Title: It's too late

Author: forbidden donut

Disclaimer: I don't own the following characters nor do I profit from writing them.

It was the quiet moments he hated the most. Coming back to his assigned quarters on base at the end of the day, turning on the lights and facing the reality that he was alone again. With his bleak thoughts and guilt.

Justice tossed a pile of files on the desk and pulled off the head piece of his uniform, dropping it the floor, followed by gloves and the rest of the blue and white spandex in a trail of discarded clothing as he headed for the shower.

Standing under the stream of hot water, letting it run over his face, down his back, he closed his eyes and tried to remember the good times but the memories didn't come easily anymore.

Every step here was a step taken over the bones of dead friends. Not literally of course, their remains were long gone but it felt like it. Especially with The Gauntlet in his face every day, spouting his particular brand of anti-Warrior venom.

Angelica had taken the easiest route, possibly the more sensible one. She'd never been comfortable wearing a costume and playing hero. He was, in some respects, happy for her. Happy that she was getting to live the life she wanted to, unmolested by the registration act.

For him, his fate had been somewhat different. Report to Camp Hammond, agree to become peer counsellor for the next generation of heroes led by the current crop or be depowered. An empty threat to a mutant but still, it revealed how serious things were for former New Warriors. Even the ones who had walked the vaulted halls of the Avengers Mansion.

He sighed and turned off the water, towelling off and dressing slowly as he made a strong coffee and sat at the desk, turning on the computer and preparing to weather another long night, where he would do anything to avoid sleep and all the ghosts that visited him.