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FF: The Avenue [PG-13]

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  • Elizabeth Wilde
    This ain t mine. I m posting it for my friend Feral. Some of you might recall her fic Polish, Poles, and Poodles ? Well, this isn t anything like it ;) Some
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2001
      This ain't mine. I'm posting it for my friend Feral.
      Some of you might recall her fic "Polish, Poles, and
      Poodles"? Well, this isn't anything like it ;) Some of
      her best writing, but decidedly dark and only
      sometimes happy, so... uh... good. Read. Yeah.

      Author: Feral Tendencies
      Title: The Avenue
      Series: none
      Summary: Kody gets some advice from a mysterious
      Distribution: Anywhere as long as I get credit.
      Disclaimer: The X-Men stuff belongs to Marvel and Fox
      and probably other people. The song "Kody" is Matchbox
      Twenty's and copyright their record label.
      'Ship: non-specific
      Rating: PG-13 (language)
      Spoilers: Probably the movie... but honestly, I'd hope
      you've seen it by now...
      Feedback: Please! Email off-list at
      Setting: Movieverse. You'll have to figure out the
      rest for yourself ;)
      Notes: This fic is weird. Really, really weird. But I
      like it. So there.


      Kody sat down on the avenue
      He tapped his feet to the humming of the highway
      He watched the light shine down on the broken glass,
      and thought
      I don't got no reasons, yet
      There it is and there it was
      It was clear to all of us
      We kept this hat of broken dreams
      And we pulled them out, when we needed them around

      So please hand me the bottle, I think I'm lonely now
      And please give me direction, I think the hurt set in
      And I don't feel nothing


      I nearly jump through myself. I didn't hear anyone
      come up. Then all of a sudden this voice out of the
      dark. I look up. Can't see him very well, but I can
      tell he's pretty big. "H-hey. Look, I don't have any
      money, okay?"

      He laughs. "I don't need your money, junior," he says,
      stepping forward into the streetlight.

      Definitely a big guy. Looks about forty-ish. And
      really hairy. Yuck. "Then why are you here, old man?
      This is a kids' hangout."

      The old guy shakes his head, sticks a hand in his
      pocket and leans against the crumbling ruins of the
      nearby building. "Kids' hangout... you sure it ain't
      more along the lines of a place to get away? Place for
      people with problems they can't face?"

      I roll my eyes. "What are you? A freelance guidance

      "Maybe," he says, his face expressionless. "You look
      like you got a lot on your mind."

      "Maybe," I say, throwing his words back in his face. I
      sit down on a large marble block, fallen from a nearby
      pillar. "But I digress. Fuck off."

      The old guy shrugs. "Just tryin' to be friendly, kid,"
      he says, kicking a large chunk of rock, scattering
      pieces of glass and clouds of dust. "You could show a
      little human kindness."

      Stained glass. I glance at the crumbled remains behind
      me. Considering the marble that came with it, I'm
      guessing this place used to be expensive. Looking back
      at the stranger, I shrug. "Whatever," I grumble under
      my breath.

      He nods. "That'll work. You got a name, kid?"

      "Kody," I reply, then jerk my chin in his direction.

      He thinks a moment. Who the hell has to think about
      their name? Finally, he shakes his head. "Not
      important," he says quietly. "Had more names than I
      can remember. 'Sides, a person's name's only important
      if they affect your life, right? Ain't gonna remember
      'em otherwise, right?"

      Well, that's damn weird. I shrug. "Yeah, sure.
      Whatever," I mutter. "So, why the hell are you here?
      You got problems you don't wanna face?"

      "Loads," he says, nodding. "Don't wanna face 'em. But
      I do. Just not tonight. I wanna hear about your

      Just fucking weird. But he doesn't seem to be going
      away. And he doesn't seem dangerous... for the moment.
      "My life sucks."

      He laughs quietly. "That's pretty general. So does
      mine. So we got somethin' in common. Care to

      I shrug, trying to look apathetic, but feeling more
      along the lines of self-conscious. "Well, I'd complain
      about my dead-end job or my bitchy girlfriend, but I'm
      not that lucky. No job... girl left me awhile back. I
      was lucky enough to finish high school... not that the
      diploma's done me much good." I fall silent, looking
      up at him.

      He's thinking hard, looking at the ground. After a
      moment, he nods and looks up. "I see."

      I fold my arms across my chest and watch him
      expectantly. He's not getting away with that.

      He smirks a little, looking almost like he's got an
      idea of some sort. "Which one do you miss more?"

      I arch an eyebrow at that. This isn't multiple fucking
      choice. I need a job. And who the hell doesn't miss
      someone they love? I think a moment, reach one
      conclusion: humor him. "The girl, I guess."

