Fic: Falling Into the Sky 3/8 (Caligo)
The thing that I haven't had in years-- that many of Xavier's foundlings
haven't ever had-- was family. No parents to go to for advice, no siblings
to have a connection to. That was what made Xavier's school so special-- we
rebuilt our families not with blood, but with a bond of trust and
But Wanda, she had never known that feeling of being so completely alone in
the universe, and that reality crashed down on me when, over dinner a week
later, she talked about her brother and his life.
Aside from a mention of Pietro struggling through Hank's chemistry labs, I
missed the rest of the conversation, her brief, one sentence mention of the
main group actively trying to "find their missing Rogue" catching my
attention utterly and nearly making the junk in my system stop working.
I excused myself from the table before she mentioned any more names that I
might have known and walked all the way back to the hotel before she caught
me again in the dingy lobby.
It was too much to consider. They were looking for ME.
Of course, what was really odd, was that they hadn't found me yet.
So, staring at the semi-messy room and figuring out my options after I
begged Wanda to go home, I did the only thing I could do: I started
But first I had to score a few more hits and a batch of fresh needles before
leaving. There way no way I was getting Melissa and company back in my head
when I was trying to get set up someplace else.
I handed the owner of the hotel an extra hundred dollars for the lack of
complaint he offered me the entire time I was there. At Wanda's favourite
cyber cafe I left an email for her, apologising for leaving and promising
that I would contact her when I could. I bought my bus ticket shortly after
that and then, watching the sun set at the Greyhound station, hissed through
the withdrawal headache and waited for my ride out of the United States.
I figured Xavier couldn't get too mad at me and send the cops after his
wandering Rogue if I was on the other side of the border. Or, at least,
being that far away, I wouldn't have to know about it.
A mostly sound theory, that.
My second time in Canada, the first time a very snowy and forgettable round
of hitchhiking with truckers into Alberta, started off easy enough.
Toronto, the Canadian New York, was close enough to what I had gotten used
to. All I had to do was find the things I really needed: a place to sleep
and a person to get my fix from. I had pulled a couple thousand out of
Xavier's account without leaving a dent in the damned thing the same night I
bailed Manhattan, and upon searching out a hotel that seemed fond of giving
its guests their privacy, I settled in. I also found a place to exchange my
funds for Canadian, and bought a map.
Then I spent the next day searching for the all elusive drug dealer that no
mother ever wants to admit frequents the random street corner.
Roberto was quickly replaced by an average, unassuming looking Richard. I'd
later call him Dick, at one point to his face, and not just in a reference
to the lack of definition his pants bore. Richard was one of those guys,
his "eh" a little muddled by his attempt at street slang, that you would
have sworn actually belonged in the Midwest, managing a fast food chain
rather than dealing China White, Angel Dust and his own brand of X to the
local downtrodden of Ontario.
He was also the asshole that gave me regular heroin once-- you know, the
natural brown muddy shit-- in the standard enclosed bag and didn't bother to
tell me, nor offer a better price.
I used the uppercut Logan taught me to break his nose for the reaction it
gave me. Maybe it's different for humans, but as a mutant that had gotten
used to her synthetic stuff, I could either weather the effects of three
days without anything to stave off the craving for another high as my body
freaked out, or cook up the muddy shit and hope it would do the work its
white cousin did.
I chose the latter option.
And for that chance I took, I spent the next morning vomiting for three
hours, turning round and losing anything else I had eaten the other way for
a bit, and then crawled into my shower for a jarring two hour cold shower
while I rode out the muscle spasms.
It explained why my hair, cut above my shoulders and permanently trapped in
the messy look, stayed damp for the whole day as I tried my best not to
break down Dick's-- er, Richard's door and throttle the idiot for poisoning
Yes, it's ironic that I was up in arms about that kind of thing. I'd have
never heard the end of it in Westchester if they had ever found out.
But Dick, he was agreeable. Apparently a pissed off twenty something
offering to tweak his fingers back and remove his sexual organs-- after the
nose breaking-- to better ignore the nausea of a high gone wrong was more
effective than I thought it would be.
