Reforging Bonds

October 21, 2018:

Backdated to October, before Pietro and Wanda's rescue. Marcos and Lorna patch things up between them.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Mutant Town had been more or less evacuated of children, the elderly, and the sick. Which left those that were fighters, too stubborn to leave their homes or the city that hated them. Still, plenty had lost their homes. And as a result, had been forced to bunker down in the newly renovated Community Center. Which was now more of a steel bunker. Inside and out, wrapped in smooth steel plates. Scrap metal, slag, and cars had been converted to defense.

The outside was covered in defensive lines, perimeters, with lookouts and a space around it cleared of all debris. Tumbled down buildings, burned out remains of business lined the edges of the streets where earlier battles with demons had occurred before the borders of Mutant Town had more or less become secured.

For most demons, the humans that lingered in the rest of the city were simply easier victims and targets.

Inside the base was an amalgamation of furniture. Tables, chairs, beds, couches and the alike crowded the main room beyond the protective entryway. Which had several safeguards built by various mutants that remained.

The lighting there was a mixture of light bulbs of different wattages, Christmas lights of flickering rainbows and other strange additions. All wired directly to generators tucked away in the center of the building, haphazardly done, but made to be off the city’s grid.

There were a rare few private rooms throughout the building, the medical area, stocked with supplies from the X-men, had a steady white light. As did the supply room stocked with food and water. Which was under constant watch and heavily locked.

Lastly, was Lorna’s private room. It had been a closet in its previous life, but since she had more or less coated every surface in steel alloys, she’d carved out her own private area. After all, if she was symbolically the leader of the Brotherhood and whoever remained in Mutant Town.. she had to keep up appearances of such. Even if Frenzy was truly running the Brotherhood side of things, Lorna knew what was expected of her.

Even if the X-men didn’t officially know about her new ‘unofficial’ position, she was intent in keeping it. Her brother had to be found, and the people that remained here needed protection. It was what the twins would be doing if they could, and she felt duty-bound to do so.

Tucked away in her room, she sat with her legs crossed beneath her floating gently above the narrow bed she’d claimed for herself. The room was tiny and lacked much of anything. Just a steel framed bed connected to the wall, and a likewise metal chair in the corner. A few odds and ends were placed on a shelf above her mattress, which was more steel.

It was clear why the magnokinetic had surrounded herself with a fortress of steel. It gave her an advantage. She could sense everything and anything inside. It made the base stronger when it came to resisting any surprise attacks and turned it into a veritable weapon.

No wonder the Spire, in Genosha, had been built with similar design in mind.

Gone were the nice clothes and expensive trinkets. All replaced with Lorna’s metal plated, infused and studded leather street clothes. Down to the boots on her feet to the thick leather jacket on her frame, was black lanced through with silver.

***

Key words: More or less evacuated. Marcos was helping out the ‘less’ part of that.

Bringing in a kid with a broken leg and an elderly person on his shoulder, Marcos Diaz had arrived in this ‘new and improved shelter out of the renovated community center. Well, in Marcos’s defense, he had no idea Lorna was even there…but it didn’t take a genius to put two and two together.

Talk of a chick who can control metal and has been doing some brotherhood shit didn’t exactly scream ‘nothing’s the matter’ to Marcos. Instead, he seemed to just no longer care. She had made her choice. She left him willingly to play hero. Marcos’s concern was Aurora.

Who Lorna gave away without a second thought. AND to make matters worse, without his permission. Truth be told, Marcos has every right to be angry with her.

Though, Lorna could probably sense Marcos’s presence in the building, since she can feel the metal of the building itself. Would she find him?

**
Lorna was deep enough into meditation that she could feel Marcos’ approach much like the sun that he drew his powers from. As soon as he’d approached, metal doors had swung open with a wave of her hand, all the way from her position in her room. Which is more or less why one Marcos Diaz made it through the front door without guards or those mutants on patrol stopped to question him.

A few had seen him before with Lorna, but people were on edge and there were demons abroad.
The green haired mutant pulled herself from her meditation, her booted feet meeting against the floor of her room lightly as she slid from the bed. Her gaze glittered faintly with magnetic energy as the lights above her died and she stepped out into the hallway.

The room’s chaos softened faintly at her approach and more than a few gazes swung toward her as she stepped down the hall and into the main foyer. The injured boy that Marcos had carried in was quickly swept up in concerned hands. A mutant that had some form of medical training was quick to act, directing the elderly man and child to the room in the back that had been converted to a temporary hospital.

