Evil Hate Cow # 1 (perch_and_creep) wrote in dolltongue,
Evil Hate Cow # 1

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Verthil: Part 3 (accomplishments, Verthil's Mini's, Planet of the New Orleans, Iron Hand)

Author: Verthil
Fandom: X-Men (especially Jubilee)
Disclaimer: marvel owns these characters, not any of us. These stories are making no form of monetary profit. The Author is allowing the archiving of his work here. This is merely a sampling of his work. please visit his website and ff.net account to read his other work.
E-mail:feedback for verthil
Website/Homepage: verthil’s ff.net account

Disclaimer : Marvel Owns The X-men, I'm just borrowing them.


The night was quite as always, the moon shone brightly as she bathed in it. As she sped down the asphalt skating path, the momentum carrying her, Jubilee could only think of the freedom suddenly granted to her. No more days of fighting for a world that hated her, no more fighting for survival, or complicated lives under the auspice of the X, just the normal life of a University student. But even that was forgotten in this moment as she raced on towards that place between exhaustion and exhilaration. Leaves erupted as she raced over them, sending them aloft to the heavens. With a wry smile on her face she pushed off with one foot and jumped over a bench and onto a rail of a stairway, sliding down and carrying on circling about the fountain.

Slowing to a halt at the edge of the fountain, she sat down, running her hand over the surface of the water, chilled with the night air. Fall had set in on campus and the trees knew the colours of Autumn on their crowns. Looking up to the clear night sky, she could see the moon smiling down upon her with a veil of stars twinkling away, oblivious to the trials of the lives that were known to the blue speck in the universe. Sighing, she only wish she could tell Logan of her acceptance here, but that would be too great a threat. She had to break away from that life, away from any temptations to return for one last battle. She already had hers in Paris, shaking her head she bowed her head in silent prayer that all her friends were safe.

"Lee, you okay?" A voice asked with concern, Jubilee turning to find the only reminder of her life before.

"Yeah Pryde, I'm just hunky dory." Jubilee sighed, laying down on the fountain.

"Sure ya are. Your thinking about them aren't you?" Kitty asked, turning back to her book, having chosen this spot for the fact that the lamp hung behind her, giving enough light.

"Yeah." Jubilee replied, turning to look to Kitty, another former X-man.

"Anyone in particular tonight?" Kitty asked, thumbing to the next page.

"Logan." Jubilee replied.

Kitty looked up from her book, the power of that name still strong, shutting it as she rose from her seat and walked over to the younger girl. Sitting down next to her, she smiled as she looked down to the former Mallrat. Jubilee for her efforts could not ignore the presence of Kitty for long, finally sighing as she sat up. Shaking her head, she looked to the ground.

"I, I just wish I could tell him about what I all have going for me." Jubilee whispered.

"Hey, don't worry Lee, you made the right choice. Look at what happened the last time someone called you back to play superhero, you could have gotten yourself killed had the X-men not checked it out, and Sean, bless his soul, ended up with a dagger though his throat. You just need some time to get used to being just a normal girl, not an X-man or a Gen-Xer, just Jubilee. You can't do that with them, the adrenaline still rushes with any word of danger I hear in the news and it's probably the same for you." Kitty remarked, wrapping her arms about Jubilee and pulling her to her side.

"I just want to let him know that I'm making something of myself, getting a degree, building a life. I just want to let him know so he could be proud of me. I just want someone to be proud of me for once, even as a kid my parents always demanded better, never letting me know I did good." Jubilee whispered, leaning into the older girl's embrace, taking relief in the warmth against the night.

"I'm proud of you Lee, you're the closet I ever had to an annoying kid sister, and to see you here now, it makes me proud." Kitty replied, Jubilee looking up with eyes shimmering with unshed tears.

"Really Kit-Kat?" Jubilee asked, her lip trembling.

"Really Jubie." Kitty replied, giving a strong hug to the girl.

