? Why the fuck did you ask Penelo to take me in if you can't even talk to me without cerebrally kicking me down!?"
Derek glared at him for a few more minutes before he made a decision. It was what he was trying to avoid, but now he knew. He knew there was no way he could stay there any longer. Least of all with this person, knowing what he knew now.
"I... I have to go..."
He turned and left Jason, not hearing his cry to stay as he left the room filled with opera music, not hearing the female voice with the Spanish accent asking him what was wrong, not hearing the blares of car horns, or even feeling the one that lightly bumped him into a stagger. But he kept walking. He just needed to go. Somewhere.
Derek Addams - July 8, 2011 05:23 AM (GMT)
June 4th, 2009 1:15 P.M.
Derek smiled as the nurse brought him the tray of food.
He still didn't know any of their names. There were at least three nurses who tended to the few patients still left in the room. He still didn't know how he ended up there. The more he tried to think about it, the more his head hurt. For him, it was enough that he could sit up on his own; Enough for him that he woke up and was able to move. His limbs still felt a bit heavy, and the first attempt to stand on his own had ended with him having to be picked up off the floor and scolded by the attending nurse.
He hated every second of it. He couldn't stand being stuck in one place with nothing to do but counting the specks on the ceiling. What exactly had happened, he still wondered. When he had finally been able to stay awake longer than a few minutes, he'd asked about it. The details sounded like it came out of a bad sci-fi movie, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something like that. There'd been an attack on Mutant Town. Not just M-Town, but several cities around the world had come under fire. The people had been "infected" or "converted" into a homicidal army, and he'd been caught in the crossfire. And now he was recovering in a medical facility under a... school. Because a normal hospital wouldn't be equipped to take proper care of someone with his "condition". Yeah... that sounds believable...
And he STILL didn't remember a single damn bit of it.
But there was really no point in over-thinking it, He remembered what Jean had told him. After a traumatic experience, sometimes the mind creates barriers to protect itself from memories that the person isn't equipped to handle. He'd remember when he was ready to remember.
So... docs really do say that shit... As he scooped up a bit of the potatoes, he began to realize he wasn't sure he wanted to remember. There was still one big question, well, a couple of them to which he could already feel the answers gnawing away at his insides. Not to mention the little things like "Now what?" and "How much longer am I going to be here?"
And how the hell am i going to pay for this "stay"?
The appearance of the familiar red-haired doctor prompted another smile from him. She was a sweet lady. She'd stop by just about every day to check on him, ask about his memory, or just to talk for a bit. Today it was also to let him know that he'd be starting physical therapy tomorrow. He felt that was as good a time as any to ask about the "money question", to which she simply replied that "disaster cases" were special.
"Ha!" he retorted. "Yeah, I'm a pretty big "disaster case"!" With his meal done, and the doctor off to attend to other patients, he could feel the fatigue coming back, so he put the tray on the table beside him and laid back. Counting the ceiling specks was also good natural sedative.
July 22nd, 2008 10:34 PM
He'd stormed out of the cafe four days ago. In that time, he'd managed to get into 5 different fights, and had drank enough alcohol to float the Queen Mary. And he was STILL pissed, in more ways than one. He'd found another place to squat, and was thankful that at least it was July. If it'd been the winter months he'd have had to have found a shelter to stay in for the nights, and they wouldn't admit anyone who'd been drinking.
Which, he also knew, had gotten a bit out of hand. A sentiment solidified as he ran right over a trash can at 3 miles an hour, staggering into the main road long enough to get honked at and called an asshole. He responded with his middle finger as he stumbled his way back to the sidewalk and leaned against the building. Okay... here it comes... He braced himself against the brick wall, pressing the top of his head to the brick as the wave of vertigo washed over him, causing his throat to clench and his stomach to churn. The streets were practically empty at that hour. He'd only passed a couple of people in the past ten minutes, and the honker was the first car he'd seen. So, he was certain nobody would mind if he left the little bit of dinner he'd had on the curb. When the wave passed without incident, he turned and leaned back, glancing up and down the sidewalk in a haze.
