In The Shadows of the Limelight

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own.  I actually haven't seen 'No Good Deed' yet but Mom taped it for me and was nice enough to give me a little summary of it when I called her the other day.  Yeah, she's just that cool.  Anyways, I wrote this as a result.

            Fame.  It's a funny thing, a thing I'd never associate with us in a million years.  I don't think anyone pictured the Brotherhood becoming famous.  Infamous, maybe, but not famous.  I mean we're supposed to be the bad guys, right?  We can't even get that right.  We're not bad or good or anything.  We just are and that's all.  We're just here for no reason.  At least we were till all this insanity started.

            I shut my door to avoid the ruckus downstairs.  More flashing lights and newscasters and cameras and paparazzi.  It all makes me want to scream.  I guess the whole fame thing is okay but it's all so much at one time.  I'm not used to this many people caring or watching what I'm doing.  All this attention is driving me insane.  The boys love it, all the publicity and everything.  Let them go out and talk to people and parade around like big shot heroes for this media circus full of idiots.  I'd rather just stay up here and out of the spotlight.

            I don't know why I feel like this.  We should feel glad that people aren't afraid of us anymore, that they actually like us now.  That's what we all always wanted, isn't it?  I don't know what I want anymore.  Since this started I keep wondering which is worse, having ninety-nine percent of the town fear and mistrust us or having ninety-nine percent of the town think you're the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Both situations make me apprehensive about walking out of the house.  Of course thanks to all the wonderful and completely unnecessary stuff we've bought it's not like I'd ever have a reason to leave the house in the first place.  Yeah, for those of you keeping score that was sarcasm.

            We don't deserve any of this, not one single bit of it.  That's what makes me upset I guess.  We're the ones who keep causing all these accidents and then fixing them.  We're not real heroes, we're just opportunistic jerks.  I hate that.  I hate going out there and acting all virtuous and noble when it's complete crap.  That's why I stay in the shadows and out of the spotlight.

            None of us deserve this, none of us.  Pietro, he ran like a little coward that day just like he always does.  Now he thinks we can all cash in and use it for all it's worth.  I don't deserve this; I'm the one who screwed up that subway car in the first place.  Well, technically that was Pietro's fault because of what he said about Dad.  Anyways, I'm still responsible for all this nonsense.  I don't deserve to be a hero.  Toad, I don't know about him.  He did save that guy's life but he's in it for the money and the stuff just like Pietro.  Some days I just can't figure Toad out.  Sometimes he can be sweet and loveable and then others he can be a real sleaze.  Freddy, I guess maybe he deserves some credit because he made a hole for us to escape so maybe he is sort of a hero.

            I guess out of all of us Lance is the only one who anybody should be paying any attention to.  He saved that old lady's life after all.  I mean really saved her like took a huge risk to do it.  I guess Lance is the real hero out of all of us.

            "Hey, Wanda," calls Toad, "You wanna grace your adoring public with your beautiful presence?"  My adoring public, yeah right.  How much would they adore me if they knew I caused that subway accident?  How much would they love us if they knew we were the cause of all those other things?  They'd turn on us in a second like rabid dogs.  That's the way fame is, fleeting and fickle.

            "Wanda, you okay?" asked Toad as he shuts the door behind him and comes into my room.

            "No," I reply bluntly, "I'm sick, Todd.  I'm sick of all this."  It's true.  I don't want to be a celebrity anymore.  I just wanna be normal, that's all any of us ever wanted.

            "You don't like all this?" asks Toad in surprise.  Of course he couldn't understand.  He's too intoxicated by all the glitz and glamour just like the others.

            "No," I reply, "It's all fake, Todd.  We're not heroes just really good liars.  I can't stand going out there and smiling for those people when the only reason they love us is because of that.  Do you know what it's like to lie to someone like that?"  I stare at his face.  It's like I sucked all the happiness right out of it.  I wonder what he's thinking about right now.

            "Yeah," he replies, "Yeah, I guess I do know what it's like."

            "I'm sorry, Todd," I tell him, "but we have to end this charade sometime."

            "It'll all blow over," he assures me although without the confidence to back it up, "Everybody'll forget about it sooner or later.  You know how people are.  They'll be crazy over somethin' else before ya know it."

            "I'd like sooner rather than later," I tell him as he turns to leave, "Make up something and please make them go away."

            "Okay," he says with a little smile.  He closes the door behind him as he leaves.  I stare out my window at the news vans outside.  None of this makes any sense.  The X-Men do this crap all the time and they never get this kind of publicity.  We do it once, incorrectly I might add, and suddenly we're the defenders of the city.  It just doesn't add up.  Maybe Toad's right, maybe it will just go away on its own.  I can't stop thinking that it won't just die down.  Something's going to end up happening and this whole little scam is going to blow up right in our faces.  I just hope no one gets hurt because of our stupidity.