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Fic: Falling Into the Sky 6/8

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  • Shaz
    ~*~*~*~ 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 19, 2002
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      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 it.

      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
      to ignore.

      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
      face it.

      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
      back home.

      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,"
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