He was being childish. He knew it. He took the simplest solution to the anger he felt that day and ran with it. He couldn't deal with the ideas that Jason's revelation had inflicted on him... and he couldn't hit him. It was the first time he'd ever not been able to hit someone he was genuinely infuriated with, and the implications left him confused and even angrier than before.
Not because he hadn't felt that way before, but because this time he'd thought that maybe it really was as simple as it seemed. He was interested, Jason was interested, and they seemed to get along well enough, but how much of what Derek's perceptions were genuine, and how much of it was just peppered with his ability?
And what does that say about me? The question crept through the needles of pain caused by the dehydration of too much alcohol. I liked him... because I was scared of him? Ah, shit, I AM a masochist... He could see someone out of the corner of his glazed vision approaching. He didn't care. And if he senses shit like that did he already have the stra-HURK! And there it went. On the bright side, once he caught his breath, he didn't feel sick anymore. On the down side, he was now acutely aware of a gun being pointed at his head.
"Are you fucking serious?" he grumbled at the mugger. The only thing present in his voice was sheer annoyance.
"Just gimme your fuckin money, man! Or I'll blow your fucking head off!!" came the hushed reply. Derek just tilted his head, doing his best to give him a look that could silently say: "I'm drunk as all fuck, I'm angry at my boyfriend, your gun can't do shit to me, and you just pissed me off." A car was coming, and it provided just the distraction he needed.
He grabbed the gun and shoved it down, aiming at his own gut. The mugger pulled the trigger and he felt the bullet hit his stomach center mass and harmlessly bounced off. Derek's eye lit up with amusement at the expression on the thug's face before, in one smooth motion, he wrenched the gun free and cracked it across his face. The piece of shit hit the pavement in a heap just as the car came to a stop right next to him. The door flew open and he suddenly realized he was staring right at none other than Penelo.
"Get in!!!" she yelled at him in Spanish. Derek just stared for a second. He was trying to make sure it was really her she was seeing and not some blurry booze-vision. She was no pink elephant, but the chances were just as unlikely.
"Did you hear me!? The cops are coming!! Get in!!!" she yelled in English this time. Derek turned to the mugger before popping the clip out of the gun and tossing it down the nearest sewer drain. Then he quickly yanked his wallet out his pants, the whole time hearing Penelo swear at him in her native language.
"Have fun walkin home, asshole." he yelled as he saw signs of him stirring. He then jumped in the car as Penelo hit the gas, speeding away from the whole mess.
"Goddamit, Addams, I've been looking everywhere for you!" Penelo scolded as she watched the road, traces of her Hispanic accent making it hard for him to follow at his level of toxicity.
"Yeah, well..." he mumbled as he went through the wallet. 23 dollars. Fucker was just doin it for the hell of it. He pulled the money out and tossed the wallet out the window. "You found me... so you can just drive me back to Conover St."
Penelo lit up a cigarette and flashed a toothy smile at him. "You smell like a bar."
"Thanks... I had no idea." he rolled his eyes at her. "So how the hell'd you manage to find me, anyway?"
She rolled down her window to let the smoke out. "Mutant Town has people with many gifts. I know someone who can talk to machines, tell me where you've been buying your beer and food with your pay card." She looked incredibly smug, like she'd just had a nine thousand dollar night from a single customer. From there, I just have to patrol for a while, hope I catch you walking around. And from the look of things, it looks like you HAVE been around." She tapped the side of his head where a fresh bruise had been given to him two nights ago from a bottle of Jack. The man who hit him with it walked away with a few less teeth.
Derek Addams - August 5, 2011 10:38 PM (GMT)
Derek glanced at Penelo. He didn't know what to say.
The drive seemed to continue for hours. In that time, the terse question and answer session just got worse and worse.
"So why did you run?"
"What the fuck else was I supposed to do?" he answered. "He lied to me... he could have just fucking told me from the start that that's what he did, but nooo..."
Penelo took another drag of her cigarette and smiled. Always the smile. He hated it. "You two are so stupid..." she remarked as she flicked the ashes out the window. "I don't know who's more stubborn..." She shifted her weight in the driver's seat. "I've met a lot of people who were stand-offish, Der-bear... but you have got to be right on the top of the list...."
