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20 March 2008 @ 12:27 am
Aeon - X-Force - PG13 - 1/1  
Title: Aeon 1/1
Fandom: X-Force
Rating: PG-13
Any Warnings: mild m/m relationships
Word Count: ~2,222 words
Summary: Ric's upset after a mission. 'Star comes to find him.
Author's Notes: Another repost. This is one of my favorite things that I have written. X-Force does not belong to me, nor does the song Aeon. Aeon belongs to Lacuna Coil. If something is wrong, like the Spanish, let me know. I’ll fix it. I’m a French Chinese student, not a Spanish student.



He watches me. Always. It’s like I’m fascinating to him. I could be hogging the couch in the living room while Tab flips through the channels looking for some fashion crap. And, instead of the TV, he’d be focused on me.

Me.

In the Danger Room, he’s watching my back as I return the favor; honor. Or, he’s in the control room watching my every move as I dodge obstacles and shake the earth.

How can worthless, stupid Julio Esteban Richter be that interesting?

I’m not special. I know that. Hell, X-Force would be just fine without me. Cable’s probably thought about it more than once. Sam too.

Sam said once that X-Force leaves more destruction in its wake than the Juggernaut. I usually don’t notice. I’m either used to it by now because of my powers or I’m too busy watching my own ass.

And his. Can’t let him get shot in the back.

Even if he does have an amazing healing factor.

I think he knows too. We work so well together. If he minds, he never says so. Maybe it’s the idea that if he says something about me showing special attention to him, in the field of course, then I’ll say something about the times I’ve caught him watching me.

Madre de Dios.

He can be so damn blunt sometimes too. But never about this. Shit. He came right out and asked Domino about porn one time. I thought her jaw would hit the floor. But, that’s him for you. Anything from the kitchen sink to why Terry is such a bitch for a week every month. It’s all game to him.

‘Cept for us. Yeah, I know he’s my friend, colleague and we get along better than anyone on the team but we’ve got this watching thing going on.

It’s complicated. Just complicated.

The more I think about it, the more my already sore head aches. Cable took us out on a mission again. We had to stop some terrorist organization from killing Joe Politician again. The missions start running together after awhile. He divided us up and sent us in. That was the okay part. The entire team went in more or less together.

It was on our way out that I got my ass handed to me. We split up and I got stuck with Feral. While he might get along great with Feral, her and I just butt heads.

Anyway, Jimmy and Terry met us about halfway out. About five minutes later, just as we reached one of the exit tunnels, Cable warned us that the place was rigged to blow. Great.

We doubled our speed then heard gunfire. Terry and Jimmy rushed ahead. I managed to keep Feral with me. You know, Siryn can fly and carry Jimmy out. Feral’s got that cat thing going for her. Then you have me. Average.

And there’s only so much average can do to restrain Feral.

As we drew closer and closer to the end of the tunnel, she bolted away from me, snarling and rambling. Then the charges went off.

And as the tunnel began to cave in, I wondered if this was somebody’s idea of retribution.

I was just out when the ceiling above crashed down. Dios. Debris was everywhere. Not like anyone came to check on me either.

It was late by the time I got to the Pacrat. Cable was pissed, as was everyone else but him. I saw something like concern on his face and looked away.

Doesn’t change anything. I’ll always be the expendable one.

Hell, with all the shit I went through with my family, you’d think I’d get a break.

Not in my lifetime.

Every little scrape and scratch burns and stings. I toss my tattered shirt right into the trash bin. I clean the small wounds with a damp cloth, those that I can reach.

When the Right kidnapped me, my family never came after me. X-Factor wouldn’t have come after me either, but I was being used to level San Francisco. I can only believe that it would be the same with X-Force.

Expendable.

My face feels hot and a damp something trails down my face. Tears. I wipe at them. Men don’t cry.

A soft knock at the door and I’m up, digging through my dresser for a pair of jeans to replace my tattered pants.

“Julio?” comes as the door opens the tiniest bit. Shatterstar peers in.

“Go away, ‘Star.” I don’t want to see him right now. My torn pants end up in the trash. I pull on snug denim, keeping my back to the door.

“Julio, your back.” He’s behind me now. Curiosity killed the bioengineered warrior. I guess he can’t help it.

“Don’t worry about it.” I start to pull a t-shirt over my head and he grabs it, stopping me. “Star-“

“Sit.” He pushes me down to sit on my bed.

I sigh and wait. My tears have stopped but I still don’t want him seeing the salty paths they’ve left on my face. I tilt my head forward and my hair covers my face, hiding the evidence.

The bed dips behind me. Seconds later, a cool rag dabs gently at the scratches and scrapes. There will be a few bruises tomorrow. And Shatterstar’s surprisingly gentle. He’s a warrior. Are warriors supposed to have this gentle kind of touch?

“Feral left you behind, did she not?”

His voice is soft, low.

I hesitate before answering him. “She took off right before the tunnel started to collapse. I couldn’t get over everything fast enough.” Guess I’m lucky that I didn’t break anything.

Right.

He doesn’t speak for a moment or so, just keeps cleaning the tiny wounds. “I am sorry, Julio.”

“For what? You didn’t do anything.” That’s the point. Expendable.

He stops and slides across my bed to sit beside me. “I should have said something to Cable. It was not fair to put you with Feral.”

“It doesn’t matter. Would’ve happened eventually.” I stand and pull on my shirt. So very expendable.

My face feels hot again. Men don’t cry.

“Julio?”

‘Star’s behind me. I wrap my arms around myself and shake my head. “Go away, ‘Star. You don’t want to be here with me.”

One of his hands takes hold of one of my arms. I look down and see the blurry contrast of light on dark.

