Fic: Falling Into the Sky 6/8
About half of us there-- Carol not included-- were Americans. According to
the head therapist, we were allowed to cross the border after the three
month sentence as planned, increased security aside. We had to go home and
start over, they said.
Barring coming home to a ruined life and missing family, of course.
Carol wanted to call the Avenger mansion. She was worried-- more so than I
was for my own surrogate family-- that one of them might have gotten
stereotypically heroic and paid the ultimate price for it.
Even through my biased eyes, you can't not see that much destruction and
rubble and not worry. Not even the Bitch Queen in my head was worry-free.
And Carol Danvers really knew how to earn that title.
For three days she nagged at me, yelling at me to pick up the phone and dial
the number in New York. For three days she consoled my strange emptiness as
I avoided all my fellow recovering addicts and tried to feel a real emotion
About anything. I was more emotional on heroin, for God's sake.
I've never been a crier. I screamed in pain up in Lady Liberty's torch, I
let Melissa's weepy agony flow through me like water, but I never just let
That wasn't Rogue's style. Hell, that wasn't even Marie's style. I may have
tried to climb up the corner of my room as Cody was having seizures on my
bed, but I never let go.
And I didn't cry while leaning on the redwood railing.
I did, however, pick up the phone.
Carol actually seemed peevish that I called MY comrades. Not hers, whom I
didn't really know aside from Wanda, but mine.
Two people in this world can yell at me and not get decked for it: my father
and Scott Summers.
Ororo Munroe, however, came in a close third.
I'd been gone a while... eight months, give or take a few highs. So when I
caught 'Ro on the phone, she sounded a little surprised to have their errant
puppy coming back for due punishment.
Then she asked me if I was all right.
Oh, yeah, the last location they got from Wanda was Manhattan, back 'round
early summer. Huh.
I didn't tell her where I was, but in a flurry of words I didn't expect, I
told her about the heroin, taking Xavier's money, Wanda, Carol and checking
into a rehab clinic.
She was remarkably accepting. Maybe it was the ex-thief inside of her.
Or maybe it was the fact that I told her the truth. Life may be shit to
someone, but when you can come clean about it, it tends to mean something.
"So, when are you coming home?"
The question was expected. I knew it'd be asked, and I had an answer ready:
"I don't know."
Then I asked her about Jean.
Ororo's response-- typical of her-- was to hand the phone over to Jean and
let the woman speak for herself.
That's when my emotions came back to me. Even Melissa, my ever present,
wailing daemon seemed surprised.
For the last two weeks of my time at the clinic, I paced. I paced and
stared down the other people there for them thinking I was losing my mind.
In a way, I had been losing it since I touched Cody. Melissa and Carol had
sorta sealed the deal, and now, waking up every morning with little track
marks on my arm and a craving for China White, I was this close to the line
you cross just before your family checks you into the local insane asylum.
So for two weeks I paced and tried to figure out how to go home. Oh, it
wasn't the border guards that were slowly giving into the paranoia of a
recently declared military state, it was what I had to go back to.
The scar on my forehead wasn't encouraging. No matter how many times I
turned the damn mirror around in my room, it was inevitably moved back, and
I had to stare at my reflection. I had to notice the jagged white line of
dead tissue that cut from temple to temple and through my right eyebrow and
remember what had gone so wrong last winter.
And even the thought of Logan being alive and well, with a Cuban cigar in
one hand and a beer in the other, ignoring the harm he had caused didn't
wake me up from my stupor. Planes slamming headlong into the skyline of
Manhattan failed to elicit a reaction. Carol angry at me and Melissa
quaking from a memory, both which Xavier could help with, were normal enough
But to hear Jean's voice again, oh fuck. Why her?
Oh, yeah, she was the one that took the biggest fall. Logan busted half his
body hitting the tree branch on the way down, but was out of bed in two
days. Perfect condition.
Me, I got a huge scratch and a couple dozen bruises. Nothing big, normal
fare for a superhero.
I really thought Jean was dead. I truly did, and was prepared for that
obligatory pause on the phone right before bad news is delivered. I
expected the impact onto frozen lawn to earn her a headstone in the same
cemetery as Bobby's.
I believed it right up until that phone was handed over and I heard the one
voice I swore-- and I mean that in the vulgar language sense-- was a ghost
out to screw with me.
Heroin had removed my guilt about being the least hurt, and now I had to
But I had two more weeks here. I had a list of activities they had me
slated for-- apparently they wanted me to continue my unwitting leadership
behaviour-- and all I wanted was to be done with the place and get the hell
For once, Carol agreed. Then she started back in on calling the Avenger
Sometimes I wonder who I hate more: Melissa or Carol.
[cont'd in part 7]
"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,"