This character is Marvel's. :)
This is not slash. :)
This is non-profit. :)
This is up for archiving :)
This post was spur of the moment. :)
He hated the way that people would look at him if he didn't have the image inducer on. There wasn't anything else in the world more awful than knowing people didn't accept what you looked like. He was a playboy. He was a star. He was desired. He was... he was...
The procedure was simple enough, after all. Just a routine procedure. Routine-- the word was so alluring. He wished he had a routine day today. He wished that something, anything, was routine.
He liked routine.
He liked procedure.
Superheros didn't get routine often enough. Neither did billionaires. Both of those things had been who he was. How he defined himself. He liked routine, liked procedure.
Follow both... follow them to... to...
But then the doctor came in, with a pleasant smile, and he smiled back. Pleasant and reassuring, that's what doctors should be. Nothing wrong here, everything a-ok. The doctor-- it was a woman doctor, how politically correct-- she ushered him in, and he tried to use that charm of old. She smiled back, obviously trying to be professional, but he saw through her, saw her coy little flirtations. He doubled his efforts to be charming.
His father had always taught him to be polite.
It was easy to be polite to beautiful women.
She asked him kindly to turn off the image inducer, so she could begin. He hesitated. That wasn't routine. That wasn't... wasn't... but she was really very nice, and so he did it. She raised an eyebrow, and he frowned back. This wasn't comfortable any longer.
She wanted to know why he didn't like blue.
He blinked. He did. The sky was blue, the ocean was blue. Sometimes, in certain lights, Betsy's eyes were blue. A little bit. Sapphires were blue.
He was blue.
But blue meant unhappy. Blue meant, meant... he couldn't go outside anymore, and he hated the image inducer. He jokingly told her his theory that it was giving him cancer. Radiation, and all you see.
She nodded, and began to outline exactly what she was going to do. He didn't listen-- he'd had cosmetic surgery before. She got him to sign some forms, fill out some other ones, making sure he could pay for it, no doubt.
He had no doubt. Just put it on a credit card. Credit cards didn't doubt. Banks didn't doubt him. No one really doubted him -- he looked like someone who never doubted.
She doubted him. She asked if he wanted to think about it some more... if he was really ready for this. He nodded. He wasn't listening, just thinking about the blue sky, and the blue world, and the blueness he was giving up for peach, tan, brown, sunburnt...
She said that the new skin would have trouble getting tanned-- it would go slower than the rest. And eventually it would fade, and he'd have to get it redone. He nodded again. Fine. Whatever.
She began the routine procedure. He smiled. He would be able to go outside as himself again.
"Warren, oh mah gawd! That's real?" He looked at Rogue, who was standing with her mouth open in the doorway. That was rude, and he said so. She managed to school her face into a less shocked expression, and answered, "But... but... why?"
He was a little hurt. More than anyone, Rogue should understand... Most of the others had gathered behind her, and he could hear the whispers. He ignored them. They were jealous probably, shocked perhaps, and didn't understand. He didn't care. He could go outside again. He hadn't done anything that was against... it was how he was supposed to...
He was happy with it. He said it firmly.
A pause, then he added, "You know, I think I'll go into town. And by the way, Hank, thanks for the inducer, but I don't think I'll need it anymore." He gave it to the blue, furry doctor, and immediately felt better. No more hiding who he was.
He started whistling, he was so happy, and he got into his car. Before starting the car, he looked down at his hands. They were peach again. Not blue. He looked in the rearview mirror, and saw a perfectly normal face again.
He was happy.
He started the car, and drove off down the street, and if the whistling was a little off-key, who was to blame?