Polaris made a beeline for one Marcos Diaz, stepping in behind him with her arms crossed. Her features carefully schooled as she struggled to hide the torrent of emotions that would otherwise choke her. It helped that Esme had pushed back the edge. Pushed by the worst of it. A temporary fix.

“So, you’re still in the States I see.”

**

Marcos had helped out enough, or so he’d tell someone. He knew that Lorna knew he was there…there was always this feeling when they were near each other. Like how the electromagnetic waves feels the energy of the sun and vice versa. It was…weird.

But! As Marcos made sure the little boy and the elderly man were taken care of, it didn’t take a genius to know that Lorna was behind him. A soft sigh at her words before he turns around to look her in the eyes.

“For now.” Diaz says as he turns to look at her, a silence to him…but, Lorna may be able to tell that he was happy to see her.

“You look good.” he compliments her appearance. But of course…word travels fast of what’s been happening in Mutant Town.

An ‘I told you so’ may be well on the way

**

The word, as it was, was that the twins were missing. Absent any other leader, Magneto, Pietro, or Wanda… Lorna was the sole member of the family around. And her father had ordered that the organization protect his youngest on her search for her sibling.

Though she was the leader in name, she wasn’t entirely so in practice. Behind the scenes, Magneto had his own orders. His own strings pulled here and there. Still, people looked to Polaris. They trusted her to maintain the base, to ensure supplies were organized and rationed. To continue the patrols around Mutant Town and to the search for her brother. People listened and looked to her when she entered a room.

As Marcos turned toward her she leaned against the door frame, her green eyes flickering over him in a rapid, calculating way. Her gaze lifted to the few mutants that lingered on in the medical area and then back to him.

“I’ve been without a proper shower for two weeks and that’s what you wanna go with..?” She spoke, with a roughness to her voice that spoke of sleepless nights and her usual dry humor. Her arms folded as she leaned her head against the side of the door frame.

After a beat of silence, she reached up to twist a silvery chain between her fingers. A necklace, that hung low with a smooth egg-shaped pendant of a similar metal. (It was definitely not a choker) It was clear, as her gaze dropped that she felt awkward, and despite everything, had no real ideas on how to behave around her mildly estranged husband.

***

Marcos had followed Lorna as she gave him that classic head tilt to follow her into wherever it was she would leave him. Eventually, they came to a stop when Lorna paused and leaned against that doorframe.

“Wasn’t my first choice. It was either that or compliment your metal tower.” Because….why exactly does Lorna (or anyone for that matter) have a nice building like this in mutant town? Certainly wasn’t part of the norm.

He looks to Lorna as she grips that silvery chain. His eyes widening. “….what’s that?” He approached very softly, inquiring about her pendant necklace. He certainly never gave her one.

As she didn’t know how to behave? Neither did he. Their arguments finally making them only mildly estranged. But Lorna would notice that Marcos was still wearing his wedding ring.

**
Lorna averted her gaze and shrugged, her shoulders causing the leather of her jacket to creak with the movement.

“It's a decent bunker. I wish it had more raw iron to add to the alloy, but it'll do.” Her hand fell away from the pendant, her features twisting with a scowl.

“It's … Nothing..” Green eyes narrowed at him, as she crossed her arms. But then came a softening of her expression. Defensiveness melted away as she waved a hand and stepped further into her ‘room’, such as it was. It was little more than a closet. Swathed in metal, with a narrow single bed, and a single steel chair in the corner.

Once he’d stepped inside, the door shut behind him, and she reached up to unhook the necklace. A soft exhale followed as she turned back to face him, and the little egg-shaped pendant opened up to reveal a tiny picture.

A picture of a very familiar baby girl, smiling at the camera and holding a tiny little rattle in her grip. The baby was several months older than Marcos had last seen her.

Lorna averted her gaze as she held the pendant out toward him to see. She knew what she would see there. Knew the pain. Knew that whatever was in Marcos’ features was her fault. That she had put it there.

After all, she’d hidden away their daughter.

***

Marcos suddenly grew very suspicious of Lorna when she yanked her necklace away and gave him a scowl. But then…her defensiveness melted away for unknown reasons. Perhaps it was still love for the man she married and decided to have a child with, but as she made her gesture, he followed her into that very TINY room.