He hated it when she called him that. It's sounded like she was patronizing him.
"I don't need your sympathy..." he grumped.
"You sure about that?" she snapped back at him, her Spanish accent becoming more prominent as the car suddenly jerked out of the main highway and came to a stop.
Awwww, shit... he thought. "And... here we go...." he said out loud.
Penelo put the parking brake on before she continued.
"You think I like looking at night for you? I don't." She announced, raising her voice. "Jason send me after you. We trade shifts!" She threw her arms up from her seat as she turned to look at him in the eyes. "I know Jason a long time. And he hate what he do. He hate knowing he scare people. He hate knowing what scare people. But it is how he is..."
A moment of awkward silence filled the car as Derek just glared out the window.
"I fly..." Penelo continued. "I fly all around, and nobody care..." She gritted her teeth at him. "But Jay... his power different. Nobody like to feel fear, and Jay feel it ALL the time!"
Derek didn't know what to say to that explanation. Her broken English made it even harder. He didn't know what to say. He didn't know how to explain what he'd been through. How well he could say it in broken Spanish that she'd understand.
But he was going to try.
>I... don't know... what to do....<
"You face him!" Penelo immediately responded. "You look him in the eye and say you don't like his power! He already know!" She fumed and glared. "He already know! But he hate that he already know!"
"You two..." she muttered after a moment of silence, "Should just go get married, aye?"
Derek Addams - August 13, 2011 08:26 PM (GMT)
June 12th, 2009 3:36 PM
"We're sorry, but this number has been disconnected or is no longer in service..."
Derek held the receiver on his shoulder, his expression blank as he listened to the automated teller repeat the same recorded message. He had hoped to get in touch with anyone at the cafe. Penelo, Jason, Judy... anyone....
He'd hoped if he kept calling back, someone would pick up. Eventually someone would have to re-connect the phone. Eventually someone would answer once it was. He'd been checking the news. People in Mutant Town were beginning to re-build. Somebody would have to eventually get the cafe up and running again. Maybe not Penelo... Maybe not Jason... But someone who could answer the questions that he couldn't find for himself.
Anyone.... is anybody there....?
Tired of the droning voice, he hung the receiver on it's station and picked up his crutch. As it turned out, it didn't take long for him to be able to stand on his own again, but his legs were still weak. Sometimes he stumbled, and it helped to have something there when the fatigue got to be too much. A cold sense of dread began to settle over his chest. And he began to realize that he was denying something. Maybe several things.
He shook them off. He couldn't think about them. He couldn't allow himself to think about them. For now... he needed a bed.
Survive... the word rang out. "Just... survive... Eventually... it'll be okay..."
April 7th, 2009. 4:45 A.M.
Derek felt the tingling sensation of fingers across his cheek and smiled as an amused chuckle puffed out of him. He opened his eyes to see Jason Davis smiling down on him. His memories came back to him. They'd fallen asleep on the roof drinking on that bottle of whiskey. He could still feel the effects.
"You okay to work today?" Came his voice. It made him chuckle even more. The answer was obvious to him, he'd had too much to drink. He didn't particularly care, though. He just decided to enjoy the moment. Three days ago, he wasn't sure.
He lifted his arms up to pull Jason's face to his, "I'm fine now..."
Which was a total lie. But he didn't need to tell him that. That was what he actually loved about him. Jason knew. He knew that despite his best efforts to keep a cheery face on, Derek was a constant worrier. And Jason's ability gave him the knowledge of everything he was worried about.
And ever since that night about six months ago, every time he'd gotten worried, every time he felt some pang of fear, Jason was there. And three days ago, his past had caught up with him in the form of one sadistic asshole of an ex-boyfriend. And Jason was still there. By the time he was done with that asshole, the fear manipulator had him pissing his pants.
"He's gone. He's gone for good, all right?" he cooed. He's never angry about it... Derek thought as he sat up a bit. All my baggage...
