A/N: Huzzah, an update. I had a lot of fun writing this for some reason. It's a little different from your usual, I think, and only just barely under the fanfiction category. Hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: Not much to disclaim… Thank you, Marvel, for creating such a delicious concept. Ah, there's the title I suppose. -bursts into song- I will love you until my dyyyyyyyyyyyyyiiiiiiiing daaaaaaaaaaay,
Come What May
"Excuse me," she said with a glare, not even bothering to hide the malice in her voice. In her arms a cardboard box was clutched tightly, the weight of it evident by the way her fingers were shaking and beginning to turn white. Before her a man stood in the doorway trying his best to appear calm. His arms were crossed over his chest. He made no move to help her with her load.
The woman sighed and made a move as if to brush past the man, but the box she carried simply would not allow it. She shifted so that she held it up with only one arm, one side supported by her hip. She wiped her brow with the back of her free wrist and turned to glare at her soon-to-be ex-husband.
"You want me to leave; I'm leaving. Let me through." She began to tap her foot to show off her impatience and did her best not to show how much she needed to put the box down. The corner was digging into her side and her arm would not support it much longer, but she would rather suffer than show him weakness. She'd resolved long beforehand not to cry until she was safely in her new apartment across town. Her husband continued to stare down at her, the expression on his face that of confusion. He reached up a hand suddenly as if to stroke the side of her face. She froze and closed her eyes, waiting for the familiar touch.
It never came. He hesitated at the last moment and dropped both arms to his side.
"Let me through," she repeated, this time with a slight growl. He narrowed his eyes and stepped aside. Finally free, she strode through the doorway and finally out the front door of the house that had been hers for nearly a year. She kept her head straight as she walked down the familiar stone pathway, her eyes trained on the car waiting to take her away from everything. She would not look back. I will not look back…
She gratefully put the box in the trunk of her car and slammed it shut. Then she looked back.
Her husband was only two feet away from her, his eyes still bearing uncertainty. Startled, she let out a slight cry before glaring at him full-force.
"What the hell do you want, David?" she nearly screamed. He winced and glanced around to make sure no one was around to over-hear them arguing. No one was. It was no secret that the once incredibly happy couple of David and Katharine Greydale were getting a divorce. It was a quiet neighborhood, and most were sensitive (and intelligent) enough not to come near on the day of their final separation.
David shoved his hands in his pockets, his eyes now far away. "Remember the night I asked you to marry me, Kat?"
She was taken aback. One moment he hated her guts, the next he was reminiscing about such blissful times between them. He couldn't possibly want her to stay? Would she stay, even if he asked her to?
"I remember," she whispered. He nodded. They stood in silence for a few uncomfortable moments. Seeing that he wasn't going to continue, Katharine sighed and headed towards the car door. "I'll give the papers to my lawyer," she told him curtly, selecting a wrong key three times before finally locating the one that would open the door. She stood for a long moment, fingers still resting on the handle.
"I'm sorry, Kat," David blurted.
"No you're not," Katharine seethed, turning on him, "You're sorry I'm leaving, that I am what I am, because now you'll be all alone. All alone. So don't you dare try to say you're sorry on my behalf."
He nodded, apparently too stricken to respond. She groaned. Why was she stalling so much? Just get in the car and go, she told herself. Get out of there, already! There was too much to do for her to stand around wasting time like this. And yet she stood as if frozen. Just one last time she wanted to pretend everything was okay again. She couldn't help but think of the night he'd proposed… "I'll always love you, Kat. No matter what."
What a load of shit.
"Goodbye, David," she insisted, finally getting into her car and slamming the door. She ran her hands over the steering wheel a few times, staring straight ahead. A tentative knock on her window caused her to roll it down without thinking. David, apparently, was not ready for her to leave just yet.
"Why didn't you just tell me?" he said almost pleadingly. "Why did you have to hide it? Why couldn't we have just gotten it out of the way—"
She nearly laughed, but knew that if she did so the tears would come and then there would be no stopping them. She had to wait. "Gotten it out of the way? Is that what you consider this?" She gestured to one of her hands with the other. David winced as the tiniest hint of an electric charge appeared between them. "You never would have married me in the first place if I had told you…" she continued now, her throat growing dryer as she raised her voice. "And how could I have known I could trust you? One moment I tell you my deepest secret, the next everyone knows? You knew I moved around more than a sergeant's daughter when I was a kid, and now you know why. Did you expect me to make an exception for you, you who turned out to be just like everyone else?"
He looked her squarely in the eye. "I'm not going to tell anyone."
Katharine took a deep, shaky breath. "Thank you," she said. Slowly, she rolled her window up and started the car. Within moments she was down the road and around the corner, out of sight. David stood and watched after her for a long time.