Jubilee fell silent, staring off to the dark horizon, a warm feeling filling her in that moment. Kitty in return merely held her and joined her in watch of that distant horizon, a flurry of memories rushing past her, of her own acceptance to University and of the same need of approval she longed for in those first months. But somehow she knew in her bones that he knew, and that he was proud. Looking down to Jubilee, she knew that somehow he knew too, and that he was just as proud as she was. Her reverie broken by the sound of night birds sent aloft, Kitty looked to the tree line and smiled. Yes indeed, he did know.

Disclaimer : Marvel Owns The X-men, I'm just borrowing them.

Verthril's Mini's

Chapter One : The Kings New Clothing

"How does a guy like Creed buy clothes when he's like inhumanly tall and muscular? He can't just walk in to a shop..." Jubilee began, pausing to take a sip of her drink.

"Actually Jubilation, there are plenty of shops that tailor to the tall and large these days." Hank replied, walking through the mall with their shopping, thankful for inventing an image inducer all those years ago.

"Fine, but what about good ol' Freddie Dukes? I mean, c'mon! The guy's what? Six hundred pounds?" Jubilee asked while throwing out her arms as if to elaborate on the large stature of the mutant known as The Blob.

"Indeed, that is a question I have mused over myself." Hank replied as they carried on.

"And what about Apocalypse? I mean he does that whole growing five stories tall. What does he have, one of those unstable molecule suits we had in Gen X before it went defunk?" Jubilee inquired, her head following the trail of a cute boy as he passed by.

"Actually, Apocalypse can shift his form, so he merely makes his own clothing from his body." Hank replied, hefting up the bags as he walked on, hoping the trip would soon end.

Jubilee paused and turned to Hank, a look of horror on her face. Opening her mouth slowly, she then swiftly shut it once more.

"Problem Jubilation?" Hank asked with honest concern.

"So, you mean that he's actually naked when we see him, that he's just creating an illusion that he's dressed?" Jubilee asked.

"In all truth, yes." Hank replied.

"EW! EW EW EW! I am NEVER going to be able to look at that freak the same way again! Ew!" Jubilee shrieked, earning odd glances from the mall patrons.

"Indeed, though I believe I shall never be able to look at Mystique quite the same way again either." Hank remarked with a wry grin.

Chapter Two : Small Wonders

Life sucks, especially if you're a mutant teenager with a huge zit on you're nose. More so if you're a mutant teenager with a huge zit on your nose waking up to find it out on the day you happened to wish to ask a certain school heartthrob out. Looking to the mirror, only one solution remains, and with that I run to the bathroom holding a hand over my face. Slamming the door shut upon an irritated Jubilee, I search for my acne products.

"Yo! Hayseed! I gotta use the can!" Jubilee cries out, slamming her fist against the door.

Giving a glance to the door, I decide to ignore her. Rummaging through the drawers I finally find what I'm looking for and apply it, wiping it smoothly over and hiding the zit, while leaving the active medical ingredients to work their magic. Sighing in relief I turn on the shower and undo my robe. The steam starts to billow and I slip into the spray. Drawing the curtain closed, I grab the shampoo and to my horror find it is empty. Looking to the other bottles, I find them all empty. Screaming at my bad luck, I once again hear Jubilee pounding on the door.

"Yo! Hayseed! I need to go!" Jubilee cries out, her voice carrying over the spray of the shower.

"Can't you just use another washroom Jubilee!" I shout back, sighing afterwards as I put conditioner in my hair, hoping that it shall do the trick.

"Like, you cut me off just as I was about to go! If I could have held it any longer do you think I'd be here pounding on the door!" Jubilee cried out.

"Ah'm, ahem, I am sorry Jubilee, but you'll just have to hold it until I'm done." I shout back, grabbing a bar of soap and lathering up.