      He nods. His head's gonna bob off his shoulders any
      minute now. He must think he's some sort of fucking
      sage. "I know that pain, kid."

      "Oh, really?" Good. A chance to get the subject off
      me. Not that my life's not a thrilling, crazy, wild
      ride. That someone forgot to plug in. "What was she

      He gets a wistful sparkle in his eyes at the question.
      Please, god, let's not start the waterworks.
      Fortunately, he doesn't start sobbing. "Beautiful
      eyes... long, gorgeous hair. Great figure... Always a
      little unsure o' herself, but she learned to cover
      that up pretty quick."

      "What happened?"

      He hesitates. Couldn't have been that bad, could it?
      "We... grew apart. She matured. I didn't. End of

      I nod. I know *that* story. "Yeah, same here."

      He grins at that, looking smug, like he's got a
      secret. "I'll bet." He pulls a flask out of his shirt,
      takes a swig. "What about that job? What happened with

      "Before we get into that... why don't you give me a
      little incentive?" I ask, pointing at the silver

      He holds it out without hesitation. "Sure. Just be
      careful... it's pretty rough."

      "I've done harder stuff than this, old man." I take
      the flask, toss back a sip and grunt. He's right.
      Stuff's two steps short of turpentine. I hand the
      flask back to him with a wince. "What the hell is

      He grins again. Damn, he's got a creepy smile. "Home
      brew. Everclear. You were saying?"

      Well, he's got focus. "I was gonna go to college. Get
      a degree in hardware engineering... or something like
      that. Went fine the first year. Then my parents bit
      the dust."

      "Shame," he says, putting the flask away.

      "I don't miss them much. Couple of rich folks. Didn't
      have much time for me. Too busy traveling, doing
      business. Died in a plane crash. Left me with a nurse
      most of the time."

      "I see. What happened to you?"

      "I was left with the nurse as a parent. She was nice
      enough. Didn't get a shred of the inheritance. All
      went to my brother. He was the one who supported the
      family business... Some sort of chemical firm. I never
      really paid much attention. Didn't care. I was all
      into the tech stuff, and my parents hated that. Said I
      wasn't upholding tradition or some shit like that." I
      shrug. "Anyway, I was left with the poor nurse. So I
      started working to support us. She didn't really have
      any other skills and couldn't find a job, or I
      would've just left her on her own. I didn't wanna be a
      burden. So I dropped college, started working at a
      construction site. Made pretty good money. Then there
      was that recession. The nurse found herself a job
      shortly after I got fired. I left, figuring I'd find
      something else, maybe start going to school again. No
      such luck. Worked here and there for awhile, but I
      haven't had any decent work in about three months." I
      leave it at that. There. Soul bared and whatnot.
      Happy, you freakish old geezer?

      He pushes away from the wall slowly, looking at the
      ground, all thoughtful again. "I can understand where
      you're comin' from, junior," he says, walking towards
      me. "Never easy bein' hungry. 'Specially when you
      can't get out of it." He stops a few feet away, looks
      me in the eye. "You come here often?"

      "Lately? Yeah."

      "Good," he says, then turns and starts walking away.

      Good? What the *fuck* does he mean by that? "Hey,

      "Later, kid," he says, disappearing into the dark.
      "You just keep comin' to your little hidey-hole, got

      "Yeah," I mutter quietly to myself, feeling confused.

      There's a squeak hinge down on the back gate
      It lets us know if he comes around
      I don't sleep that good anyway
      If you've never heard that silence, it's a God awful

      So please hand me the bottle, I think I'm lonely now
      And please give me direction, I think the hurt set in
      And I don't feel nothing
      I don't feel nothing, no I don't feel nothing
      There's nothing to feel good about here

      The squeaking of the gate wakes me up this morning.
      No, wait. Not morning. It's dark out. I haven't been
      asleep long. I immediately spring to my feet,
      expecting the cops or the landowner come to kick me
      off the property. I look around. No one. Deathly
      quiet. Can't even hear any traffic on the nearby
      highway. So it *is* early morning, then. The eerie
      silence is almost palpable. "Hello? Anybody there?"

      "Relax, kid. Just me." The visitor of two weeks ago
      steps out of the shadows.

      I blink. He actually came back? Didn't expect that.
      "You again?"

      "Nice to see you, too, kid."

      "What time is it? I was trying to sleep," I complain,
      rubbing my eyes.

      "I know." He gets a little closer, narrows his eyes at
      me. "I knew ya had troubles, kid, but I didn't know
      you were homeless."