"Yeah..." he mumbled as he sat up. It was rather brisk that morning. He remembered waiting for the bus outside when he lived in Tennessee, but that was nothing compared to a New York Spring.
"I'm sorry..." he remarked, trying to gather his thoughts. "I guess I passed out..."
"You guess?" Jason quipped back at him, which resulted in a tickling match. Derek knew he was still drunk, and there was no way in hell he was going to be able to get enough sleep to work tomorrow, but all things considered, he knew Penelo wouldn't mind too much. Or so he hoped.
He buried his face in Jason's shoulder and exhaled. "I had the worst dream ever..."
"Hmn?" The question vibrated across his chest as he felt arms pull him closer.
He sighed. "It was dark... and cold... and... I don't know where anyone went...."
Jason chuckled. "It was just a dream."
"Speaking of dreams..." A female voice shot across the rooftop.
Derek lifted up to see Penelo crossing the rooftop toward them, looking a bit annoyed. "You must be dreaming if you're not working today! How long were you two up drinking!?!?"
He felt Jason push him up and pull him to his feet. He felt so pathetic. As he tried to pull himself together he listened to the two of them arguing again in Spanish. He was groggy, and his legs felt like jelly. Not to mention the wave of nausea that was overcoming him.
No... It's not just nausea....
He steadied himself against the sidewalls of the roof, glancing into the street as he heard the arguing intensify. And then he heard the third voice. It was just as familiar as the deep baritone of Jason's, with hints of Penelo's high and shrill tones. He turned back to see who had joined their argument over who was working today and froze.
There, he saw Jason, and Penelo, arguing with each other, and a person next to his boyfriend that he could only identify as himself, leaning against Jason in a drunken stupor as he glanced up at the lightening sky.
The flash in the distance ceased the arguing almost immediately.
"Wait... you guys hear that?"
Derek Addams - September 4, 2011 04:39 PM (GMT)
That was the term for when the dreamer becomes acutely aware of the fact that he's dreaming. And for Derek, that moment had come. And with it, the other realization that this was not a dream. None of it ever was. Every night he'd gone to sleep over the past few months, his mind had been scrambling for what had been missing, trying to fill the hole that Derek had dug out himself in his own subconscious, unable to cope with what he'd seen that day, the last few moments before he woke up somewhere in the Sahara.
And now, all he could do was watch.
"No, seriously... you guys hear that?" Derek pulled himself upright, heading toward the edge of the roof where he saw the flash. Jason and Penelo argued for only a few seconds more. Jason in particular, suddenly seemed a bit disturbed. Penelo's harsh gaze softened as she put a hand on his shoulder.
"¿Qué está pasando?" Came Penelo's voice, jerking Derek's attention back to the two of them. Jason was running a hand through his hair as his eyes continued to widen. "You allright, baby?" he quickly crossed to Jason and puts his hands on his shoulders, the grogginess of the leftover alcohol being wiped away by the ever-growing sense of dread.
To say Jason seemed distraught would have been the understatement of the century. Derek laid a hand on his face as the fear manipulator seemed to hyperventilate. Derek glanced over his shoulder to where he saw the flash, then back to his boyfriend. "What is it?" he demanded, his own fears beginning to surface, to whatever it was that had just landed,
"That... over there..."
Suddenly a blast of heat washed over the rooftop. Derek glanced back to see a second flash fade into the horizon. Jason's breathing became even more erratic at that point.
Oh god... something is wrong... something is very wrong...
"Jason... babe..." he cupped his face in his hands.
There were many things Derek could say about Jason. He was smart, he was tough, he was calm and collected. He could pick up on fear and feel it without letting it cripple him. But right now, for the first time, Derek saw something in his face that he'd never seen before.
Jason was scared. And it went beyond the casual everyday worries. The fear that Derek read on him was the kind of fear he'd seen on the face of a man facing his death. The kind of fear you saw just before someone decided to pull the trigger, or make one final cut. This was a mortal and deathly fear. And as far as Derek could tell, it was coming in loud and clear from the area of the flash.
"It's... spreading...." he muttered. "And beyond that.... nothing..."