So caught up in my daily regime of bodily care, I don't notice the click of the bathroom lock opening, nor of the door creaking open until that first draft of cold air hits me. Turning I find Jubilee shutting the door and locking it afterwards, throwing the toilet seat up and taking a seat swiftly. Staring at her in shock, she seems to ignore me, intent on relieving herself. Growling, I scrub furiously, trying to exfoliate with the loofah. After what seems like an eternity Jubilee finishes, tending to herself and pulling her panties back up. She raises a hand to the toilet handle, a wry grin upon her face as she looks to me.

"Do you not even dare or I shall be forced to kill you. I have a zit on my nose and we are out of shampoo, I need to look my freshest as I'm going to ask a boy out today." I say through gritted teeth.

"Paige, you can be such a blonde some days. You're a bloody mutant with the power to create a new body underneath you when you husk, just husk yourself up a perfect body that smells of vanilla or something and call it a day!" Jubilee shouts back, slamming down on the toilet handle.

Watching as she races out, the hot water searing my flesh, I realize something. Two things actually, that I should be screaming, and that yes, even Jubilee can have a bright idea once in a while. With that, I scream.

Chapter Three: Midnight Rendezvous

She couldn't believe they left her at the mansion yet again, with him of all people they had to leave her with him. Nothing good ever came of those two being left alone together she mused, pressing the gas petal as far down as it would go, the engine roaring to life as the car lurched forward. What were they thinking she wondered, indicating a left hand pass as she raced past a minivan with a bumper sticker that read to the effect that while your daughter may be an honor student, your still an idiot. Growling, she took offense to the statement, bearing in mind her daughter was an honor student as she was far from an idiot. Pulling out in front of the offending minivan, she raised her hand and flipped off the driver, taking pleasure in the look of anger and shock on the drivers face before she grew far too distant.

Throwing on the radio, she cringed as the music her daughter favored played, quickly hitting one of the presets, and to her chagrin, found that they had all been set to the same station. Growling as she hit the scan button, she thought how she would have to have a talk with her daughter dearest over that certain prank. Finally finding a classic rock station, she started to drum her fingers to the tune of Hells Bells by ACDC, how appropriate in the moment, for someone surely was going to die after tonight. Finally after what seemed to be an eternity she came to the gate of the mansion. Fumbling about for her key card, she finally found it and swiped it, opening the gate. Racing in she drove to the front doors and shut off her car.

The lights of the mansion were all off aside from the foyer and the den. Walking over to the window she peeked in, finding those she sought, oblivious to the fate that was about to befall them. Walking back to the front doors she opened them up and quietly stalked towards the den. Looking in, a feral grin fell over her features, made sinister by the shadows that hid her and the flickering flames of the fireplace. The two in question sat on the sofa, watching the television across the room, a movie playing. Looking to the grandfather clock across the room, a hiss of aggravation passed her lips as she read it well after midnight. Walking in with the stealth taught to her by her lover, they never even heard her until she coughed to catch their attention.

The pair spun about to find the intruder looking down upon them with anger and vexation clear upon her face, the set of her hips and her crossed arms known to mean business. Jubilee looked to Scott, and then her mother, a look of defeat upon her features. Scott merely looked to Rogue with a look of acceptance of his fate. As the two sat their with their minds racing to figure out why on earth Jubilee was still up well past her bed time, Rogue interupted their train of thought.

"Jubilation LeBeau, what time is your bed time again?" Rogue asked, taking control over her accent due to the annoyance of this trip.

"Eight." Jubilee replied.

"And Scott, why would you of all people allow her to stay up four hours past her bed time." Rogue questioned.

"Planet of the Apes marathon?" Scott replied, pointing to the TV.

"How much longer?" Rogue asked, relaxing.

"Four in the morning if I recall right." Scott replied.

"Fine. Four in the morning then straight to bed, and if your tired tomorrow Jubilee you have only yourself and your Uncle Scott to blame. Now scoot over and let yer Momma sit down." Rogue said as she hopped over the sofa and landed next to her daughter.

