Good Soldiers

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. It's been a while since I wrote an X-Men fic. Hope everyone enjoys it. R/R.

She checks her weapons first. Like any good soldier, it's the first thing she does in the morning. Before taking a shower, before changing clothes, before anything else, she always checks the weapons that are beside her bed. That's another mark of a good soldier. You always keep your weapons nearby. Always. This is especially true for soldiers like us. Well, I like was.

It's funny the things you suddenly have time to understand when you're dead. Being dead forces you to think because, hell, it's the only thing you really can do at all. The other thing is watch people like I'm doing right now with Raven. But that's a painful process, one that you have to soldier through at times. Watching others live is almost as painful and heartbreaking as them watching you die. But I am still a good soldier even though my battle is long over. A good soldier does what is needed of him even if it's something he doesn't want to do. A good soldier understands responsibility and how duty comes before personal wants or desires. I was a damn good soldier. I still am.

Raven looks as beautiful as ever. Her skin still sparkles with that brilliant azure hue that reminds me of the sky on a spring day. Her hair is still the same halo of fiery red, so enticing with its passion and wild intensity that it still tempts a dead man like me. There is only one other instance in which I can gaze upon that color and it's when I stare into the heart of a blazing inferno. Even then, the color and fire of her hair outshines any inferno I could create. Yet there is one thing about her that pains me to see it remain the same. Her eyes were always such a dull shade of yellow. It is a color that was once a brilliant gold. I imagine her as a child and I can picture that her eyes once held some vibrancy. Or did she come into this world with dull, hard eyes? Was she born cruel or did the world beat it into her? I doubt anyone can say for certain.

We lost the war, luv. We thought we were revolutionaries, thought that we were freeing the world from the slime of humanity. We thought we could save the world. But I learned somethin', my Raven. You can't save people by killin' 'em. Did you ever understand that? Can you ever understand that? There is no war, Raven. All we're doing is keepin' the big wheel o' death turnin' round and round. I looked into your eyes so much and every time I saw the same dullness in them, hardness put there by the world that hated you and then taught you to hate it so the cycle would go on. But dying, whether it's a fast death or a slow decay, puts everything in perspective. I remember the last thing I begged for before dying. I looked into the eyes of a man who hated my guts, a man we had tried to murder so many times, and I begged him to help stop the cycle. Wish you coulda been there, luv. Maybe it would've changed your heart too. Maybe I would've finally been able to see your eyes sparkle.

I was a good soldier. I followed orders, I did my fair share of dirty work, and I never questioned my orders. I never took the opportunity to tell you how much I loved you because that's not what good soldiers do. But I did love you, my Raven, and I still do. I wanted to take you away from this war. I wanted to write us a better ending than dying by the sword we lived by. Your eyes could shine so much, Raven, if you learned to see past your hate.

She finishes checking the guns and moves on to the shower. Who is it today, Raven? Who will you murder for the cause today? She is a good soldier who never questions the mission she's on and never gives up. She's a good soldier and turns her dull eyes away from the sight of all the death and destruction she has become a part of. She is a good soldier and she will fight till the end even if the cause is misguided and outdated. And I will be the good soldier and march along with her as she follows the road to ruin even as she is not fully aware of where it will ultimately take her. It's like I wrote myself into one of my own novels and no matter how much I want to get out of this wretched story and become more than just a ghost that haunts his love, I can't do it. Good soldiers march on, that's what we do. Good soldiers march onward and onward, into the jaws of oblivion.