"I live in a prison, and its name is Bayville." Pietro runs, muses, and angsts. Lance comes and rescues him.
I live in a prison, and its name is Bayville.
I live in a prison and I'm afraid I built the walls myself.
When I run, there is no prison, there is no Bayville. There are no walls. There are only colors, a beautiful blend of colors that my eyes ghost over. And something registers deep in the reptilian part of my brain. Colors! Lights! Sounds!
There is no me. There is only sensation and amazement. And I don't have to become the wind; I am the wind. No, better... I am Quicksilver, Mercury the messenger, lightning fast and fluid, erratic and fragile. I am Quicksilver the poltergeist, the cheerful, mischievous spirit.
There is liquid silver in my veins.
So sad now, no way out
The bottom of despair
Hormones raging, going crazy
It there another boy who cares?
I like to run during thunderstorms. Someday I want to outrun the rain. Someday. Not yet.
I want to break free. I can't stand being kept in a cage, even when the bars are metaphorical. There are so many thoughts tugging on the inside of my brain, begging for my attention. But, even if I can't outrun the rain, I can outrun my problems. For a little while, at least. The funny thing is that my problems are very good endurance runners and I'm better at short bursts of speed. Like the hare, I am always beaten to the finish line by the slow and steady.
In the streets, in the rain, in the colors, I forget everything. I forget my name, because the wind doesn't have a name. I forget everything except the sensation of pressure against my face, raindrops stinging my cheeks, breeze whipping through my hair and curving around my body like a lover. My eyes tear and I struggle to keep them wide open.
Reaching my top speed is like reaching orgasm. I'm panting, pushing, trying so hand, my legs pumping like pistons, the world flying by so quickly that it's nearly invisible. It hurts so much and I'm trying so hard--
Pulling me down
Afraid I'll drown
And then I'm there. I've reached it; I'm moving so fast that it's effortless. It's bliss. The pain in my muscles, the throbbing in my head is incidental now. Because this isn't flight; it's better than flight. It's power. I have power and I'm using it.
But orgasm only lasts so long, and I can only keep myself at that level for less than a minute. I come down quickly, very quickly. I can stop on a dime, if necessary, but it hurts more than going my very fastest does.
The puddles are up to my ankles, and moving through them at anything less than a dead run is like dragging myself through quicksand. One of my feet falls heavily into a deep puddle, and my foot slips. There is a hesitant moment while I am suspended, weightless, in the air. I am flying. I am falling.
I land awkwardly, the palm of my right hand making contact first with the yielding surface of a puddle and then with the slippery hardness of the pavement. The sharp sound of bone cracking and splitting echoes in the night and I cry out in surprise. An intense wave of pain washes over me, and as my knees hit the ground I begin to retch.
But there is nothing in my stomach, nothing but acid and bile which sears up my esophagus, burning my insides, and dribbles from my mouth to the surface of the puddle I'm sitting in. It swirls on top of the water, beginning to form never-ending spirals.
I turn my attention to my injured wrist. The bone juts at an odd angle; I try to move my hand back and forth and cannot. I have broken it.
I hear the gays go to San Francisco
That's so far away from here
School's a jail, at home, I've failed
A life of pain and fear
The pain is so great that tears have begun to stream down my face without asking my permission, mingling and fusing with the raindrops that trickle down my cheeks and nose. I'm alone in the middle of nowhere, crouched wet and tired in the cold darkness of an unfamiliar landscape. I'm too tired to continue moving forward, too disoriented and shocked by the pain of my injury to retrace my steps.
Where am I? Who am I? "I lost my name running in the rain and nobody knows / who I am." And suddenly a name is very important because I'm in pain, no gain, rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. Haha.
