Shadow of the Day
By Berry's Ambitions
A/N: Alright, so I was pretty nervous about posting this, as it mirrors a real-life event right now. I don't know if anyone here heard, but recently the mother of Derek Mears - who we'd recognize as Chameleon - passed away. I just felt so bad about it when I heard. I may not know Derek personally, but I do understand what it's like to lose a loved one and I'm very sad that he and his family are going through this.
So... I wrote this. I know it probably won't make a difference, but I wanted to get it out of my system and felt that that loss was an important topic to address.
This is set in an AU, obviously, where somehow Chameleon is still alive and he and Missy are together. There'll be some OOCness, but I felt that it was necessary for the sake of the story's flow. The title comes from the Linkin Park song of the same name, in case anyone is wondering.
WARNING: Thematic elements.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Hills Have Eyes.
The cold, empty space in her bed was the first thing Missy noticed when she awoke.
She glanced at the digital clock on the bedside table. 3:36 AM, it read. Missy looked over in the direction of the bathroom to discover that it was empty.
This wasn't too unusual, the brunette thought at first. Chameleon must have gone to get a drink or something.
Missy rolled over, closing her eyes.
That was when it occurred to her that she couldn't hear anything.
If Chameleon was wandering around the house, she would have known about it. Not that her partner was particularly noisy, but being in the human world for so long had caused his once-notorious stealth to dwindle.
She sighed, kicking the blankets aside and hoisting herself upwards. Missy moved slowly, afraid of rousing Clyde, and tip-toed down the stairs.
She found Chameleon in the living room, his back to her. The mutant appeared to be staring out the window.
Missy paused a moment before clearing her throat. He didn't even flinch. But, then again, it was more or less impossible to sneak up on Chameleon, so it didn't worry her too much.
He barely even glanced at her.
Missy took a seat next to him, placing a hand on his back. "Look, I know that something's the matter." And, that if he couldn't confide in her like he usually did, that it had to have been serious.
It took a good five minutes or so before he was able to utter a response.
"What?" Missy furrowed her brow. "Your mother?"
He nodded simply.
"Did you have a dream about her?"
"No... I just... miss her."
Missy briefly went over the information she knew about Persephone. She'd been killed when Chameleon was a child, that Missy was certain of. "Do you remember her well?"
"That's the thing, Missy." He turned around for the first time to meet her gaze. "I don't. No matter how hard I try, it's only bits and pieces." Chameleon placed a hand in front of his face and squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger, a habit that resurfaced whenever he was stressed out. "I was three when I lost her."
More like when she was snatched away from you, Missy thought bitingly, remembering Hades.
"I'm thirty-seven now," Chameleon continued. "I did the math. That means I haven't seen my own mother in thirty-three years. I never even got to know her, and I never will. I guess... I guess it didn't sink in until recently." He lowered his hand from his face, and Missy could see the exhaustion there. "I don't know how I'm supposed to grieve for someone I barely even knew."
Missy began rubbing his arm in an effort to soothe him. She felt his pain. Persephone's life had ended before it before it had truly begun - she wasn't that much older than Missy when she died, and Missy couldn't imagine getting to experience only a few years of her child's life.
"Do you remember her at all?" she questioned, speaking gently. "What she was like?"
A crease appeared in his forehead. "Well... little things. I know that I have her eyes. Hansel does too. Jupiter says that Mama inherited them from her father. Jovan, I think his name was."
"She didn't really look like a mutant at all," he went on. "Her only deformity was her lip. The top one. Wasn't as full as it should've been, but you could barely even notice. And she'd protect us from him."
There was no need to ask who Chameleon was referring to.
"Even if that meant she'd get hurt." Chameleon was quiet for a moment. "She loved us. She loved her kids."
"I don't see how she couldn't." Missy smiled. "See? You do remember her."
"It's not enough. I want to know more. I want to know things that Jupiter couldn't tell me himself. Things that only a child would know about their mother. And I will never have that." He clenched his fists, and Missy could see that her mate was trembling. "And neither will Letch, or Hansel, or even Pluto... I know Pluto had Juno, but it's not the same." He shook his head, turning his head so Missy couldn't see his expression. "She gave up her life for us... and I don't even remember what her voice sounded like." His voice broke on the last few words. "I just want her back. I just want my mama..."
Missy touched his cheek and felt the dampness there.
"Come here," she sighed, taking the large man in her arms. He shook with silent sobs, and she could hear him sniffling.
All those years of being indifferent... but he misses her. He always has and he always will. He hasn't had a mother figure since Persephone was killed, and his father... well, I'll use that term very lightly.
Missy rocked Chameleon back and forth, shushing him. This reminded her of what she'd do when Clyde was upset, and she couldn't help but wonder if Persephone had done this to any of her sons as well.
It took a long time for Chameleon to settle. Half an hour at the very least. He now lay with his head on Missy's lap, eyes red-rimmed. She rubbed his head, almost as if she were petting a cat, but Chameleon didn't seem to mind. If anything, he seemed to be accepting her comfort.
Lord knows he needs it.
He peered up at her, blinking heavy-lidded eyes.
"When we first met..."
He tensed. This was a stroll down memory lane that neither wanted to take.
"You called me 'Mama'," Missy said.
He nodded, the ghost of a smile appearing on his lips. "And I then I told you that you were pretty."
"Yeah, I don't remember taking that too well at the time," Missy joked. Then she regained her composure. "Chameleon... at first I assumed you called me that because of... your father's plans. But now I'm not so sure."
"I saw you on your phone."
Missy stared at him.
"You were watching that video of Clyde," he explained. "The one where he sang 'Itsy-Bitsy Spider' and told you he loved you."
"I still have that." Missy couldn't believe her ears. "You know, I thought I'd heard something..."
"His exact words were, 'I love you, Mommy'. And... I don't know. It meant something. Still does."
"What do you mean?"
"There was something about you. Something... soft. You weren't like the... other ones. And I wanted you. Bad. It wasn't only for sex. I know it must sound sick, but... I was hoping you'd be like her, somehow."
Chameleon smiled again, this time more visibly. "You guys couldn't be more different. But when I look at you with Clyde... I see it."
"It isn't sick."
"You said that the reason you wanted me was sick. But it wasn't. Wanting me to bear children against my will? That is sick. You're not perfect, hon, but you're far from sick. And we both know how much your mom loved you."
"But you didn't know her."
"I know you," Missy reminded him. "Which is what makes me so sure. She still does. She has to be out there somewhere, and you will see her again one day. You can't stop living just because she's gone. Live for her. Live the life she didn't get to. Don't let her sacrifice go to waste." She took a deep breath. "Life may end, but love doesn't. Never forget that."
Chameleon, slowly, very slowly, sat up to look at her.
"And I love you," Missy whispered.
Slowly, gently, he pulled her into him. Missy could hear the rythmatic beat of his heart. Chameleon brushed a few strands of her from her face and kissed it, his thumbs brushing against her moistening cheeks.
"Likewise," he murmured, and his lips met hers.
Around dawn, Chameleon found himself watching the steady rise and fall of Missy's chest. He snuggled closer to her, nuzzling the crook of her neck.
He decided that he had plenty to live for.
A/N: That was probably the most meaningful thing I wrote in forever. I really, really hope that didn't suck, and I'd love to hear what you all think of this. Please try not to be too harsh!