Chapter Four: You did what?

Oh my god. How am I gonna explain that I don't remember getting my tongue and eyebrow pierced. Those were the thoughts that ran though my mind as I woke up this morning, a pain in my forehead and my tongue swollen. Groggily I waltzed to the mirror in the dance of the fatigued and tired, eyes bleary as I looked into the mirror. Suddenly awake, I tapped the offending piece of metal and hissed in pain. Opening my mouth, to my horror I found a tongue stud there, while my tongue was swollen. How did this happen, when did this happen I thought with panic rising. Suddenly a knocking came at my door and I turned to look with horror, knowing I couldn't call out to ask who it was, for my voice would surely be distorted.

"Robert, could you please wake up soon, we have that trip to the Star Trek convention this afternoon and we need to get heading out." Hank remarked from the door, my panic rising.

Hank, resident genius and practitioner of medicine was outside my door. What questions would he ask about this situation, of what was going through my mind when this occurred, of where I got it and whether it was sterile and clean? The panic escalated as the pounding on my door continued. I could hear the door handle jingling, and of keys being pressed to the door. Since when did Hank have keys to my room, oh, yeah, he stole mine and got a set made after I did the same and changed his locks, great. I dive under the covers of my bed and press my face to the pillow. Bad idea I realize as I shriek out in pain and start to bleed. Oh god I'm bleeding, I forgot I'm a bleeder. My face is growing damp with blood as I hear Hank near the bedside.

"Robert, are you well?" Hank inquires as he places a gentle hand on my shoulder.

My muffled response doesn't help matters and he shakes me, suddenly noticing the blood. I feel myself being lifted up, panic in my eyes as I look to Hank, my face marred by my own blood and the offending piercing

"Robert, might I inquire what has occurred here that you got a piercing and did not take care to talk to me of it?" Hank asks, having long since been my confidant and friend, moreover dispenser of free medical advice.

"Ah con't wemembah." I reply truthfully.

"You mean to inform me that you do not even recall where you had this done?" Hank replies, forcing my jaw open and finding the piercing in my tongue.

I shake my head, shame rising. Slowly Hank helps me to my feet and walks me out to the hallway, pausing at Jubilee's room and giving it a light knock. Muffled curses are heard as she tries to get back to sleep, and Hank decides to knock louder. Something akin to a snarl is heard, and at this Hank pulls out his set of keys again, unlocking Jubilee's door. I look to him and he raises a finger to his lips. Opening the door, we find Jubilee in a tangle of blankets.

"Jubilee?" Hank asks.

"Five more minutes Miss Frost!" Jubilee screams, obviously a habit from her days at the Massachusetts academy.

"Jubilee, when you went out with Robert last night, did you two do anything together that might result in Robert ending up with a pierced eyebrow and tongue." Hank asks, to which Jubilee suddenly shoots straight up in her bed, her nose pierced and two more piercings in either ear.

"Come with me." Hank remarks in a tired voice, Jubilee dragging herself out of bed and mumbling that she thought it was a dream.

As the trio of mutants head down the hall, Remy leaves his room and stretches, giving a curious look to the trio. A small trail of blood follows Bobby, while on either a bandage can be seen on their backs. Shaking his head, Remy decides to let that be found later, it wasn't his fault that they took his suggestion literally, nor that he didn't realize how intoxicated they were at the time. Sighing, it seemed like a good day to visit anywhere other than where he was currently found.

Chapter Five: Home Brew

" Merde! Wolverine is gonna gut me for scratching his Harley!" Gambit exclaimed as he looked at the offending scratch.

"Ya what!" Rogue exclaimed, hopping off the back of Gambit's bike and joining him in the patient observance of the scratch.

"You t'ink he notice?" Remy asked weakly, trying to lie to himself.

"Remy, Sugah, Love, Darling, the man can smell you coming from a mile away, tell every colour there is in Ororo's garden with a glance, and detect every single spice ya put in that abomination ya call chili, of course he's gonna notice." Rogue replied, noticing how Remy paled at the truth.