“I do want to be here. Where should I be?”

“Not here.” Expendable.

He steps around me. I look down, away. My hair hides my face. I don’t want him to see my tears.

“Julio, look at me.” I don’t. “Please.” I look up.

-
There is something
in your eyes
flowing them over

-

His eyes are honest, shining silver. He’s looking at me, into me. I don’t understand. “I don’t understand.”

He smiles, soft, and then doesn’t speak. His eyes tell me enough.

Those strange eyes, unlike anything I have ever seen before. Softer than the finest Spanish silver. Sincere. Honest.

I suck in a breath that sounds to me like a child’s sob.

-
Stealing all the harmony
which lives in me

-

His hand is still on my arm. He never let go. But it’s not physical contact...

It’s his eyes.

My heart feels painful, thundering a pattern in my chest even as my earlier feelings wrench it closed.

My heart is opening. I’m scared.

-
your hands are covering
my tears

-

His lays his palms gently against my cheeks and brushes my tears away with his thumbs. “What is wrong?”

I shake my head. I don’t want him to know.

“Julio, tell me. I will help you. Believe me.” Soothing words that his eyes only reinforce.

Dios.

“All my life, I’ve been expendable. Even now.” I look down. He’s going to laugh.

Shatterstar is shaking his head. “It is not true.” His hands slide to my shoulders. My tears are stopping, slowing.

“X-Force would be fine without me.” Just like my family. They are doing well now that I’m not there. A sob sneaks up on me, I sharply suck in air. “It hurts.”

“Julio, it is not true. I promise you.”

I pull away from him, fighting my tears. Men don’t cry.

-
Oh, why
-

“Why, ‘Star? Why isn’t it true?” I whisper and wait for some great Cadre knowledge. Something like, ‘everyone has a purpose’.

The silence in the room stretches. And stretches. He hasn’t left. But he isn’t answering. Dios... I’ve upset him.

“Don’t worry about it. Forget I ever asked.” I turn and brush past him for the door.

My heart is falling in on itself. The watching is ending. Here. Now.

“Julio.” I have the door open when he grabs my arm and says my name. “I need you.” Barely more than a whisper.

He needs me? He needs me.

A lump forms in my throat. Someone needs me. But... why?

“You are my friend.”

The entire team is your friend. Everyone likes you. Even Feral.

“Sólo amigos...” The words slip past my lips and they taste bitter.

Star’s confused again. Then he’s realizing I didn’t speak English just now.

“No.”

“Then what, ‘Star?” It’s my turn to be confused.

“Amor.”

-
There’s a sort
of inner dance

-

I spin to face him, not sure I heard the soft word. “Amor?” Is my voice really that shaky?

He nods.

It can’t be real. I’ve never let myself for once hope that we’d be here and he’d be saying that. It’s got to be a joke. Someone put him up to this.

“No. You’ve got to be wrong. Do you know what amor means?”

“Amor is love. I am not wrong, Julio. I have never felt like this. It has to be love.”

-
trying to seduce me
-

Madre di Dios. I can’t believe it. “Star-“

“Gaveedra. My name is Gaveedra.”

“Gaveedra.” I test the word and he smiles. “Gaveedra.” Again in my thick accent.

“Julio.”

And he’s close to me again. Inches away. He’s not touching me but I can feel him. Everything is different now.

But it isn’t. Nothing is going to change with this confession. X-Force and my family are always going to treat me the way they do. I’m the odd man out. Despite my powers, I don’t belong on any X-team. With my powers, I don’t belong in Guadalajara. I don’t belong anywhere.

“Love is something you feel in here.” I tap his chest, over his heart.

He lays his hand over mine. “I know this. I love you, Julio. I do.”

I don’t know. A part of me wants to tell him that I love him back. Another part is horrified. Horrified that someone can love me. That someone wants to take their time for me.

-
feeling this anomaly
which takes me

-

“It’s weird...” I mumble, letting him keep my palm against his chest.

“Weird?” Shatterstar is raising an eyebrow to me, curiosity saturating his perfect features.

“A few minutes ago, I thought no one gave a damn about my existence. Then you come in and say that.” I shake my head. “It feels weird to have someone say they love you.”

“I would not know.”

And I know he wants me to say it. I open my mouth to say something then abruptly close it. I don’t want know what to tell him. I feel as if saying that I love him would be wrong. ‘Star can make me feel like I’m the only person in a crowded room yet I’m not sure if I love him. Or if I could tell him if I did.

“It is alright, Julio.” Then he’s releasing my hand. He’s got one of those looks on his face. The one that I can’t read.

“Star.” I touch his arm. “I need time.”

He’s looking at me again. I look away. I don’t want to see his confusion playing over his features.

“I think I understand,” he speaks softly.

It’s a relief. I don’t want him to go away. “Gracias.”

-
Your touch
-

Shatterstar settles down on my bed, just sitting there. I drop down beside him, scrapes and scratches forgotten. I reach for him, my hand on his.

He twists his hand, taking mine. Our fingers lace together. Simple. Something that a young couple might do.

And I know I want him.

-
You’re here
-

I never want to leave. In this moment, I just want him to stay. Nothing’s changed. I know I’m still expendable to the team but not to him. Not to him.

Things might change. We might change. But, there will always be this. Confessions then companionship.

-
Your heart
-

He pulls me close, gently falling backwards so that we lay against each other. I can vaguely imagine Scott and Jean doing something like this.

I bristle at the idea. We aren’t a man and a woman. Two men. Shatterstar, no, Gaveedra and Julio.

I hope this fragile thing lasts.

“Julio?”

“Si?”

“Quit thinking.”

=

End.
 
 
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