Legend: Thoughts = <>
Stray thoughts = ()
Com links 
Ok, guys, all the disclaimers apply, that means all thanks goes to Marvel
For the X-Men, I'm just making the story. And I do read all the other
Stories and they're great, keep up the good work. They inspire me!
"Nothing's wrong. No bad dreams. Nothing." Connor said.
"Wouldn't that be a yay?" Perry asked.
"Definitely a yay." Max said quickly, "I'd say a Hell yay."
Somewhere across town...
"Run!" I yelled.
"No, we're not leaving you!" Raiden said quickly, "Come on."
"I have to stop it." I said.
"You can't stop it, that thing is bonkers!" Melissa said frantically.
Before another word could be said, the demonoid dropped down from nowhere and knocked the girls back! I kicked at its abdomen, but it blocked and I spun around, but it caught my arm and cracked it. I screamed in pain as I watched the demonoid's fingernail lengthened and he pushed it through my chest! I gasped for air as I slumped to the ground. I could hear voices...but they were far away.
As they dragged Pane's lifeless body through the door, Melissa and Raiden found themselves wondering if they were already too late.
"What in the Hell happened?!" Max asked.
"Demon-thingy!" Melissa said quickly.
"We need the first aid kit." Connor said, running through a door.
"Dad?" Perry asked loudly, "Dad?!"
"He's going to be alright." Raiden said quickly, "I hope."
"Hey! What's going on, can't you hear me?!" I shouted. I walked around them, looking down at my body, "Holy cow! I'm dead."
"Here," Connor said rushing back in, "Dammit, his pulse is diving!" he said, checking my pulse.
"No, no, we gotta save him!" Perry said.
"You're not gone, so he's still alive." Melissa said testily.
"Damn right I am!" I said, "What's it going to take for you guys to see me?"
"Sorry, they can't." A familiar voice said behind me.
I turned to see Rocky, "Holy..."
"...Hell." I finished.
"He's stable. Healing fast." Connor said, "His vitals are good."
"That's good," Raiden said, nestled into his side, "I thought we lost him."
"Me too." Connor said, "It's got me thinking maybe I need to make up with him."
"Really?" Raiden asked, shocked, "I'm glad."
"But it only works if he wakes up." Connor said.
I walked over and tried to touch them, but my hand went right through them.
"They can't feel that...for the sixtieth time." Rocky said.
"Why? I've astral projected before." I said, not looking at him.
"You could at least look at me." Rocky said.
"I could, but what's the point." I asked, "How can I possibly...I don't even know what's going on."
"Your not alive." Rocky said seriously, but after a second he laughed, "Chill, you're alive...for now."
"That's not funny." I frowned, "For a minute, I thought I was dead."
"Welcome to the world." Rocky said, "How do you think I felt?"
"Numb?" I asked.
"Rhetorical question." Rocky said, "So, the next question is going to be..."
"...Why you?" I asked.
"Didn't expect that." Rocky said, "I was expecting something in the vein of how do I get out."
"We weren't exactly close. I mean, I found you. You were totally Kyle XY and...then you died." I said, "Then they made Mega out of pieces of you. Sorry about that."
"Still a little miffed about that. At least I'm powerful now." Rocky joked.
"If it helped I'm going to kick your ass all over the city." I frowned.
"Yeah, about that, can you take it easy on the ass kicking?"
"Obviously a joke." I said, puzzled.
"No." Rocky said, "I'm worried about you."
"Why?" I asked.
"You know what you have to do to win. I watch, ya know, like this mostly. You seem more at peace." Rocky said, "Of course, it's no doubt masking a mass fear of inadequacy."
I looked at him, puzzled again.
"Not a lot to do besides watching and reading." Rocky frowned, "But you certainly make things around here interesting."
"How do you touch the books?" I asked, "And you're tied to this place?"
"I do it mostly when people aren't watching. And no. I'm tied to you."
"Why?" I asked.
"There's a guy running around with my body parts." Rocky frowned, "I need to be avenged in some way."
"I'm tired of talking." I said, walking over and running my hand over my face, "I can't even slap myself! What a gyp!"
"You'll heal." Rocky said, "You have a visitor."
I looked over my shoulder to see Raiden, "Why's she in here? To finish the job?" I asked.
"Harsh." Rocky said, posting himself in the door frame.
"Yeah it was." I said quickly, "Sorry, not that she can hear me."
"Oh Pane. We shouldn't have taken you to that place." Raiden said, "It's too close to whatever's coming and we need you."
"Is she serious?" Rocky asked, "I mean, I know she's trying to redeem..."
"Shh!" I said quickly.
"Truth is...I've been so guilty. I broke us. All of us. After you left, Connor wasn't the same. He misses you. Sometimes I think he misses me or how I used to be. I miss that too. I remember when we first moved here, just the three of us. We were so young." Raiden said, teary eyed.
"She's going to cry." Rocky said, "And you weren't much younger were you?"
"This is the quiet part." I said, my eyes fixed on her.
"Sometimes I wish I wasn't here anymore." Raiden frowned, "It's just easier, not just on me. On everyone. I feel like a burden to Connor, I feel like Melissa just tolerates me. There's something between them. I'm not stupid...but I can't really face it. I need you to come back because if you leave, I don't know if I can cope with that. It's selfish, I know, but after everything, I need you." She said before kissing my forehead and walking out of the room quickly.