"Den I be dead. It was nice knowing ya Rogue, give de others my regards, non?" Remy replied as he sat down and leaned against the bike, waiting to accept his fate.

Suddenly Remy found that himself skidding across the garage floor by a gruff shove by Rogue, slamming into the opposite wall. Looking up hurt, both physically and emotionally, Rogue walked off without so much as a word. Stumbling to his feet, Remy raced after her until he finally caught up to her.

"Roguey, why did you just send me slamming into the wall?" Remy asked.

"Cause ya are being a silly fool. I got some nail polish that'll fix that scratch up no problem. Now hurry before Logan heads down to the Auger Inn." Rogue explained, racing off to her bedroom.

As they arrived in Rogue's room, Remy sat on the bed while she rummaged through her makeup. Looking about, Remy soon drifted off to the closet, peeking in. Slowly opening the door with his toe, a cough brought him out of his snooping as Rogue stood with arms crossed, glaring at him.

"Maybe Ah should just let Logan kill you." Rogue hissed.

"Sorry." Remy replied, joining her as she left her room.

As they arrived back at the garage they found Logan's bike still sitting there. Carefully Rogue pulled out her nail polish and applied it, then taking a cotton swab with nail polish remover and smoothing it out. As they waited for it to dry, they could hear the sound of Logan leaving the house. Realizing Logan would smell the nail polish remover, Rogue looked to Remy's bike and dragged her keys across it. Remy all but fainted after, growing ever more pale. As Logan walked in, Rogue uncapped the nail polish remover and nail polish.

"Someone key your bike Gumbo?" Logan inquired as he walked past, mounting his bike and fishing for his keys.

"Oui." Remy replied in a weak voice.

"Well, rather than Rogue fixin' it up with Martha Stuart hints, why don't you join me tomorrow, getting' my bike repainted." Logan as he turned on the bike and drove out of the garage.

In the garage, Remy and Rogue looked to one another, chagrined by what just happened. As Remy looked to the three gashes in his bike, he fainted.

Disclaimer : Marvel Owns The X-men, I'm just borrowing them.

Dire Straits - Planets of the New Orleans

Standin' in the corner
of toulouse and dauphine
waitin' on marie-ondine

The rain threw itself upon the streets in sheets, wind blowing down the streets, my trench coat billowing at its whim. Thunder crackled in the distance, lightning flaring occasionally, the shadows sent fleeing back to the darkest parts of the alleys. It was a risk coming here, but what am I if not a gambler, Remy LeBeau, known to this city and the world over as Gambit.

I'm tryin' to place a tune
under a louisiana moonbeam
on the planet of new orleans

I can hear the music of the bar ahead, almost ghostly with the way it flickers out of existence at the will of the wind, leaving only a howling that reaches the depths of my soul. Footsteps sound behind me, slamming in the puddles of the streets. As I turn, a card falling seemingly from the shadows that surround me, I see a couple racing to a house, smiles on their faces that are red with embarrassment at being caught in the storm. The glow fades from the card as I pocket it, resuming my trudge to the bar.

in a bar they call the saturn
and in her eyes of green
and somethin' that she said in a dream

Slipping the doorman a fifty, he lets me pass while shocked looks fall across those who still cling under the awning awaiting their turn to join the others in the bar. Leaving my coat at the coat check, I give my hair a quick shake, with the excess water shed it falling down over my face and hiding my eyes. Looking about the bar, I see her standing at the old juke box, bent over and running through the list, looking for a song as she taps a quarter against the glass. About her men stand, like jackals ready to pounce.

inside of my suit I got my mojo root
and a true love figurine
for the planet of new orleans

Walking through the crowd, skirting about the dance floor where lovers embrace one another to the slow song playing, I make my way to her. Without a sound I creep up to her, wrapping my arms about her waist and leaning over her, gently whispering sweet nothings in her ear. The tension that filled her at my touch eases as she knows its not another of the fools that would dare court this lady. I rest my chin on her shoulder, ever careful of the peril that fills our love, looking over the songs.