"Oh, fuck..." The implications alone were enough to trigger his "survival mode". He didn't know what was coming, he didn't care. All he needed to know was that there was a wave of fear, then nothing spreading from that flash. Bomb, gas, virus, whatever.
Derek raced to the side of the building, glancing down the alleys and side-streets from the cafe. "Penelo!" He yelled back at the Spanish owner of the cafe. "Where's the car!? We need to get outta here, NOW!"
Penelo kept talking to Jason, trying to coo him into blocking things out.
"We don't have TIME for this shit!!!" Derek screamed at both of them. "If it's spreading, that means it's heading right FOR us!!!"
As if to answer Derek's assessment, a chorus of screams erupted from that area. He'd never heard anything like it in real life, but the nature of it sent every last hair on his body on end. It sounded like one of those cries you heard in ancient war films and fantasy movies. The sound of an army before they busted down the gate. And Jason fell to his knees. More screams followed, more shouting. He could see people fleeing the area, being chased by... Wait... I know those guys...
It was the Moore brothers. Identical twins, but completely different abilities. Kevin and Kyle. Kevin was a florakinetic, able to manipulate plant life. Kyle could throw orbs of energy that exploded. They often called him "Kyle Ka-Boom". The two of them were practically attached at the hip any time he saw them.
But from what he was seeing, Kyle was running from Kevin, a look of horror on his face. He stopped to turn to his brother, holding up his hands. He could hear him yelling, but couldn't make out any words. Derek glanced back to see Jason and Penelo coming to the side of the cafe roof themselves. Penelo with eyes wide, and Jason clenching his head, his ability overwhelming him. From there, they watched as Kevin grinned maliciously and raised his hands. That was when he noticed Kevin's skin. It seemed darkened, burnt. His eyes.... he realized. They're... glowing...
Grass and weeds that grew between the cracks of the sidewalk answered Kevin's call, stretching and entangling his brother and twisting his arms back. Derek's stomach clenched. There was nothing in the world he could think of that would make Kevin this angry. No way in Hell that the two would ever turn on each other. And now, all he could see was Kyle suspended by makeshift vines as his twin closed the distance between them. Absolute terror marred the twin's face as tears came from his eyes. Kevin looked up and brushed the hair out of his eyes before a strange green glow emitted from his hand. He then withdrew it, and took a few steps back.
Derek just stared... stunned. Kyle twitched and shook as his skin began to turn gray and his eyes closed. Kevin simply stood, silent as more people fled past the morbid scene.
"We need to go... NOW!" He turned back to his friends, Jason was clenching his head. "It's a riot... no... it's worse than that... whatever the fuck it is..."
He turned back to the street where he'd seen the twins. The vines were all gone. Kyle was standing on his own feet now. But... His eyes and skin once again matched his brother's. And he was throwing his orbs around like it was a sport, the explosions sending pieces of brick and glass everywhere. What... the fuck...?
"WHERE'S THE CAR!?!?!?" He turned and screamed at Penelo, panic setting in. He didn't know what the fuck he just saw, he didn't know what the hell was going on, but one thing was clear: It was time to get the fuck out of M.T.
"PENELO!!!" He shouted, shaking her shoulders. She was just as stunned as Jason was at this point. "The KEYS!!!"
"¿A dónde vamos? La carretera conduce allí!" She screeched at him as she pointed. She was right. The only way they were driving out of here was to head toward the flash, where the riot began. He didn't have time to consider other options as something hit the back of his head. He turned to see a girl, maybe around Penelo's age, with the same glowing eyes and discolored skin, her hands glowing with a red energy signature tossing energy bolts at the three of them.
"The alley!!!" He shouted as he dashed away from the flying attacker toward the other side of the building. "Come on!!!"
He leaped off the side of the building without a second thought, turning his body so he'd land on his side and landing with a thud. He sprang to his feet just as Penelo flew down carrying a still dazed and overwhelmed Jason.
Derek knew. He knew that when Jason sensed fear, he also felt it. And in this scene of chaos, it was all over the place. That meant it was Derek's turn to look after him. Both of them.
