Changing of the Guard
It was breakfast, the day after the upsetting new from the Tallus. People were quiet as they filed in, all woken by Lucy in the Sky. She said she was dispatched by Namora.
As they gathered, Cal and Clarice sat beside each other silently. They didn't look at each other, afraid of what they had said last night.
Sabertooth sat on the other side of Clarice, her rock and strong point.
Morph sat at the a few seats away on Victor's right. Beak sat three seats from Cal's left eating quietly. Next to him, smiling at him, was Molly.
Peter sat at the head of the table, with Nico, Karolina, and Namora down on the other side of the table. It was deathly quiet. The rumors had spread quickly about their mission. No one had heard that the Monarch was fated to attempt suicide, but most knew that he was to select a bride.
"We.. need to make a decision on this," Blink finally said, standing, but looking straight down.
"I told you," Peter said. "I won't ask you girls to behave like concubines. I refuse this!" his voice was laced in anger at the Timebreakers.
"Which is why I've decided to stay," Namora said, quietly, but not shyly. It was as if she were speaking of something trivial.
All in the room looked to her. "Lets be honest with ourselves," she said plainly. "I'm never going to see my Atlantis again, or my kingdom." She shrugged. "I really had accepted it a long time ago. And for the first time since…" she paused. It was hard to talk about Reed Richards. "Since a long time, I have felt things I thought weren't possible… especially with this motley crew." She cast a scathing glance at Morph and Victor. Both of them only smiled broadly back to her.
"No, I won't have you forced to stay here," Peter said again, moving toward her. "Its not your choice… I won't.."
She put a finger on his lips. "It is my choice. Unless I miss my guess, our fearless leader is prepared to stay here with you."
Clarice nodded as Peter and Namora look at her.
"That's just the type of girl she is," Namora said. "So yes, this is my choice. And I choose you."
"But you're being forced to… I won't allow it." Peter said again, trying to put his foot down.
"And that's why I choose you," she said. "You're strong when it counts, regal… and usually right." She took his hand, a more affectionate gesture than she was truly comfortable with. "Peter Parker, I am asking to be made your queen."
All the Exiles, with the exception of Victor and Morph when they had smiled, were shocked. They had never thought she would do anything like this.
"Um…" Peter's mouth was dry. "yes?" he said. "Please."
"Now what's that supposed to mean?" she said, starting to be offended.
"Yes, I want you to be my queen… please will you."
Blink looked to her wrist. "We're gone in fifteen minutes," she told the others.
Namora moved around the table, "Thank you Blink. I have… learned a lot serving under you." Clarice hugged Namora. Morph did an exaggerated brow waggle, and elbowed the person next to him. Unfortunately it was Victor, who growled at him, silencing Morph.
"Calvin," she said to the man. "You take care of her. She is your Imperious Regina."
"You bet she is," he said, shaking Namora's hand.
She looked at Victor, "Give them Hell," she said to him with a smile.
"I always do," he grunted.
She looked at Morph. "May someone someday become so annoyed with you that they are driven to discover a way to kill you," she said to him as if she were wishing him well.
"Well we can always hope," he returned to her with a wink.
She finally came upon Beak, "Useless," she said to him. His face fell to the plate. "How could I ever have called you that?" she said finally laying a hand upon his back. "You haven't the courage or wisdom, or powers as the rest. But what you lack in those, you make for in love." She gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you all, except for Morph."
Morph shrugged and blushed as if she were complimenting him. After a few moments of good byes, the Exiles prepared to blink.
"thank you all!" called Peter.
Molly ran up, "Wait!" she yelled. She ran to Beak, and kissed him right square on the lips. She blushed brightly and ran back to the others, were she faced teasing and jeering from her friends. Beak, for his part, was confused as hell. But with a soft 'Blink' they disappeared from that world.
They reappeared in an empty room. Empty except for the young black man standing there. He was sixteen. His hair stood tall on his head as he watched the Exiles right themselves. Beak held his stomach as he fought the nausea.
Blink was the first to notice him. He was dressed in a t-shirt and baggy pants. "who are you?" she asked.
The boy smiled as he pushed his glasses up his nose. The smile made Beak's weak stomach freeze. He grinned and spoke. "My name's Alex Wilder. I've just been unhinged in time."
To be continued