"Dey lady having trouble deciding which song to play?" I ask quietly, noticing the smile on her face as her gaze falls upon her song of choice.

"Just waitin' for some swamprat ta pull himself outta the swamp and get cleaned up is all." Rogue replies, putting her quarter in and pressing the buttons of the juke box.

"Did I clean up enough for de lady?" I ask, taking a step back, allowing her to stand up.

Rogue looks me up and down, her emerald eyes seeming pleased with what she finds. As she takes a step up towards me, I take one back, my hand reaching inside my shirt pocket for a silk handkerchief tied off with a satin ribbon. Handing it to her, she looks up to me with a curiosity that makes her appear ever naïve and innocent, my heart racing at that sight. As she opens it, I finally take note of the song that is playing, an old favorite of mine.

new orleans - the other planet
with other life upon it
and everythin' that's shakin' in between

The ribbon is gently untied, then wrapped about one of her slender fingers hidden under a glove of the softest satin I could have found upon our last anniversary of this courtship. As she opens the handkerchief, a gloved hand is raised to her lips, her eyes wide with what now lays in her hand, nestled within the silk. Stepping in, I carefully take the chain in my fingers, opening the clasp as I step about her. Her breath is caught as the cold silver touches her delicate neckline, while the emerald falls squarely in the middle of her chest.

if you should ever land upon it
you better know what's on it
the planet of new orleans

Her eyes look up to my own, tears within hers. I know what lingers upon her lips and within her soul, but I am a man of the old ways when it comes to true love. Every action taken into account, every breath of my love cherished. Reaching for the silk handkerchief I take it in my hands, pulling it across her lips and embracing her. The world slows for the both of us, with only the gentle play of lips between silk and the breath falling across those same lips being of any matter. The music gently drifts throughout this moment, a quiet accent and a way back to reality. The moment passes, but the fire that burns between us only flares further as we hold one another, slowly starting to dance.

now I'm tryin' to find my way
through the rain and the steam
I'm lookin' straight ahead through the screen

The night passes by too quickly, and I can see sleep taking hold of her as we dance, her motions fatigued and her eyes heavy. Sighing, as always, nothing lasts forever. Walking with her to the coat check and gathering out garments. She looks out to the storm, and I look to her coat. Always the gentleman I throw my long leather trench coat over her as we walk out into the streets. Cabs pass by, and finally I hail one down. Opening the door for her, she steps in as I follow.

"Mah knight in shining armor." Rogue whispers, a smile and take her hand in my own, kissing it.

and then I heard her say
somethin' in the limousine
'bout taking a ride across the planet of new orleans

The ride across town to her hotel takes longer than it should, the rain slowing traffic to a crawl. Looking over to her, she has long since fallen asleep and I can only smile at the blissful expression on her face. Her voice whispers something, but with the slapping of the wiper blades I cannot make it out, a shame. Looking about, I feel the old pull of my home drawing upon me, something in my blood making my heart ache. Shaking my head, I merely need look as far as across the seat to find the love that sooths that old pain.

if she was an ace
and I was just a jack
and the cards were never seen

The cab finally pulls up and I give the driver the fare and a generous tip. Stepping back out into the storm, I find him standing at the door, opening it for me as I take Rouge into my arms. The awning above us protects us from the rain, but the crash of thunder draws her eyes open with a start. Looking up to me, that smile of hers draws me into her eyes, seats for the love we share. Kissing her brow, hidden under her matted hair, I make my way to the hotel where the doorman stands, opening the door. I make note to tip him on the way out.

we could have been the king and the queen
but she took me back to her courtyard
where magnolia perfume screams

I find my way to the room, the door man having followed more out of a kind heart than the insatiable longing for a tip. He opens the door for us and I enter, gently laying Rogue upon the bed. Returning, I give him a twenty and thank him, dashing his attempts to give back the bill. Smiling, I force him out of the room, wishing him a good evening. Returning, I find Rogue upon the bed, the blankets pulled about her and fast asleep. A smile creeps across my face as a draw near, pulling out the silk handkerchief and kissing it, placing it in her grasp.