"We gotta keep moving!" He yelled. "Doesn't matter where, just out of here!" An explosion over his head announced the arrival of the girl from the roof. "Fuck... FUCK!!!!"
"I handle her!!!" Penelo shouted as she took flight once more. "Get going!" She then flew straight at the red girl, drawing her around the edge of the building and out of sight.
A grunt from Jason reminded him. He had to stay calm. Way too late for that... but now's a good time to start! "Jason, focus!!!" he shouted, not knowing if he could even make out words at this point. He could only imagine what being a telepath did to someone, and had also never seen the fear manipulator so... broken.
Derek Addams - September 19, 2011 11:40 PM (GMT)
JP between Derek and War
He grabbed Jason's hand and yanked him toward the main street. His mind was racing. Where do we go...? Where do we go...!? The car... we gotta get outta here.... Jason was rambling by that point.
"Don't hurt me... stay away... leave me alone... gotta get out... go away... don't hurt me.... what's going on?... Oh god, it burns...."
He glanced back at his boyfriend and began to panic himself.
"Be okay... be okay... are we okay?" Derek's eyes widened as his boyfriend continued to rant. "No time to worry... gotta get out... gotta survive....
Derek took a deep breath. If he panicked, Jason would only get worse. He clenched his eyes shut.
"Gotta focus... for Jason... seriously? For me?" Jason's face suddenly took on a look of calm understanding.
Derek looked back at him as he realized how seriously the situation was affecting him. It would have been sweet if it weren't for all the explosions and screams he could hear.
"We're getting out of here!" He yelled as he clenched his hand around the Fear-Sensor.
The street was chaos. All around him he could hear the screams of people fleeing in terror as the ran from whatever it was that had turned their small little piece of the apple into a war zone. He clenched tighter on Jason's hand as he yanked him down the street.
"The car's this way!!! We can get out of here if we take the side streets!!!" he yelled back as Jason stumbled to keep his pace.
C'mon, Jay, you're tougher than this...
Then he saw it. Penelo's car. She'll be here any minute, right?
And there she was.
Derek turned around just in time to see her flying at both of them.
Why is she flying backwards?
He wondered for the briefest of seconds before she collided with the front of the car, filling the air with the sound of screeching metal as Derek felt something warm and wet splatter against his face. His eyes went wide.
He remembered Penelo dragging his ass off the streets when he got angry and then proceeded to teach Jason and himself how to dance. He remembered how she'd always laugh at him when he'd try to get "too serious". He remembered how the three of them would always hang out on the rooftop, drinking and listening to music as they'd joke about being born mutants and the people who'd made it into some kind of "life mission".
And now... all he could see was her mangled and motionless arm. The car began to beep and wail. That's right... she installed an alarm... The thought spider-webbed across his forehead as he realized that there was no way she could have survived that blow. He could have. But not her.
Everything else went silent.
All he could hear was that car alarm. All he could see was that car. Plain, and completely average. And it's new hood ornament that had crushed the entire front in on itself.
He clenched his hand and then realized nothing was there. He didn't hear Jason gasp as vines wrapped around his throat. He barely even noticed when a sudden explosion knocked the invulnerable off his feet. All he could see at that moment was Jason, cringing and afraid, as the vines pulled his arms and legs behind him.
Then, Kevin emitted the same strange greenish-black glow. And Jason began to seize.
"GET THE FUCK OFF HIM!!!!" Derek screamed at the top of his lungs as he charged the florakinetic full-speed. His fist connected dead-center, and the vines released as the twin fell backward.
Derek tried to catch his breath. The guy was down, and Derek was winded. He gasped for air as he turned back to Jason. He was twitching and rolling on the ground as his skin began to turn black.
He'll be okay...
He'd seen it not even ten minutes ago.
He'll be okay...
Jason was gasping for air as he grabbed at the ground beneath him.
He's gonna be okay, right...?
His skin began to crack like a piece of firewood.
Everything began to move in slow-motion. Derek felt his feet hitting the ground, but it felt like the concrete had become molasses. All he could see was Jason. His skin continued to darken before it seemed like he was falling apart in the most literal sense. For a moment, he thought it was just ash. Ash from the fires around them.