      "I wasn't... At least, not until two days ago. Ran out
      of rent money."

      He nods, looks at the pile of blankets I was sleeping
      on, then looks at me and frowns. I run a hand through
      my hair, feeling self-conscious for no apparent
      reason. "You still up for a college education?" he

      I narrow my eyes at him. What the hell kind of game is
      this? "What?" I ask sharply, my voice cracking.

      He doesn't even skip a beat at the hostile tone in my
      voice. "I got some spare cash layin' around. I need
      somethin' to do with it. Think I could find someone
      that needs a student loan?"

      I narrow my eyes at him. "What's the catch?"

      He grins. "Cynical, ain't ya?"

      "You would be, too."

      "I am."

      "What. Is. The. Catch?"

      He nods. "Smart kid. The catch is, you start it, you
      finish it. Or I kick your ass. You need more money,
      you ask me for it. Long as you're bustin' your ass to
      get a diploma, you'll keep getting money," he says,
      pulling a debit card out of his jacket. "Interested?"

      I think a moment, looking at him, the card, the
      building, the broken glass.

      Him. The card. Is this for real? Is that really the
      only catch? What if it's some sort of trick? What if
      he's a psychopath?

      The building. Broken glass. What if I end up here the
      rest of my life? Things can't get worse, can they?

      I finally look at the stranger again. Slowly, I reach
      out to take the debit card, expecting him to yank it
      away, tear it apart, tell me he was just fucking with
      me. He doesn't. I get the card in my hand.

      The old man smiles. "Good. There's enough cash on
      there to get you a house, some books, food, and a
      semester's tuition." He reaches into his pocket, pulls
      out a piece of paper and gives it to me. "There's my
      information if you need to contact me."

      My mouth is dry. I hardly know what to say. I don't
      even know who the hell this guy is. Finally, I manage
      to work up some words. "Why... why me?"

      He looks at me, and he looks about ready to cry.
      "Let's just say... I owe someone related to ya." He
      turns and starts walking off. "Good luck, kid."

      "Wait, I-"

      "Don't worry about it, kid. This is your time."

      I frown, not entirely sure of the meaning of those
      words. I put the card and the paper in my shirt
      pocket, then sit down on my marble block, content to
      wait for the sun to come up. A few seconds later, it
      occurs to me I don't even know the old man's name.
      Quickly, I pull the paper from my shirt, unfolding it
      and reading the nearly illegible scrawl:


      I frown. The name sounds familiar. My train of thought
      is interrupted, though, when I catch a glint of metal
      out of the corner of my eye, the lights from the
      highway having caught it just right. Standing, I
      slowly walk to the glinting metal, more out of boredom
      than actual curiosity.

      Kneeling, I pick the piece of metal up. It's been
      broken and it's rusted as hell, but I can still make
      out two words: Xavier's School. I put the metal back
      down, looking back at the expensive ruins, wondering
      what kind of school it might have been. After a
      moment, I pick the sign fragment back up, put it in my
      backpack. I then go back to sitting. Waiting. Waiting
      for daylight to come and herald my second chance...

      ...or some such cheesy shit.

      Now I don't much get down out to the avenue
      I could drive, but it takes so much to get there
      I don't get off on all the broken glass, the Cadillac
      I've seen a lot of good things die
      And I'm in an over emotional way

      So please hand me the bottle, I think I'm lonely now
      And please give me direction, I think the hurt set in
      And I don't feel nothing

      Logan pulled a cigar out of his pocket, glancing over
      his shoulder at the ruined school as he walked,
      thinking about what Kody would do. He had a feeling
      the kid would do what he'd been told. As he lit the
      cigar, his mind drifted to the past, to Xavier and the

      Charles was long dead, his dream with him. Mostly,
      anyway. A few people still had hope. Not many, though.
      Mutants were still in pretty much the same position as
      they had been when Logan had met Xavier, all those
      years ago. Logan shook his head, reflecting on how all
      that work had ended in a stalemate. //I guess it beats
      the hell out of things gettin' worse. Guess I could've
      taken up where Scott left off...// He shook his head
      again, this time dismissively. //I ain't built for
      that. And I can't lead somethin' I don't believe in.//

      Glancing back at the school one more time, Logan made
      two promises to himself. First, that he'd never go
      back to the ruined school without good reason. //No
      point in dwellin' on the past. Just makes it hurt

      Second, he promised himself that he'd make sure Kody
      got where he was going. After all, it was the least
      that a Great-Great-Great-Grandfather could do.

      THE END

      Remember, she gets the feedback: feral_tendencies@...

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      "We've always been ready for female superheroes because women want to be them and men want to do them." -Famke Janssen

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