When she opened that locket?

Marcos’s face paled. She was several months old. His eyes widened little by little as he approached closer for a better look, his fingers just barely touching the metal as his eyes visibly started to water.

This was the first time in a very long time that Marcos even had a glimpse of their daughter.

It was all Lorna’s fault that she’s gone…in the hands of someone he doesn’t know. Without his knowledge or agreement. It’s the source of 99% of the anger between them. “Aurora.” he whispers very softly.

**

The pendant and chain shook faintly in Lorna’s hand, at the whisper that came from Marcos at the sight of the miniature photo. Her green eyed gaze flickered back toward him, her lips twisting at the expression wrought upon his features.

Her breath caught in her throat, her voice sticking at the sudden lump, and she had to choke down the first response that rose to her lips. Her resolve nearly broke at the pain in Marcos’ simple whisper. At the look in his eyes.

It hurt.

She adjusted her grip on the chain, and made to slowly pull it back, a halting manner followed as slowly metal lurched to re-seal the pendant. “I’ll get a copy made for you.” She whispered, guilt shining in sudden dampness that welled in her eyes.

An apology rose and died in her throat as she made to try to tug the necklace back. Unless otherwise halted, she’d put it back around her neck.

**

Marcos’s expression was wrought with pain and emotional agony. Nothing hurts worse than not being able to be with your child. Not knowing where they are. Not knowing if they were okay. Not knowing….the feel of their heartbeat in his hands.

It’s the worst feeling for any parent.

Taking a deep breath as he feels his cool reserve crumble, he lets the pendant slide out of his hand. “I want our daughter, Lorna. Not a picture. The real..” nope, reserve is failing. He crosses his arms and he leans against the door.

Maybe now she can see how broken Marcos is from what she did. He takes a breath, sliding down the wall until he’s sitting against it, wiping tears from his eyes as he composes himself.

**

There were a great many reasons that Lorna hadn’t waited to get Marcos’ permission when it came time for her to hide away their daughter. There had been reasons that she’d gone alone, in the middle of the night.

Those reasons were right in front of her. In the way that Marcos’ voice welled up and his voice crumbled along with his frame. As he slid down against the wall and struggled to compose himself.

Guilt hit like a pang. Like a sharp twist of a knife in her chest. It hurt, to see Marcos this broken and to know that she had done it. To know that, despite all of the horrible things Carmen, his father, his life had thrown at him over the years.. She’d done quite possibly the worst thing by taking his daughter away.
A breath escaped her as she moved, closing the distance between them as she knelt down in front of him. She waited there, watching him with her heart in her throat. Slowly she reached out with both her hands, trying to gently take his own in her grip.

“Marcos..” Her own voice was barely above a hush, a whisper. “.. It’s..” She glanced down, trying and struggling to find words. Words she hadn’t said a thousand times before. That she didn’t chant to herself every day multiple times. As if saying it made it more true.

“It’s hard. I know. I miss her too.. But we.. we can’t.” Tears swelled in her eyes that she struggled to blink away.

Marcos doesn’t look convinced. Not even kind of. He feels like everyone is against him. “All my life, I’ve always been cast aside. Thrown away. My parents, Carmen, most mutants. Your father tried more than once and his subordinates need no introduction.” clearly he references Cortez as he looks broken.

“But then I held that life in my hands…and suddenly everything was worth it. I meant something. My purpose became protecting our daughter.” a tear moved freely even as Lorna held his hand…and he didn’t hold hers back. It was like there was no life. No strength left.

“And then, before I could even utter her name, she was gone. Now she’ll never know my face. Never know my name.” He looks up slowly to Lorna, eventually squeezing her hand.

“We have to get her back. She will always be in danger. We have to protect her. You know as well as I do, that no one else will be even close to able to. Magneto’s too busy trying to subtly conquer the world to truly care. The X-Men are too busy trying to promote peace to truly care. The family you gave her to.” there’s that extremely brief moment of rage in his voice before sadness and sorrow defeat it. “Are too busy being scared of world events to truly watch her. They might not even love her.” Marcos looked up at Lorna, a determination that death would have a damned hard time shutting up.

“We have to get her back.” then tears rolled. The pain overwhelming. Lorna used cheap tactics to run from it. Probably used every other means possible.

Marcos didn’t have any of that. Even if he did, would he use them?