He reached him just before his entire body crumbled away. As he reached for his hand, he got a fistful of ash before Jason just... disappeared.
For a moment, he pawed at the ground with the fist that had caught the remains. "Jason...? You okay?" He shoved the hand into his pocket.
He was gone... Both Jason and Penelo were gone...
For a moment, all he could do was stare at the ground. The car alarm was the only sound he could hear. Numbness overtook him, and then.. Rage.
He got to his feet and glared at the florakinetic that had just gotten to his feet. Without a single word, he charged him and tackled him to the ground.
He wanted death. He wanted retribution. He wanted to tear this person's throat out with his bare hands for stealing his one light. The only one who had given him a chance. He slammed the twin's head against the pavement with a steady rhythm.
Die.... die... DIE!!!!
Eventually the struggle stopped, and he was bouncing a deflated basketball against the pavement.
He got to his feet. The riot was still escalating, and he was furious. Everything was blurring together. He could hear screaming. He could see destruction. He could see another one of the "rioters". He was just casually walking down the street, his skin crackling with lightning. Derek didn't care... he couldn't even think anymore. Everything... every one of these fuckers were going to die.
You die next...
There were so many here who ascended as he spread the blessings of his lord. So many men and women who had never known their true potential until he was sent to recruit his armies. Apocalypse's armies. War was no conqueror, War was no king. He was a general who served a God. There was no ambition to him that was not placed there by the first one, and there was no objective other than the fulfillment of his master's needs.
But so many fell, so many were unworthy. It was a pity, but War did not feel so. Those who died were meant to die, because they would never survive in Lord Apocalypse's new world. They were too weak. War had no need for weak soldiers, like the one who had fallen beneath the onslaught of rage unleashed by the young mutant ahead of him. Covered in ash and anger, the youth had already proven himself belonging to War.
There was only the recruitment to attend to. "Rise, my soldier," War ordered. "Rise and take up your weapons. Go forth and spread the word of our God." He held out his hand, held it out flat, the seeds of his master's words ready to spread out over the bruised and battered man. They would take root, and he would ascend to his true glory. As it is written, so shall it be.
The words were as incomprehensible to him as any part of the chaos surrounding him. All he wanted was for someone to pay.
Pay for his anguish. Pay for this chaos. Pay for the lives lost. As he charged, the man spoke and extended a hand to him. His throat began to clench, stopping his charge.
Wait... what the...?
He stumbled, dropping to his knees as a strange sensation began to crawl over his skin, tensing his muscles. His eyes widened as he realized. Oh, God.... I'm...
Then came the heat. His entire body felt hot. He fell flat on his face as it traveled from his face and across his entire body. And then... pain.
He rolled onto his back, screaming and clenching his stomach as the heat continued to spill over him. Only a few moments ago, he was so certain he could take on anyone, and now, his entire body was wracked with the same pain that permeated his mind.
He gasped for air. Breathe, Derek... just breathe... The thought clawed at his mind as he realized his veins were beginning to protrude from his arms, turning a very deep shade of blue. His skin was darkening, and all he could think was... was...
He couldn't think... His face had gone numb and the sensation crept into his mind with no reservations.
All he could do was brace himself. This man... he did it.... I'm finally going to die... He glared up at his attacker with a look of both contempt and appreciation.
"Die screaming, motherfucker..." He grimaced as he spat at him, defiant to the end.
With those words, his eyes closed and his body began to twitch. The transformation had taken full root. His skin turned a shade of dark grey before he finally laid still.
And then, Derek opened his eyes once more. They glowed with an eerie light as he pulled himself to his feet, his back to the Horseman. Then he turned and knelt on one knee.
There was no more confusion, no more pain. No more wonder. Only duty.
"Burn, my soldier, spread the word of the First One, and the blessing of His wrath." War urged, lowering his hand. "You have proven worthy."
