Sinatra Cycle: All My Tomorrows
by Alicia McKenzie
DISCLAIMER: The characters belong to Marvel, and are used without permission for entertainment purposes only. The Sinatra lyrics are also used without permission, for entertainment only. This is set in a possible near-future, after Apocalypses death, and should be read as a companion piece to Goodbye.
AUTHORS NOTE: The concept of the Sinatra Cycle is basically non-connected scenes from various periods and pivotal moments in Cable and Dominos mutual history, accompanied by Sinatra lyrics. For those of you who dont know, Sinatra is canonically Cables favorite singer, and I find it uncanny how many of his songs fit. I got all the lyrics for this and further installments from the Sinatra Songbook at www.vex.net/~buff/sinatra/song_index.html and Im using them all without permission, for entertainment purposes only.
Just a few minutes, Hank said softly. I nodded, keeping my expression as composed as I could as I stepped around the partition. At the sight of the still, bandaged form lying on the biobed, I hesitated, biting my lip so hard that I tasted blood. *Oh, Nate. . .* I had to hold on to the partition for a moment, for support. Id expected it to be bad, after the way Scotts voice had sounded on the phone, but he looked so. . .
Domino? A large, blue-furred hand came down gently on my shoulder.
Im fine, Hank, I said roughly. I reached up and squeezed his hand anyway.
And I was. Totally in control of myself. It was just. . .this wasnt winning. You couldnt call it that. Silently, I moved across the room and sat down beside the bed.
I hear you didnt leave enough of Apocalypse for a Dustbuster to pick up, I said weakly, after a long moment. His chest rose and fell in a shallow, but regular rhythm. The soft noises the monitors made as they kept track of his vital signs were oddly reassuring. Although I should kick your ass, you know. Bad enough I was one of your Twelve and you didnt tell me. . .but you should have let me BE there, Nate.
Id felt it, like something tugging at the inside of my head, and collapsed in the middle of a sparring session with Jimmy while my mind was pulled halfway across the world to Akkaba. Everything got sort of. . .blurry, after that. All I remembered was light and heat and one scream from Nathan before everything had gone dark. . .
You should have let me be there, I repeated in a whisper, brushing the back of my hand across my eyes, irritably. Im not going to let you off the hook about this, you know, I continued, forcing my voice back to normal as I reached forward and took his hand, about the only part of him I could safely touch at the moment. Im serious. Listen to my voice. You know Im serious.
His lips parted, but he didnt speak. I heard the words in my mind, instead, a weak whisper that I had to concentrate hard to hear.
#I. . .know.#
I pulled the chair closer to the bed, blinking back tears as I saw his eyes flutter open. He tried to smile, and I squeezed his hand as tightly as I dared.
You are a mess, I said with an unsteady smile, assessing what I could see of his injuries and matching it up with what little Hank had told me. Touch-and-go, Scott had said on the phone. Id never liked that expression. See what happens when you try to do things by yourself? You need a keeper. . .
He swallowed. It looked like it hurt. Offering? he murmured, his voice raw, barely audible.
I wasnt sure whether it was a joke or not. Maybe, I finally said, laying his hand back down by his side carefully and straightening the blanket covering him. Then again, maybe not. I tried to smile. It came out twisted, more than a little bitter.
#Youre. . .angry.# He sounded almost resigned, the idiot.
Yeah, I am, I said, careful to keep my voice low. I didnt need Hank in here kicking me out for yelling at his patient, even though that was what I really wanted to do. Yell at him. . .or hold on to him tight and not let go for the rest of my life. I hadnt decided yet. You should have told me, Nate.
D-Didnt. . .want. . .
Me there, I said, trying to stay casual. I know THAT, Nathan. Im guessing it was a combination of needing to know I was with the kids, and wanting to protect me in that typically chauvinistic way of yours. The first doesnt really bother me, but the second. . .didnt I tell you what I was going to do to you if you ever pulled shit like that again?
He closed his eyes, and I flinched at the sight of one solitary tear trickling down his cheek. Damn it, I said, more softly, reaching out and brushing it away gently. I forgive you, all right? Since you managed to come back alive, I forgive you. Now, if youd gotten yourself killed, you stubborn old son of a bitch. . . I let the threat trail off, shaking my head. I shouldnt be doing this, not now. . .
But part of me had to know.
What do you do now, Nate? I asked. Once Hanks finished putting you back together, I mean. I wasnt going to think about any alternative. It WAS going to happen. That was all there was to it.
He opened his eyes, blinking up at the ceiling. #You. . .make me sound like. . .Humpty-Dumpty, or something. . .#
I took his hand again. Dont avoid the question.
A few more tears escaped and followed the first. I wasnt sure whether they were from pain, or frustration, or something else. . .#I dont. . .KNOW, all right? D-Dont know what I. . .want. That what you w-wanted to hear?#
Thatll do, I whispered, blinking back tears of my own. But you know what I really do want, Nate? I want you to give yourself the chance to find out. I want you to find something worth living for. I smiled shakily. You think you might want to try that?
Got. . .a f-few ideas, he whispered brokenly, his eyes fixing on my face with something close to desperation in their pain-fogged depths. Dom. . .p-please? #Dont. . .go?#
I got up and sat down gingerly on the bed beside him, careful not to jostle him. Ive got a few ideas too, I whispered, leaning over and kissing him gently. We can talk about that later. Close your eyes.
Sleep claimed him again about as quickly as Id expected. I moved back to the chair and took his hand again. Weve got plenty of time, Nate, I said softly. I wasnt going to let it be any other way. If our thoughts shaped the universe, like he was always saying, than I was going to make mine into master architects, or die trying.
Hank poked his head in a few minutes later, smiled, and left again without a word.
Today I may not have a thing at
Except for just a dream or two
But Ive got lots of plans for tomorrow
And all my tomorrows belong to you
Right now it may not seem like
spring at all
Were drifting and the laughs are few
But Ive got rainbows planned for tomorrow
And all my tomorrows belong to you
As long as Ive got arms
that cling at all
Its you that Ill be clinging to
And all the dreams I dream, beg, or borrow
On some bright tomorrow theyll all come true
And all my bright tomorrows belong to you
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