(A/N: I know I said that this was going to be a bonus chapter for a select few, but hey, it's almost Christmas, so why not be generous and let everyone read it? It wouldn't have taken me so long, but I've been busy with finals and, well, life in general. Anyway, this takes place in the days following the last chapter. Please Read & Review.)
Disclaimer: "Kick-Ass" and all characters contained therein (excepting Riley O'Dwyer, who belong to Makokam) are the intellectual properties of Mark Miller and/or Marvel Comics. All views and opinions expressed by the characters within this fanfiction are solely for artistic effect, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the writer.
The bartender sighed, mixed a sixth Green-Eyed Monster, and set it down in front of Marcus, who knocked it back in one gulp.
"Reload," said Marcus, slamming the glass down.
"Sir, don't you think you've had enough?" asked the bartender.
"Don't you think it would be a shame," drawled Marcus drunkenly, "if this place got closed down because you don't have a liquor license?"
The bartender said nothing, simply mixed the cocktail and left Marcus to drink it.
"Need some company?"
Marcus turned his head as Casimir Lizewski sat down next to him.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Dave and Mindy were worried about you," said Caz, "Apparently, you aren't taking the news well."
"That's an understatement," said Marcus darkly, "I do, and do, and do for that girl, and all she's ever given me is grief."
"You don't mean that, Marcus," said Caz.
"You're right," he replied sarcastically, "The first five years were really good, before Damon came back and it all went to shit. It should have been straight to the orphanage the day she came to me!"
Searing pain shot through Marcus's face as Caz's hand slammed into his cheekbone.
"Can you even hear yourself?" shouted Casimir, "You love Mindy more than anything in the world!"
Marcus's eyes filled with tears as he laid his head on his arms. "I know. And I wouldn't trade a single day. It's just . . . this is the point where I know I've truly lost her."
"What do you mean, Marc?" said Caz, sitting down beside him.
Marcus took a shuddering breath and said, "Mindy is growing up. In some ways, she's always been mature for her age, and in others, she's still so innocent. I thought I'd already been through everything major a parent goes through, but now . . . she's a teenager. She doesn't . . . need me anymore, for anything. And she loves your son more than life itself."
"How can you say Mindy doesn't need you?" said Caz, "You've been a wonderful father to her for most of her life, and you mean the world to her."
"I remember the day Damon got out of prison," said Marcus, "I held Mindy's hand as she laid eyes on him for the first time in her life. The way her eyes lit up and the way she walked over and hugged him, it was like it wasn't even there anymore. When I saw her that night at the house with Dave, that feeling of abandonment came back, only it's worse because I know that this time she's not coming back! She's going to marry Dave, have children, make you a grandfather, and I'll be left alone again."
Caz wrapped his arms around Marcus's shoulders and pulled him into a hug.
"I know how you feel," said Caz, his own eyes starting to water, "When my Sophia died, Dave became my whole world. In that time, I've watched him become a superhero, graduate from high school, start college, and fall in love with a wonderful girl. It's hard to watch the child you love grow up and start to really have a life of their own. But you have to remember, Marcus: you will always be a part of that life."
Dave placed his hand into the bowl of holy water and crossed himself as he entered the church. He knelt before the image of Saint Jude and, lighting a candle, recited the prayer he'd learned as a child.
"Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus," he intoned, "the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly that Mindy and I may have the strength to walk the dark and twisted paths of this world together, and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen."
Dave crossed himself once more and exited the church through the side door. The sun was setting low on the horizon. He felt as though a burden had been lifted off his shoulders.
Maybe, he thought to himself, I should go visit Mom. Zipping up his jacket, Dave walked down the steps of the church and headed west toward the graveyard where his mother was buried.
Mindy brushed away the tear in her eye as she entered the long-abandoned warehouse. She normally only came here once a year, to pay her respects, but her engagement to Dave probably warranted a special visit.
She exhaled slowly as she looked around the room with her flashlight. No matter how many years it had been, the pain still felt as fresh as the day it had happened. Finally, she found the right spot. Taking a piece of chalk, she slowly drew a vaguely man-shaped outline on the concrete floor, reminiscent of a crime scene. She then took a single red rose from under her cape and laid it next to the outline. She then knelt down next to the place where Big Daddy had died.
"Mindy? Mindy, honey?"
A strong, gloved hand gently lifted her chin up, and Mindy looked into the soft, caring eyes of her father.
"Hi, Daddy," she said softly. She rose, removed her wig and mask, and embraced him fully. Big Daddy likewise removed his helmet and sat down, patting the spot next to him.
"I've been watching you," said Damon, "and words cannot express how proud I am of the woman you've become, nor how sorry I am that I can't be out there with you."
"I understand, Daddy," said Mindy, "So . . . what's it like on the other side?"
"I'm not technically supposed to say," said Damon with a shrug, "but the worst that'll happen is that they'll tack a few more years onto my sentence."
"'Sentence?'" asked Mindy.
"Most people don't stay in Hell permanently," said Damon, "It's a lot like Purgatory, really; Even good people have to pass through here to get to Heaven, burn away all their sins. You have to have been pretty damn evil in life to get stuck there for good. Even Satan's really not all that bad. He drives a really badass Camero."
Mindy giggled at that, but then became serious. "Is Mommy . . . ?"
"Yes," said Damon, "but she's getting time off for good behavior. She'll probably be out before me."
Mindy started to cry, but Damon took her in his arms and stroked her hair.
"It's okay, baby-girl," he said soothingly, "We'll see each other again someday. I know how much it hurts to be apart, but I don't want you to dwell on it for one minute. I want you to live your life and be happy. You've got a good thing going with Dave. Don't waste even a moment of it. Okay?"
"I promise, Daddy," said Mindy.
"Good," said Damon, kissing her forehead, "now, it's time for you to wake up. Wake up, wake up . . ."
"Wake up, Mindy."
Mindy jolted out of her sleep at the touch of a hand on her arm. Quick as a flash she opened her balisong and held it up to her attacker's neck.
"Oh," she said, realizing who it was, "it's just you."
"We've been friends for years, and I still get the 'just you' treatment?" Dillon chuckled at his own joke.
"How did you know I was here?" she asked, putting the knife away.
"I'm an aspiring private eye. It's my job to know things."
Mindy frowned and gave him a look.
"Okay, okay," he said, "Dave told me. I thought you only come here on the anniversary of your father's death."
"Usually," she said, "but since Dave and I are . . . well, PRE-engaged, it just seemed like the right thing to do."
"I wish I could have met him," said Dillon, "I'm sure he was an amazing man."
"He really was," said Mindy, "He would have fucking hated you, though."
Dillon's face fell like a ton of bricks.
"Christ, I'm just kidding," said Mindy, slapping him on the back, "C'mon Numb-nuts, let's go get something to eat."
(A/N: Well, it's really over this time. Don't worry, though, I'll have more stuff in the future. I'm still working on that Deadliest Warrior crossover. Please Review.)