Showing myself out and retrieving my coat I make my way back down the lobby of the hotel, pausing once outside and under the awning. Pulling a silver cigarette tin from my coat pocket, I press one to my lips only to realize that the wind is too strong for mere matches. Looking about, I find the doorman holding out a lighter, one of the wind resistant ones. Giving him a nod of thanks I light up, taking that first drag and savoring the warmth. Handing the lighter back, I offer the doorman a cigarette, which he accepts and lights up.

"Merdi, you been most helpful tonight mon ami." I say, pulling my coat on finding my hand resting on that last gift not given.

"Glad to be of service." The man replies in a genuine voice, and I can only hope that the rest of the patrons are as generous with their tips as I have been, for he truly deserves it.

Pulling the last gift out, I open the small ring box and look to emerald that stares back at me, the same glint held in the eyes of my love. Sighing, maybe next time I muse as I snap it shut. Giving a nod to the doorman, I pocket the ring and step out into the night. The storm rages about me, but I hardly mind it, for a far worse storm rages in my heart.

"Sir? Would you like me to call you a cab?" The doorman yells over the storm.

"Non, I got some t'inking to do!" I yell back, carrying on into the night, never looking back.

behind the gates and the granite
of the planet of new orleans

Disclaimer : Marvel Owns The X-men, I'm just borrowing them.

Dire Straits - Iron Hand

with all the clarity of dream
the sky so blue, the grass so green
the rank and file and the navy blue

A sharp wind blew across the battlefield and through the trenches, stealing the breath of the sleeping, weakening the will of the waking, and giving pause to those as they looked up to the sky, lost to the moment. Off on the horizon bursts of light, dead mans light could be seen, shells battering against the front. The mud had long since grown hard and brittle, frost covering it with the setting of the sun, hope faltering as men prayed to see the morrow. Letters home were being penned by candle light, ink freezing. Written were loving words to wives that may never be, final words of guidance to sons that may grow up without a father, and words of comfort to mothers fearing they may loose their ageless children. Looking to them, the rhythmic sound of the hone against steel, my only prayer would be that I'd bring them home.

the deep and strong, the straight and true
the blue line they got the given sign
the belts and boots marched forward in time

Silence, a worse pain than any wound, came finally, only the wind dared sound against the weight of the moment. With one last stroke of pen against parchment, they handed off the letters, bonds stronger than steel forged in those moments as the friends staying swore oaths that their loved ones would receive the final words, hand delivered with heavy hearts. In war, the stakes leave few with the indestructible bravado of youth, only the bitter truth that they would not return this time. Looking to them, flames of honor burned in their eyes, burning away the shell of innocence and leaving in the ashes, men.

the wood and the leather the club and shield
swept like a wave across the battlefield
now with all the clarity of dream

Rifles handed out, pistols holstered, we moved out, biting down hard as the wind blew against us, steeling us for the battle before. The hill rose before us, barbed wire running unto the heavens, a steel bramble patch keeping out the foxes rising from their holes. Victory would be had with the hill taken, defeat only sending more men to their deaths. Looking to my men, I knew come the dawn, the hill would be taken. Crossing the breach, no mans land stretched out before us, a place for only the dead and the dying, not men. Looking about, the day old flesh of friends gone before sat, pain still held upon faces. Never in vain again I heard a man whisper, like a wave of truth coming crashing down upon us all, the words passed through the ranks, drawn back to the sea of denial, silence on the beach one more.

the blood so red, the grass so green
the gleam of spur on the chestnut flank
the cavalry did burst upon the ranks