I watched, my face a bevy of emotions as I shifted through them all, trying to pinpoint one emotion to feel but I couldn't.
"This is heavy." Rocky said, "Just wait."
Before I could ask what he meant Connor was standing at the foot of the bed.
"Hey bro." Connor said, "Wake up. Do you hear me? You wake up!" he said grabbing my body and shaking me, "This isn't fair! You're always the one sacrificing yourself at the expense of everybody else! How do you know it was meant to be you? How could you think that we could even function with you dead! Dammit, you're not going to die! You're not! I need you! I have so many...I need you! Ya know, once I kissed Melissa and I felt so bad and I couldn't tell anybody. I couldn't tell Raiden, I couldn't tell God, and I couldn't tell you."
"Oh God." I said quickly.
"And I thought about why I couldn't tell you and I felt so much guiltier. You tried to tell me about Raiden but I didn't listen to you and that's the one thing, besides Melissa, that I will always regret." Connor said, near tears. He took a minute and his expression changed and he wiped his eyes before he left the room.
"Heavy." Rocky said.
I walked to my body and sat on the bed, trying to will myself back into my body.
"What're you doing?" Rocky asked.
"This ends now!" I said quickly, "Put me back in my body!"
"Why would I do that? I'm having so much fun. Aren't you?" Rocky asked.
"What's wrong with you? I need to be back with them." I frowned.
"I just know you haven't heard what you needed to hear." Rocky said, "Sorry if I sound apathetic or like I'm taking joy in this. But I've been waiting for a long time."
I walked over and threw him against the wall, "I'm sorry about that, I really am, but if you don't put me back in my body I'm going to castrate you." I said angrily.
I let go, "How do you know what's going to happen?" I asked.
"What?" Rocky asked.
"You said that I haven't seen what I need to see...how do you know what I need to see?" I asked.
Rocky cracked his neck, "You're a real pain, ya know." He said.
"You're not a ghost." I said.
"You're right. I crossed over long ago. I was, until recently, an optimist." He said, "Now I'm stuck in limbo because you couldn't save the world!"
"What the fudge?" I asked, "This is your version of a guilt trip?"
"I'm mad as hell. I saw an opportunity and I took it." Rocky said, "You took me into space and I died."
"You went into space and you died. You knew the risks!" I shouted, "We all know the risks!"
"I jumped at the opportunity to see you again, to let you know that when it comes to saving people, you suck." Rocky said, "Now some hopped up super soldier is wearing my skin."
I shook my head, "I can't undo the past. But I will move on."
"Pane?" Richard said, standing in the doorway. As he walked through Rocky, he stopped and looked around, then walked to the bed and pulled up a chair. He sat in the chair and kissed my forehead, grabbing my hand in his.
"And like you always do, you found perfection." Rocky said quietly by the door.
"Dad." Perry said.
"Sorry, do you need time with him?" Richard asked, standing.
"I was actually talking to you." Perry said quickly, "You're my dad."
"What?" Richard asked, obviously perplexed.
"Well, one of my dads." Perry explained, "I think it's about time that I said something because if dad dies, I die and I don't want to disappear with you not knowing you have a son."
Richard immediately hugged him, "All this is new to me, so you'll have to excuse me if I stare or, you know, be quiet for long periods of time. There's so much I wanna ask you."
"I think that should wait." I said, sitting up in my body.
"Dad!" Perry said.
"Pane." Richard said, "I'll go and tell the others you're awake."
"I kind of, I kind of want us together for a second." I said quickly.
"Guys..." Raiden said, bursting in. She instantly hugged me, "Oh thank god."
"I'm tender." I winced.
"We've got to go." Raiden said.
"What?" I asked.
"Mega made a move. And he's heading this way. Scott called, let us know." Raiden said, "We're going underground."
"You guys go ahead, I've got something I've got to do." I said quickly.
"I'm going too." Richard said.
"Fine." I said.
Somewhere across town...again...
I stood in the lair of the demonoid. I had changed into jeans, a white t-shirt, and my leather coat. Richard followed close behind me, annoyingly asking if I was okay. Truth is that I had never felt better. I wasn't even healed but I felt great. The lair was a dank and felt cramped. I could work with cramped. The demonoid appeared. I smiled.
"Piece of oddly assorted fruit cake." I smirked.
The demon rushed me as quickly as he could. Behind me I could hear Richard urging me to come on. I ducked the first three swipes it took at me and kicked it in the stomach. The demon grabbed me and flung me into the crooked walls. I coughed up blood, which was the first sign that I wasn't exactly at my best. I yelped when it kicked me in the stomach! I rolled over and blocking a kick and did a foot sweep that took the demon off its feet. I immediately blocked its attempt to do the same to me! I jumped into the air and spun kicked it right in the face, I grabbed its forehead and kneed it.
"Finish him!" I heard come from behind me.
I stood there, on the verge of kicking this thing's ass, but stopped. Something felt wrong. Then right. I threw my hands in the air and blasted it back into one of the sharp points on the wall! It squirmed its way off and I did it again, this time its head hit the spike. I let out the breath I was holding.
"You did it." Richard said.
"Good." I said.
Miles below ground...
I walked in to see a bloody Connor, Perry, Max, and Raiden sitting in the little room. Raiden was tending to Connor's wounds.
"What happened?" I asked.
"They got Mel." Perry said.
"Did you get it done?" Max asked.
"There's one other thing." Max said, "We lost the Civil War."