Kevin sat nervously, his feet idly pushing the swing he sat on forward and backward. The view from his porch was the same as the view from any other porch in the neighborhood- a few quiet houses and an empty road. Most peoples' lights were out already having retired to bed at a sensible hour. It was just past 12:30, and his house for one was completely dark. He continued to rock back and forth, adding to the rhythm by tapping on his knees with shaking fingers.
She wasn't coming. She'd never been this late before. She wasn't coming. She'd abandoned him for good. She wasn't coming…
"Hey," a quiet greeting startled him from his thoughts. A wide, relieved grin split across his face as he saw his best friend for a long time standing before him. She was in her pajamas, as per her custom with these visits, and the moonlight caught on her glasses in such a way that he couldn't see her eyes. She was smiling though, or apparently trying to. Was something wrong after all?
"Hi," he replied at last. He scooted over on the swing and patted the seat for her to sit down. She took a step closer but shook her head."Darla?" he said uncertainly. Something had to be wrong. Night after night they always sat on the swing and talked. It was the only way they could see each other- the only way Darla's parents let them see each other beyond school, and only because they had no idea that it had been going on for almost a year. Darla held her ground, her bare toes curling and uncurling in the neatly trimmed grass.
"We… we can't do this anymore, Kevin."
He froze, his face and his spirits falling. Out of her mouth had come the very words he dreaded hearing her say every single night. He had nightmares about this moment- of her not wanting to be friends with him anymore. Just yesterday in this very position they had been laughing about the new math teacher and how his bushy eyebrows were too distracting to actually learn anything in his class. Now the moment was a nightmare come true.
"Darla…" he tried. He didn't know what to say. What could he say? He knew why she was telling him this, he knew she was telling the truth. How could he possibly convince her to stay?
She shook her head and bit her lip, finally stepping closer and out of the glare of the moonlight. Her sullen eyes were filled with tears.
"I can't take it anymore, Kevin. I can't take having to do all of this in secret."
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.
"B-but you father said if you kept hanging out with me he'd tell everyone! He can't know." His mind was racing. He'd have to move away. He'd have to the leave the house and the neighborhood he'd lived in his whole life just because of that man who used to take him on fishing trips and give him free sodas from his store. He would be utterly alone, more so than he had been for such a long time…
She shook her head, indicating his misunderstanding. "I don't mean bringing all this out in the open," she said sadly. "I mean… I think it would… I think it would be best if we stopped seeing each other."
Kevin closed his eyes. He didn't want to hear this. What had gone wrong? They'd been meeting each other secretly every night. Nothing had changed since yesterday, had it? His mind raced over what he and Darla had discussed the night before, their brief meetings during the school day.
And he had it. Just like that.
"The explosion in the Spanish room…" he breathed. The statement hung in the air between them for a moment before Kevin burst out, "You think that was me!?"
Darla hushed him. "What am I supposed to think?" she whispered.
"Well, you're supposed to trust me for one thing!"
"I know… I know you have trouble controlling it Kevin…" She took a step back now, seeing that her friend was getting worked up.
"Of course you do. I've told you. I tell you everything. You're my best friend!"
He stood up suddenly and took a few steps toward the railing. His breathing grew quick and harsh as his emotions ran away with him. Darla took a few more steps back. She'd never seen him like this and it frightened her more than anything else could have. Suddenly the swing began to shake and rattle violently as Kevin stared at her with utter anguish written in his eyes.
"Kevin!" Darla cried to him, alarmed. "Kevin, make it stop!"
The swing shook and shook, clunking on and scratching up the wooden porch. Already it was beginning to steam at random places. She could only watch in horror as the swing that held so many good memories for the both of them prepared to meet its end. Kevin finally caught on to what was happening and stared in shock at the swing. His eyes widened as he realized that he was the cause of it. The thought scared him, and he willed it to stop with all his might. The swing continued to shake violently.
"Kevin, Kevin stop it!" Darla repeated over and over, "Get away from it, Kevin! If it explodes you'll get caught in it! Hurry!"
He stood frozen to the spot, staring and staring. Darla forced herself to move at last, and nearly leapt up to the porch. She gripped his shirt and pulled him away with all her strength. He moved along with her, and they huddled together as they ran across the lawn. They were almost to the street when the noise finally stopped, and when they turned back they saw that the swing was no longer smoking or shaking. Only moving back and forth slightly as if caught in a gentle breeze or preparing to stop after being vacated by two friends running in for dinner.
Kevin closed his eyes and held his stomach.
"I'm sorry," he said hoarsely. Darla nodded silently, her eyes full of fear. Her friend had explained to her what he could do many times, what could happen if he wasn't careful. But she'd never seen it before, and never come that close to being hurt by it. Kevin would have to face that for the rest of his life.
On an impulse she kissed him. It only lasted a second, and she shuddered as she pulled away. She turned to head down the street; her house was only a block and a half away.
