During the Night
By Mari Rose
Was there more to it than that?
Hard to imagine. Even harder to believe. She
wasn't even sure she wanted to. She was happy... or at least comfortable with
the way things were. She didn't need anything else. She was pretty certain
she didn't want anything else either.
She lay there, next to her lover. Thinking.
Hearing the steadiness of his breath. Seeing the raise and fall of his chest
out of the corner of her eye. There was something calming about it. Sleep-inducing.
Comforting. But she found didn't want to sleep. Not now. Not yet. Later perhaps.
They had been together before. They had been
lovers for... She thought, remembered.
Not months. Not yet. Would there be? Was it
important enough for her to even think about? To consider?
No, she didn't think so.
She lay there, trying to get a feel of what
he must be feeling, and found she didn't care. He could think and feel whatever
he wanted. It did not concern her. Not the least.
Why should it?
She turned to her side and stared at the clock.
03:48. It blinked in bright red. She knew it would go off at 06:10. She'd
set it. There was something tacky about fucking and leaving. Something...
Undignified. She did not want to appear either. So she set the clock. And
walked away at dawn.
Both of them knew she would be back at night.
She cared for him of course. Just like she cared
for all of her friends. He cared for her too. Just like he cared for all of
his friends. She knew this.
It was enough.
The woman known as Psylocke closed her eyes.
She would sleep now.
There was love between them, he knew that. Maybe
not the love he wished for, but what they had was adequate.
She had seen all he was, and still she came
to him at night.
It had to mean something, didn't it?
He opened his eyes. The alarm had gone off some
time ago. He knew she would be gone. She was always gone when he opened his
eyes. His lady of the night. His lady of the shadows. His lady.
Who wasn't really his at all.
Not that he wanted her to be. He didn't want
a relationship. Not with her, not with anyone. He was wanted for crimes against
humanity. Too complicated. Too dangerous.
Never mind that she was in the same situation.
He didn't want her.
Well, he wanted her of course. But only in the
way of sharing pleasure. Not for anything else. Not for companionship. Not
as someone to love...
But he did.
He closed his eyes again and sighed.
He did. And he could never let her know. She
didn't want him, didn't wish for him to love her. Not with his heart. If she
even thought he wanted that from her, she would never return. Never be his
lady of the night and of the shadows again.
So he would never let her know.
The man with the child-face got out of bed and
prepared for another day as the wanted Angel.
She could never sleep. Not anymore. She could
only sleep when she was so exhausted and sleep deprived, she fell into an
almost comatose condition. According to her calculations, that should happen
in another 48 hours.
She sat there, still dressed in combat fatigues,
hands around a coffee cup and stared vacantly into the air.
She lead them. She called the shots. She was
in charge. Not because she wanted to but because they turned to her and expected
her to make decisions.
It was wrong.
So horribly, horribly wrong.
She was never meant to lead. That had been his
job. He should have lead them. It should be him, not her.
The hands around the coffee cup tightened.
He wasn't there anymore.
They didn't know what had happened to him. She
didn't know what had happened to him. What had happened...
She couldn't sense him any longer.
He was probably dead.
The hands around the coffee cup tightened even
more. Her lips made a tight line.
She wretched her mind over on something else.
The son. Her son. But not really. In her mind,
to her, he was her son. Loved. He protected her, shielded her. Sometimes.
Not always. She knew.
She thought it sweet of him.
Not necessary. But sweeter still because of
When she was comatosed, he controlled the phoenix.
The phoenix listened to him. She didn't know why. She was never there when
the phoenix was there. She didn't know what the phoenix was thinking. She
could barely sense it. Hovering in the corner of her mind.
Two minds in one body.
Timesharing a body.
Her mouth quirked in a wry smile.
Powerful. Oh so very powerful. No one was more
powerful than the phoenix when it was free. That made it dangerous. A danger.
She had caught it.
Imprisoned it in her own body.
The phoenix wouldn't be free until she died
and as long as the phoenix was with her, she wouldn't die.
If she released the phoenix, millions upon millions
If she released the phoenix, she could die.
Be with her beloved again.
Be with him...
He was dead.
She could not feel him.
Her thoughts had run in circles. She was back
where she started. Back where she didn't want to be. Every time it became
easier. Became more of a possibility. Became a choice. To let the phoenix
He would always hunger it seemed.
For everything that was not.
He had been an artist once. He had created intense,
passionate, vibrant paintings. Filled with emotions.
Everything he was.
He couldn't do that anymore. He couldn't paint
with passion. Wildly. It became constricted. Controlled. Technically perfect.
He hungered, yearned, to be able to express
himself like that once more.
Just once to be able to pour himself into a
He was made to create. He had the soul of an
Now he could only destroy.
He resented it.
He hated it.
There was nothing he could do about it.
The one of silver and steel dreamt of days past
and passions unleashed on a canvas.
She would never touch anybody. Never feel the
touch of another. She knew. She accepted. She yearned.
She never wished anymore.
If wishes were horses, and horses could fly...