Halfway up the hill we paused, men falling as still as the corpses that littered the earth, darkened blood spilled in puddles, a flies feast. Footsteps echoed on the hastily constructed floor of the bunker, a sentry stirred to life by the shadows of the battlefield. Fear welled in our throats, breath caught as the German solider looked down from his citadel, holding death in one hand and life in the other. Edging closer to the machine gun, time slowed as we knew the moment of truth had arrived. Each heartbeat an eternity, a rifle pulled to the ready, aim taken, waiting for that final step, the fury of Hell itself held in the balance as we waited. A step back, the figure gone, only the whispers of our own demons echoing in our ears as our hearts pounded against our chests.

oh the iron will and the iron hand
in England's green and pleasant land
no music for the shameful scene

Pause given to catch our breath, pounding chests ease, the tide or rage to ebb. Courage given by memories of all that was held in the balance, a love's caress, a mother's hug, a son's respect. Onward, a wave of the hand, order given. Midnight was burning like a wildfire across the land, darkness our only ally, our oldest enemy. Further up the hill we scrambled through the mud, our faces covered in filth of battles past, soil not of our homeland, blood of our kin. Finally we came, the bunker within reach, our goal to be taken. Shouts suddenly came, footsteps slamming against wood, time enough not given. Panic, we would not fail, could not fail. Bullets screaming out of their casings, a hellfire of lead raining upon the ranks, blood spilled.

that night they said it had even shocked the queen
well alas we've seen it all before
knights in armour, days for yore

The sting of lead in my flesh, the rage rising, the beast thrashing against it's chain. A roar, inhuman and startling. My men were dying, screaming for one of their own to do it. Looking across the battle field I saw him, a kid barely a man, but so much more, still clinging to the package. Risking all, only the rage giving me strength, I burst from the mud, pistol drawn as I charged towards him. Bullets shot into me, rending flesh from bone, but something no longer human carried me on. Picking up the package of explosives, I ran towards the bunker, racing with all the strength the rage gave me. A shout from my men, his dying breath, his last wish, a name.

"Send them to Hell Sergeant Logan!" The voice cried with the last of his breath, a gunshot fired.

Their faces held shock, fear as I ran, the German solider trying to turn the machine gun towards me, but not having time. Throwing the package towards them, a shot fired, Hellfire unleashed, the explosion sent me tumbling down the hill, barbed wire tearing at me, ensnaring me. Eyes heavy, I looked up to the fires that burned, another explosion tearing the citadel apart. The world grew dim about me, death calling, my vision hazy. A voice whispered in my ear, concern held. My eyes opened again, the battle field gone, an angel sitting upon my bed, her green eyes filled with love that could never be had.

"Logan, are you alright?" She asks, I suddenly find myself aware of the fine sheen of cold sweat over me.

"Just a dream." I whisper, Jean placing a hand upon my shoulder after the breath spent.

"You sure?" She asks, edging closer.

"Yeah, just a dream." I bark, rising from my bed and leaving, heading to the only place that can quiet the souls calling to me.

The sound of an engine roaring to life, tires squealing over the pavement, a figure tearing into the night as if all of hell were chasing him. And at a window of that house, a figure waits, hand upon her heart, another on the window. From the shadows another steps to join her, wrapping his arms about her. Comfort shared. Looking up to the eyes hidden behind glasses of quartz and ruby, a sad smile creeps across her lips.

"Just a dream, go back to bed Scott, I just need to clear my head." Jean whispers, pressing a kiss to her husbands lips.

With a nod, he leaves her side, knowing there is nothing he can do to help his love, nor anything she can do to help the man who will forever hold that piece of her heart not open to her husband. As he retired, only the sound of thunder in the distance breaking the silence of the moment, and only the sound of wind tearing through a man's soul upon the open highway, silencing the voices of the dead.

the same old fears and the same old crimes
we haven't changed since ancient times

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