"Goodbye, Kevin," she whispered.
Denise sucked her breath in sharply as her ankles buckled in her landing. Her sneakers sunk a little in the moist dirt of the neatly landscaped garden. She crouched low behind the bush she had nearly landed in and took a long time to ensure the bundle in her arms was safe.
It had only been a four foot jump from the hospital window to the ground below it, but she was weak and her cargo was precious. She unwrapped the blanket carefully and smiled to see her new-born child squinting up at her. He had the same blue eyes as she did, she noticed suddenly. She hadn't had a time to really look at him until this moment. He was the most beautiful sight she'd ever seen, she decided quickly before wrapping him up safely once more and inspecting her surroundings.
Her room had been at the front of the hospital, and so before her was the main parking lot. She just needed to get to the road- a fifty yard walk give or take. She could bum a ride to get home, then pack only the things she would need. It was early now; the grass was still wet with dew. The two of them would be safely away by nightfall.
To her right at the main entrance, a few nurses and a custodian were standing around drinking coffee. They were enjoying their conversation and distracted by it enough, but it would be safer to wait until they went inside. She sighed and sat on the wet ground, leaning her back against the wall. Perhaps she could come up with a name for the child while she waited. After taking a moment to button up the last few buttons of her sweater (she'd had to get dressed in a very short amount of time) she revealed the baby's face once more and smiled down at it.
"Hi," she whispered, then giggled. The child reached up with one of its tiny arms but quickly secured itself back in the blanket.
"I know, baby," Denise said, "It's chilly. I have lots of clothes you can wear when we get home. Little footy pajamas…" She playfully tugged at where she thought the baby's foot was beneath the blanket. He squirmed, his little eyes sparkling. She only beamed down at him.
"We should probably move," she said after a while. She looked up at the still open window, her eyes darkening. If they came back they would know her location in seconds. She held the baby tightly in her arms as she crouched-walked a good fifteen feet from her original position. A large bush would hide her from view of anyone looking out the window. She sighed and sat down again, her eyes drifting dully to the friends still converged at the front entrance.
Her baby was only just over a day old, and she was still very worn out. But the doctor had put the child in her arms and said those awful words: "I'll give you some time to think about it…" He'd left her alone. Alone with her child to decide whether she would keep it or not as if it was no more than tomato a little too ripe to eat. Whether the baby was okay enough to leave the hospital or not, she had no idea, but she did know that he had a better chance outside the place than it did if she surrendered him to the doctor.
She shuddered and held the blankets close to her as she remembered the whole thing. She'd still been delirious and didn't really understand what the doctor was trying to tell her.
"Ms. Craig, do you understand what I'm telling you? You're child has a positive mutant gene. That explains the, er… abnormalities."
She had looked blearily at the tiny person in her arms. Abnormalities? What did he mean by that? Her child was perfect. He couldn't be a mutant.
"No, you're wrong," she'd mumbled.
He nodded and coughed and held up his hands to indicate he wasn't accusing her of anything. "I understand what you're going through, Ms. Craig. To tell you the truth this has been happening more and more often in hospitals all over the country. That's why here we've come up with well… not a policy per say, but most people have found it helpful…"
"Policy?" she repeated.
"Yes," the doctor smiled, glad to see some of what he was saying was getting through. "You see… in these cases… some people find it best not to keep the child."
"You're going to put my son in a home?" Denise had asked, trying to get her sluggish mind to process just what the doctor was getting at.
"No, no, of course not. Ms. Craig, I'll be frank. You know the attitude towards mutants these days. This child will be shunned and tormented for the rest of his life. If you end it now, neither of you will have to go through the trouble. No one will know what really happened, of course. The incident will be put down as a birth complication or something of that nature and—"
"You want me to kill my child," she said flatly.
"It's a mercy-killing," the doctor assured her. She nodded dumbly, subconsciously pulling her child closer toward her.
Now as she sat on the wet ground that cold morning, the same child clutched to her chest much in the same way, her head was clearer. It hit her full-on what the doctor had asked her to do, and with a sinking feeling in her stomach she remembered his words that "most people have found it helpful." Others had gone so far as to kill their own child… their own flesh and blood… over something so trivial in comparison to the miracle of creating life.
"Don't worry, Thomas," she breathed, for at that moment she decided to name the boy after her father. "I won't let them get you. And I'll do my best to keep from letting terrible things happen to you. I'll love you no matter what, Thomas."
The nurses made their way into the hospital and she knew it was time to make a break for it. She stood up, brushed off the back of her pants, and strode proudly from her hiding place, her child in her arms. She looked down at his tiny face, at his beautiful blue eyes, at the tufts of pink hair peaking out from under the blanket. And she smiled. Whatever hardships they'd face, they'd face them together. Come what may.