But they weren't, and she didn't wish.
The phoenix, the one of fire, had altered her
mind. It was long ago now. She couldn't remember, but she knew.
It had claimed that she was dangerous. Manipulative.
Unable to realise it herself and thus an even greater danger.
Maybe the others believed. Maybe she had believed.
Maybe she had voluntarily let the phoenix enter her mind, destroy and rebuild
as it saw fit.
She didn't know. They wouldn't say. She didn't
remember. The phoenix deemed it unimportant. She did too.
She was similar to the phoenix now. When it
had rebuild her, it had created a personality similar to its own. For protection?
Because it had been the only blue print it trusted? Simply because it wanted
She thought it was out of habit. It had instinctively
created a new host in her. Prepared her for a symbiotic relationship with
it. Had it forgotten Phoenix? Had it forgotten that it already had a host?
Sometimes she knew things she shouldn't.
She knew of places on the other side of the
She remembered languages never spoken on earth.
She remembered people. Hosts. Her sisters.
When she was awake, she kept her distance. Always.
Detached. Never coming close to another. Staying away from feelings.
Those she revealed, she expressed. Never kindness.
They were ways to manipulate people. The phoenix
has destroyed that in her. Made sure she could never do that, unconsciously,
consciously without pain ever again. She never did.
But in her dreams, she was with her sisters.
Laughing. Sharing warmth. Love. Closeness.
The one called Rogue always slept with a smile
on her face.
He lived on memories. He remembered everything.
All that had happened to him, to them. Everything.
At times, he wanted to forget.
There were memories he wished he didn't have.
But he did.
He had seen so many deaths. From he was born,
he had been surrounded by death. Friends, family, loved ones, dying. Leaving
him behind. Telling him to be strong. To be strong for them. To live for them.
His wife. She had sacrificed herself.
His child. Him he had killed.
His partner. She had died laughing and swearing
and with everything she was.
His students. They had fearlessly died one by
one, spiting their captors all the way.
His mother. She had killed herself.
His father. He had just disappeared one day
during combat and had never returned.
He had memories of them all, and he would always
remember. He would live for them, and remember for them. All he did was for
them. He made it so.
His mind had imprinted them all.
He saw ghosts sometimes.
He would be fighting and his partner would appear,
giving pointers. Sarcastic opinions. Her honest opinion. She would playfully
fight beside him, her violet eyes twinkling and a red blush of excitement
on her face. Laughing.
He sometimes forgot she was dead.
It never stopped hurting when he remembered.
He would hurt, and his wife would appear. Comforting.
Kicking his butt. Being straight forwards.
He never forgot her death. His wife and his
child. Those deaths he could never forget. They had happened long ago. He
knew they were dead. He knew.
The others... Two years. Maybe three.
He hoped. Deep down he hoped that someday they
would reappear. Alive. Healthy. Fighting. Laughing.
He tried not to, of course.
But he couldn't help it.
The one called Cable fell asleep to memories
of times past.
Oh did she know evil!
She was evil. A nightmare. A monster. She had
done unspeakable things. She was a horrible creature who should not be allowed
into this world.
But she wanted redemption.
She wanted to be something other than what she
was. Something good.
She wanted to be who she could vaguely remember
to have been once.
She would never be innocent again. Never have
a pretty face unmarked by scars and wrinkles and age. She knew that. But she
hoped that her mind and soul might be pure again.
White, rather than black.
Good, instead of evil.
The mere wish proved that she could be. Was
she truly evil, she would not wish to be otherwise.
She had her brother's love. That helped.
She would be good for him.
She wanted to be someone who didn't find it
as easy to be cruel, as she did kind.
She had had a kingdom once, where evil and cruelty
were admired, respected and necessary.
She had destroyed it.
It would reappear. It was inevitable. But it
would not be hers anymore. She would not be its master. The cruelest of them
Nightmares came to the one called Magik and
she was always tossing and turning in her sleep.
He would always be searching for them.
He sat in a lotus position on the floor, eyes
closed and his breathing steady.
He would find them.
He breathed in slowly, deliberately.
They were out there somewhere.
He breathed out slowly, deliberately, just short
of a sigh.
His adopted daughter. Still just a child who
had seen more than she should have.
His ears strained after the sound of her steps.
The gliding, cat like way of walking which was sometimes interrupted by a
His student. All grown up now, and more a friend
than anything else. One who shared his love of the fight, but not his wildness.
His nose sniffed for a scent of her smell. The
faint scent of vanilla and rosemary mixed with something that was only her.
His partner. The one who had too much experience
for her years and a optimism undaunted even by all she had seen.
His ears strained again for the sound of her
laughter and he longed for her touch. The one thing that told him that she
trusted him, that she knew that he wasn't the beast he sometimes became. The
thing that told him that no matter what he did, she would always be there.
He breathed in, slowly. Deliberately.
They were out there somewhere.
He knew it.
And he would find them.
The one called Wolverine breathed out, confident
that he would one day be reunited with the ones he loved.