**

Lorna retracted her hands only after Marcos returned the gentle squeeze. Instead, she reached out to wipe away the tears that gathered and fell from his eyes. Her expression one of twisted anguish and sorrow. “You are not nothing, Marcos. Your worth isn’t determined by others. You’re more than what other people see you as…” Her voice was soft. Gentle even. But she sat back from him, letting her hands fall away as she stood. She paced in that tiny space. Back and forth. Like a wild thing caged.

“We can’t protect her Marcos. We couldn’t even protect her for the nine months she should have had to be born. I had my baby ripped from inside me and someone else stuffed inside my head. Before that? It was Zealot, who threatened both our lives and told me that I was pregnant. Don’t you get it? I’m not safe for her. I can’t be near her. I can’t even know where she is, or who is raising her.” Her voice grew sharper, but never lifted from the hushed, whispered tone.

“I love you, I want to be with you. I want you beside me, Marcos. But I’m not strong enough to protect her. We are not enough, not at the risk of her life. I want our daughter to have her best chance to grow up. To survive. And with me as her mother? That will never be possible.” She swallowed the dryness that formed in the back of her throat.

“I wish with all my heart that it wasn’t so. That I could hold my baby in my arms and protect her, but I can’t.” Her own voice broke at that.

“I’m sorry…”

***

Marcos listened to Lorna carefully as he watched her stand up to her feet and pace about the room, as if she was trying to control herself before she reveals the real reason why Lorna thought they had to send Aurora away. She thought she was the danger. That she wasn’t good enough.

But Marcos was resolute, he stood up then, reaching for his wife to hold her. “I love you too, Lorna. I never want to be without you and I want to spend forever with you.” Like he promised her on their wedding day, but he looks her in the eyes.

“Lorna, she won’t be safe anywhere in the world we live in. Demons run rampant in the streets. We’re borderline World War III in multiple countries and the war between humans and mutants is almost inevitable. Stop talking yourself down. You are her mother. You’re the best thing for her….WE are the best thing for her, Lorna.” he looks her in the eyes.

“You were never alone in protecting her, Lorna. You still aren’t. Let me help you protect our child…let’s get her back. We can be a family again. We’re a team. It’s not one person protecting the other. It’s all of us protecting each other. If we were completely alone? There’s probably no way. But we’re not alone.” he tries to hold Lorna tightly.

**
Lorna desperately wanted to simply stay there in his arms. To close her eyes and believe that everything could work out as he said. That they could be a family, see their baby girl grow up and be happy. She wanted it so much that it was like a physical ache in her chest. Breathing was difficult, thought even more sluggish to respond against the intrinsic motivation that weighed down her limbs. Her body sinking against Marcos’ warmth, his arms, seeking that quiet strength that had kept him going through so much.

But she hated crying more. Hated being seen moved to tears and hated the perceived weaknesses that came with it. She couldn’t be seen as any of that. Not now when she was standing in as a leader for the Brotherhood. By all rights, if anyone over heard her speaking now, it could put both of them in danger.

A soft creak of her leather jacket followed as she leaned back, her eyes glistening with unshed tears as she reached up to run her hands against the line of his jaw. She leaned in, pressing a desperate kiss against his lips.

Then as she leaned away, breaking the kiss, her green eyed gaze meeting his own, she whispered. “When things are different.. We can bring her home. We can have a home… then. When things are different.” She didn’t think that day would ever come.

“But right now, we can’t Marcos. We can’t bring her here. We can’t raise her. I’m… we’re not enough. Not as we are. Not with the world the way it is. Things need to change before then.” Her tears receded as she drew back from him.

“Stay with me, help me build that…”

***

Marcos wanted to stay in Lorna’s embrace. To feel her cold to his heat, to see her smile as she looked at him. As she finally sunk into his warmth, husband and wife were truly reunited, even if it was only for a moment. Marcos knew that Lorna tried to be too tough to shed a tear, even though he knew she was an absolute softie on the inside.

The caress of his jaw was mirrored by the caress of her dark green hair. When she leaned, so did he, meeting her in the middle for a beautiful display of romance and heartfelt love as they kissed so desperately. A kiss that turned gentle…before they parted.

“When things are different.” Marcos echoed, and it seemed as though they had reached an impasse. His forehead touches hers as he takes a deep breath.

“Okay.”

Wait, what? Marcos kept close to Lorna before he whispered again. “I’ll stay with you. So we can build a better world for our Aurora.”

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