Things improved after that. No mutants walked into my life, I found a place
that would let me work a few days a week-- again my heroin clarity worked to
my advantage over going clean and conflicted-- to earn the cash I needed to
make rent and food. I used my new hold over Richard to pay less, and
therefore conserved the remaining cache of Xavier's cash I had, and, most
importantly, I enjoyed Canada. I made no attempt to stand out, and was left
alone for it. I sent Wanda e-mails now and then from a random, free webmail
to let her know I was alive, but never told her where I was.
By then, I was pretty sure that she had mentioned her brunette friend with
the pure white bangs that kinda freaked out over the name "Rogue," and home
had put two and two together.
Watching the news one night, tapping the syringe free of bubbles as I lay
curled up comfortably in the bed, I caught my first glimpse of what passed
for Canadian mutant organisations. Like the Avengers, they were yet another
government sanctioned group, earning a mention for thwarting a recent attack
somewhere up north of Toronto on some unwitting tourists by "masqued thugs."
Alpha Flight, the news called them. A Yeti type, and a pack of human
looking men in red and white uniforms, and some guy named James Hudson that
had a hell of a Canadian accent, all "oots" and "a-gay-ns" as he cautioned
the reporter interviewing him about the dangers of treading into dangerous
Raising an eyebrow at the guy's arrogance, I caught myself laughing at him.
I couldn't help it-- the notion of openly mutant groups doing the
government's bidding was a bizarre enough notion to someone like me, taught
to watch ever so carefully for authority figures and avoid getting caught
even as we helped them. But that one was frightened at the core, like he
wasn't so happy to be sanctioned. Made him an easy target, and he knew it.
And that was when I thought to the war we had all been waiting for in
Westchester for the last couple years. When Magneto was released from
prison two years ago, Xavier had gone vigilant on his warnings to us about
being prepared. About how to deal with the rising, insurgent hatred of
mutants, and riots that could follow. Lynch mobs and people with guns. How
we weren't to kill them, and yet we still had to somehow-- heroin clarity
didn't make the notion any easier to accept-- keep the victims of the
Somehow, it made my taking refuge in Ontario comforting. Wanting to be a
hero filled my false clarity with a bit too much responsibility for a person
that would otherwise be spending half her day silencing the screaming voice
of a dead actress in her head. I mean, I hadn't been on active duty since
she had come into my head at that asylum, and at the rate I had been
improving, I wasn't getting back on the list anytime soon.
God, how I hated Melissa Marr, even when she wasn't around to give me a
Toronto made me realise I was really alone. At least in downtown Manhattan
I was a taxi cab away from the place I, at one point quite lovingly, called
home, but here...?
Richard's drugs, Wanda's e-mails, the lack of voices in my head.
That was all I needed on heroin.
Problem was, as I tried to keep the slight stagger of my feet from giving me
away at work, or the way I reacted to someone's strong declaration of being
anti-drugs (I laughed so loud at the man who called marijuana the Devil's
seed that he backed away from me and left the store before buying anything),
that I realised I was a bit out of my element.
The glimpses of a drug-free world only brought the idea home further. I was
ALONE. By myself, by choice, and left to suffer the consequences of that
I should have seen the blocking of the expense account from a mile away.
Anticipated it, and therefore anticipated the arrival of a worried-- not to
mention testy-- group of heroes that had to save their dear little Marie.
Even if it took them a long time to actually find me.
Marie was dead. If she wasn't dead before from the voices that pushed her
into the corner like a starving rat, she was dead from the chemical that
laced my blood.
Problem was, I was dealing with two kinds of death. At least with the
weight of other voices, I was too overwhelmed to notice Marie's innocence,
or feel Marie's quirky, not quite shy grin that Logan's presence inspired.
But with the needles and their sweet honey, I became Marie, only to realise
that Marie was nothing more than an illusion to me.
I'm still not sure which version of my former self I missed more. They were
both dead, a fading voice and a delusion, and I knew I would never truly get
That was when I got sloppy. When I truly let things slide.
[cont'd in part 4]
"Life? Life's pretty much a knife fight in a dirt covered bar; and if they
get you down, you best get back up." "Last Call at the Broken Hammer,"