And, then there was nothing but the fires and the burning... and the knowledge that when the world was reborn, they would stand at the pleasure of Lord Apocalypse, and crush all things that were weak beneath the heels of their boots. Long Live Apocalypse! Long may He Burn.
Derek Addams - September 21, 2011 02:01 AM (GMT)
Derek's consciousness watched the events unfold from his vantage point.
A memory... He realized. This is what happened...
He watched his darkened and veiny form rise from his knee and turn from the Horseman, then charge down the War-ridden streets of his former home.
I don't wanna see this...
The sound of the car alarm was getting louder as the entire scenario began to get brighter. I don't wanna see this... The brightness increased as he gripped his face. I don't wanna see this... Please don't make me watch this... wake up... wake up wake up wake up!!!
Brighter and brighter it grew, until finally the sights and sounds were washed in white, and Derek fell to his knees, clenching his face. Wake up... wake up...
July 29th, 2011. 4:19 AM
And his eyes opened.
Metal... He thought as he recognized the ceiling of the infirmary. There was no sound other than his own rapid breath. It was... a memory... He began to realize as his head turned left, then right, eyes darting around the room as a vague pain began to register across his abdomen.
A nightmare... no... it was a memory... He felt cold. his skin was tingling. His throat felt dry, and even breathing became difficult. He recognized the room clearly enough. The Infirmary underneath the Xavier Mansion. Is this real? Am I awake?
Memories... Focus... Focus, Derek... It's over...
He brought his hands to his face. His arms felt like jelly.
He glanced to his right and saw the empty chair. He'd hoped to see Kel, but then again, he worked the night shift, so it wasn't too surprising to see it vacant. He sighed as he left his arms travel to his stomach as he clenched his hands together.
It wasn't the first time that memories had shown up while he slept. And each time, he began to remember just a bit more about that time. This time, it was the Apocalypse.
It wasn't even his first dream of that time... but that didn't change the horror he felt once the nightmare was over. Especially since each time those memories came up, he remembered another minor detail, or the dream continued well past what he would rather forget.
War... That's what he was called. And I...
The face had become fuzzy. All he could remember was a grey complexion, eggshell-white eyes, and lightning-like energy crackling across him.
He pulled himself into a sitting position, grimacing as the aching pain in his abdomen began to resurface. On the bright side, it was considerably less than what he felt when he passed out.
His thoughts turned to everything that had happened since that time. Those two moments in the span of a few weeks where he was convinced he was going to die... and just didn't.
He could only guess that the attack on X-Corp was what had brought those memories up.
It's over... he's dead... and it wasn't even "That Guy's" fault....
Those were the things that he had been told ever since he had recovered enough to ask questions about what had happened.
He'd often wondered about "That Guy". From what he'd been told, he was just another mutant, and had been subjected to something even worse than what Derek had been through... and now... he was dead.
The nightmare stirred a nasty feeling in him...
Too bad he's dead....
His emotions began to stew within him. He began to wonder about things he would have done if he ever ran across "That Guy" as he glanced about the room. Then, he saw the chair Kel had been sitting in.
He was actually surprised when the regen seemed to blow off the fact that Derek had almost drowned him. Even more surprised when he kept coming around and hanging out with him after that. Even more confusion followed when he showed up out of the blue that night. He'd added it to the list of "Things I Don't Understand".
And then he wondered.
It had been three years since he'd accepted that Jason was dead. Three years he had been trying to deal with what had happened to him. The same amount of time he'd been with Jason and Penelo.
Maybe it was time to move on...
He laid back and stared at the ceiling again.
Yeah... maybe it really is...
His life had taken such a strange turn. He'd gone from a neglected high school teen to a violent nihilist to a repentant "bad-boy". And now, he was a "rough and tumble vigilante"...
Am I ready to move on....? He just didn't know. But he knew it was time to focus. He was an X-Man now. People who believed that peace between humans and mutants was an idea that could genuinely happen.
He believed in it. Even now, after those "Purifier" bastards tore through X-Corp.
But right now, at that moment, he was exhausted. Once things got too complex to sleep, it was time to stop thinking. He shut his eyes.
Come what may... It's time to start acting my "age" instead of my "looks"