|Fri, 17 Mar 2000
Tomato Soup <email@example.com>
[Cecilia Reyes] X-Ing Out - 1 of 1, pg13 for language
DISCLAIMER: Marvel's, not mine. No money. Don't sue. Not making any money. I guess I should have another warning for this one. Language again, I think. Maybe some violence. If you have feedback, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
Oh, and I guess this one has spoilers for X-Men #100 on it, so be warned.
Cecilia Reyes: X-ing Out
I. Am. A. Doctor.
I'm not a superhero.
I'm not a mutant activist.
This, of course, is why I've a patient bleeding his life out and trying not to go into shock in my arms.
Naturally this also explains why there's some hombre with a serious attitude a few yards behind me screaming about vengeance and my blood and retribution and yada-yada-blah-blah-blah.
(I'm a murderer.)
No! I'm a doctor!
(I'm a *murderer*. Hippocratic oath says I am. Then again, it says, "Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption..." and spiking a guy through the heart with my force field isn't exactly an involuntary act of mischief. A man is dead. By my hand.)
And if not by my hand, Wagner'd be dead, and so would I. Get *over* yourself, chiquita. *snap-snap*
(But ... but...)
Shut up. Concentrate on the important thing. Angst later. I have a seriously injured man in my arms and a pack of howling predators at my heels. Survive tonight, then I'll let you have your little pity party and invite whoever you want. Think of it this way, would you rather have let Wagner choose some other doctor, some doctor without the forcefield, without the cojones to stand up to these bastardos?
Cecilia knew she was rambling inwardly at herself -- keeping up this inner dialogue and argument to hold her sanity together, rather than letting guilt and horror over what she'd been forced to do shake her to the point where she'd be utterly useless to the patient she'd sworn to see to safety.
Wagner was dark blue at the best of times. That his skin was this rather -- cobalt shade --indicated that his blood loss was serious. He was being a brave little soldier (of course; he was an X-Man. All X-Men were brave little soldiers!) and keeping up a steady stream of banter in a shaky voice; partly whistling past the graveyard since neither of them were in any shape for a fight -- and partly because he knew it'd help him stay awake.
Her career, such that it was, was not going to bear this new blow easily. Being outed as a mutant had lost her her sweet gig at Our Mother of Mercy. Then her little solo practice in Salem Center had failed. And then she'd ended up in the armpit of Manhattan. ~Not much further to fall,~ she reasoned. ~And not as far as I could fall if I let the life in my hands go.~
Resolutely, she put the trauma in the back of her mind -- with the memory of the ricochet that had killed her brother.
~I *am* a doctor.~
"Ja," Kurt whispered, "And a pretty good one, especially for not kicking my little blue tail out into the night."
Reyes smirked. "Yeah, we'll see." She glanced down at the emergency beacon she'd been given by Logan six months ago, and slammed her fist down on it, setting it to beeping and blinking. The little X pulsed on her beltbuckle and her mind traveled back to a time she'd hoped was permanent...
Cecilia Reyes had never been so happy as when she had been walking home from the Met Food in lower Manhattan and had gotten smacked upside the head by a misthrown football.
Oh, it'd hurt, no mistake -- but the pain -- and better still, the lack of that weird "whaammp" noise -- had indicated there was no forcefield. That she was *human*. *Normal.*
Of course, this had led to about 90 minutes of activity a less-informed person might've considered unhealthy and masochistic. After various minor attempts to harm herself, Cecilia had finally had to pour hot coffee on her hand and ended up with a lovely second-degree burn before she had become absolutely convinced that she was just like "everybody else."
It had been a lovely couple months. But, like most other good things in Cecilia Reyes' life, it wasn't meant to last. Her blossoming relationship with Hank McCoy had foundered and eventually died as his research and participation in "the Mutant thing" turned out more important than she was. That hadn't been enough to change her mind. She'd heard from the others that he and Bobby had been in Genosha when the whatever-it-was had taken away all the mutants' powers.
Her happiness, of course, had been short-lived. How could she have thought only of herself when two of the men who she cared about were powerless, helpless, in a country where their kind were considered abominations? She had been on her way back to trying to reassemble her life, getting it all back together again -- when it had ended. With a "whammmp" -- the forcefield had returned, and all her hopes of becoming the doctor she once had been were gone.
She'd consoled herself with the knowledge that if she was a freak again, then Bobby and Hank were themselves again too -- and that they were going to be okay. Even if that meant her life was going right back into the dumpster.
Cecilia had pretty much resigned herself to dealing with the worst element Manhattan could throw at her, but she had definitely not expected to be dragged, kicking and screaming, back into the X-Men's world. ~If dying is my only way *out* of the X-Men's world...~ Cecilia thought, ~Then I guess I'd rather kick and scream.~
If the Neo caught them, they were dead.
If she denied her powers, the Neo would catch them.
"Kurt, this is gonna hurt, but hang on." She wrapped Wagner in her arms, close as she could, and huddled into a ball around him. Concentrating against the pain, she hurled herself and her weak passenger down into the subway, onto the tracks, and into the path of an uptown bound #1 train. The forcefield WHAMMPed loudly as the train hit it and sent her barrelling up along the tracks. Reyes gritted her teeth and concentrated on staying conscious for the rest of the trip.
To the life that she didn't want, but had to admit was better than no life at all.
Behind her, she could hear the enraged cries of the Neo - fading away behind the rush of the blood in her ears and the clatter of the train.
"She who fights and runs away," Cecilia chuckled through clenched teeth and a haze of adrenaline. "You took my life from me, and that means I got static with you. We'll settle. But not until I got my posse with me."
Kurt moaned softly, and Cecilia bounced them with her forcefield onto the platform a few minutes ahead of the train. It arrived shortly, and the two of them slumped weakly onto the nearest seat in the deserted car.
The X-beacon on her belt was still blinking. Cecilia closed her eyes. ~Doctor, murderer, X-Man. Whatever I am, I'm tired of whining. It's time to take it to them.~
Beside her, Kurt Wagner sighed, and curled up against her side, seeming to rest a bit easier.
She took it as a good sign.