Headlights, I see headlights heading toward me, and I become like a deer, frozen in the moments before impact. But the headlights swerve away from me and my momentary light-blindness is lifted. I can see; it's a miracle. It's Lance's Jeep with raindrops pounding erratically down the windows. He steps down from the driver's seat and rushes to my side, trying to tiptoe daintily over the deepest puddles of not-so-stagnant water. He wears no raincoat, no winter coat, nothing over his normal ugly vest and t-shirt. Quarter-sized drops of water soak him almost immediately.
Pulling me down
Afraid I'll drown
"Jesus fucking Christ, Pietro!" He cries, embracing himself in protection from the elements. "I hate it when you do this! I hope you know how hard it is to follow you... thank god you usually just go in a straight line." He shivers and raises his shoulders to hug his ears. "And do you always have to do this when it's raining? Why not when it's 85 degrees and sunny out?"
I say nothing because there is no way for me to explain to him this need to pit myself against nature, this need to prove myself by exercising my mutation. We stare at each other for a moment, silent, and I am reminded of the real reason I went running.
Finally, he sighs and tosses his hands into the air, exasperated. "Fine! You know what? Fine. Next time, I'm not coming after you. Next time you can fucking stay out here a hundred miles from the middle of nowhere!" He makes a quick grab for my hand, to pull me up to my feet, and lands upon my injured wrist instead, squeezing it and pulling slightly. I scream shrilly as a lightning stroke of pain flashes up my entire arm. It is so intense that I find spots dancing in front of my eyes; desperately I cling to consciousness.
"Oh god, oh god, oh god." My words are like bullets, and I fire them at Lance as I double over. He is alarmed.
"What happened?" He's kneeling beside me in the puddle. "What happened, what'd I do?"
Two more years now, before I get out
That's a lifetime to wait
Try to hold on, put my thick skin on
'Til I make my escape
You existed. That's what you did. You existed and made me crazy since the very first day I met you. "I fell," I wheeze. "I fell and broke it." His eyes become very wide.
"Oh shit..." He whispers.
That was my first thought when he walked through the door that day, scowled at me, and asked 'Who the hell are you?'
I'm Pietro Maximoff, and I think I'm dying right now.
I'm Quicksilver, and Quicksilver never dies.
"You have to go to the hospital," he shakes his head at me. "You have to go. Christ. Are you hurt anywhere else?" I shake my head 'no'.
"We don't have any money." Two poor kids soaked to the bone crouch next to a car they can barely keep filled with enough gas to get back and forth from school each day, whose clothes are filled with holes and worn so thin they're shiny, who have to save spare change so they can get a reduced price lunch in the school cafeteria, who don't have enough money to pay for hospital bills. One of them is me and the other is Lance and we have nothing, not even each other. I'm so scared I want to scream again.
Pulling me down
Afraid I'll drown
"I have some money," he says, putting one warm arm around my shoulder. "I have some money in a savings account. I'll pay for it, don't worry."
That money's not for me, it's for you. I want to tell him not to worry about it, to keep his money and let my wrist heal crookedly or not at all. But I can't, not in the face of kindness, not in face of large brown eyes that want to help me while I want to kiss the lips beneath them where rain trickles off.
He pulls me up, accepting my silence as acquiescence. The world is dark, but my pain brings back the colors, the feel of the wind in my face. I may never run in the rain again, not if Lance has his way, and I want to savor the pain, to understand it, to cherish it and remember it vividly. Every part of my body feels heavy and slow, dulled with an ebbing and flowing ache. I feel as if I am coming down from a particularly strong orgasm, completely drained. When I climb into the car, I feel heat in the air, on the seats, on my skin and I just want to sleep, to immerse myself completely in the heat. Lance puts an old blanket over me. It smells slightly like the car, like old shoes and gasoline. My wrist lies limply in my lap and I press my cheek against the sticky leather of the headrest.
The car vibrates as Lance turns the key in the ignition, and I can feel the car rumble between my legs as the engine roars from its slumber to wakefulness.
He shifts into gear and the gentle rocking of movement lulls me into a false peace as we head back into Bayville's city limits and the familiar walls close in upon me once again, choking me into complacency.