The Warrior with No Name
By The Odd Little Turtle Named Froggie
(AU Character study while I'm going through writer's block on my Tomb Raider fic. No continuity- AT ALL.
If Marvel made them up, that's who they belong to. I made some up too. Story's strictly for fun. Inspired by a few fics floating around ff dot net, Christine Feehan's Predatory Game, and my intense love for Colossus and Shadowcat. Spreading the love.
Be aware that I'm experimenting with tenses and points of view. I would appreciate some input.)
What do men do when they fall in love?
Lose their minds.
It's common knowledge to the friends of those smitten by Cupid's arrows. (But evidently it's also a closely guarded secret known only to those confirmed bachelors who want to retain their sanity. Oxymoron, ne?) Take The Warrior with No Name for example. He stays as far away from women as possible. To him, women are trouble. His Papa always told him that women were trouble. Even his older brother had told him. (But both men married early in life, which leaves him really confused.) The most astounding aspect of this gent's personality: He cannot, for the life of him, gather why he feels empty and lonely.
Pondering this quandary, The Warrior with No Name wonders if he should get a dog. A large dog. Like a Saint Bernard. The Warrior with No Name is six and a half feet tall after all. He's powerfully built, his chest broad and muscular, and he knows it, flaunts it--sometimes. Women swoon and men look at him in awe and jealousy. There are times when those irritating insecurities arise, and he wants to hide behind something, but just as long as only he knows about them, he surmises that it's okay. Another reason to remain a bachelor: Women know all a man's insecurities and let them know about it. Not good for the ego. Not good at all. Very unhealthy. He's sure of it.
Still pondering finding an online site for Saint Bernard breeders, his long, sturdy legs propel him casually down the rain-slicked sidewalk, his black umbrella just barely large enough to keep the rain off the expanse of his shoulders, let alone the damp paper sack of groceries cradled in his big square hand. The backs of his denim jeans are soaked with rain water. He is almost to his apartment building. As he reaches the six front steps to his building, he reaches into his pocket for his keys. It is in this moment that he hears it. At first, he thinks it's the wind and keys jingling that play tricks with his hearing.
Oh, great, a cat, he thinks. The Warrior with No Name does not like cats. He doesn't really know why. He's never stopped to ponder why. He'd grown up with cats. He and his brother and sister had cats in
Russia on their farm as they grew up. There isn't any reason that he shouldn't like cats. But this was the city and cats were not necessary in the city. Besides, by the American ways, women liked cats. And he was staying as far away from women as possible.
It doesn't really sound like a cat. More like a kitten. A baby. Why would a baby kitten be out in the rain? Where is its mother? His heart clenches. He has never been able to stop himself from helping an innocent.
There is a soggy cardboard box just beyond the steps. He knows that a boy from his apartment building had been trying to give kittens away earlier that day.
Oh, surely not.
The Warrior with No Name strides purposefully to the box and looks into it, his lips thinning with anger. Green cat eyes stare back at him fearfully. Seething with anger at the negligence of people, The Warrior with No Name picks up the drenched, freezing kitten, getting a scratch for his efforts. It's black and soggy and scared and no bigger than his hand.
"Shush, now, little one," he says quietly, tempering his anger with balancing the now-saturated sack of groceries, a mewling kitten and an umbrella while trying to unlock the front door of his building. Thankfully, Mrs. Brogan, the old land lady, has seen him struggling, and opens the door for him.
"Good evening, Peter," she addresses him as he struggles with the yowling wet kitten (whose tiny claws have sunken painfully into the flesh of his right pectoral muscle) and closing the umbrella without scaring the little creature too much. "What in the world do you have there?"
"Good evening, Mrs. Brogan," he says, handing her the kitten like it's on fire, wincing as he feels the kitten's claws tear loose and hears his shirt rip a little. "It's a cat."
"I can see that." She examines the scared feline as it yowls miserably. His blue eyes pierce the distance between them. "Jack, Jr. from B-15 was trying to give 'em away today. You got this one I guess."
The Warrior with No Name struggles to close his umbrella, juggling the grocery sack with his elbow. "No. This one was still in the box when I came home."
"Oh, the poor thing. Will you be keeping it then? Y'know there's a security deposit—"
"I do not like cats, but I don't like animal cruelty either. He will stay tonight, and I will drop him off at the shelter tomorrow."
Mrs. Brogan says nothing more about the cat as at that moment, the soggy sack of groceries disintegrates and all his groceries hit the floor of the apartment building foyer.
The Warrior with No Name groans and glares at the offending groceries, then at the yowling, squirming kitten in Mrs. Brogan's grasp.
"Not my night," he tells her as he stoops to get the frozen food, fruits, bread and box of condoms that now litters the floor at their feet. Without a word, Mrs. Brogan hands the cat back to him and goes into her apartment. She returns a few seconds later with a cardboard book box.
"Put your stuff in this, and then let the kitten sleep in this tonight. I'll let you slide on the money, because it's only for one night, but if I find out otherwise, it won't be pretty."
"I understand," he tells her, tries to give her a reassuring smile while scooping up the fallen goods with one hand and keeping a firm hold on the kitten at his chest with the other, "and thank you."
"Should you keep the cat—"
"I won't, but you would get a deposit if I did."
"I was going to say, should you keep the cat, there's a nice pet store three blocks down that sells litter boxes and cat food."
"Thank you, Mrs. Brogan," he says to her, placing the now quieted cat into the box with his groceries. "I will keep that in mind."
He walks up the three flights of stairs to this apartment and is just about to put his key into the lock when the kitten mewls fiercely. The Warrior with No Name, so surprised by the sonic attack, nearly drops the box. The kitten begins to cry in earnest as its footing is lost.
He sets the box down gently and picks up the kitten. He holds it to his chest, comforting it, whispering for its silence, petting it softly.
The next day, The Warrior with No Name trudges down the stairs. He stops in front of Mrs. Brogan's door, raps twice on the old wood.
"Here is the deposit money." He feels his face heat up as she looks at him knowingly.
"Thought you didn't like cats."
He shrugs his large shoulders, trying to be nonchalant. "I need company. I was thinking about getting dog anyway."
She chuckles and accepts the money.
The Warrior with No Name goes on his way silently, all too ashamed that he was easily pushed over by a kitten.
(I'm interested in any comments on this. This is not a one shot. I've got more coming.)