A Mother’s Pain

By: Indy



Disclaimer: Domino, Jean Grey, etc. all belong to Marvel while Mercedes Ember belongs to little ol’ me.

Here’s some back ground:

This is not the normal Marvel universe, but is extremely close. The only difference is (well, for Dom anyway) that before she joined up with Cable, she had a baby girl, Mercedes. However, to support her she did join up with Cable but never mentioned Merc and managed to hide the fact that she had a three year old girl. Every time she could, she would go back to the friend that was keeping her safe and see her.

Unfortunately, right after Merc turned ten she was kidnapped by an unknown group and vanished without a trace. Domino went frantic, quit the group to search for her child. However, she was never found and Dom buried herself in her work, eventually rejoining Cable when he started X-Force.

Never giving up hope, she eventually turned, not to Cable, but to Jean Grey and the two women continued the search. They did find her, but she is now twenty years old even though only five years have passed, which is a complete mystery. Also, she is now lying in a hospitable bed with severe injuries.

This story is Dom’s reaction to finding her daughter.

The electronic doors to Saint Mary’s Hospital opened with an electronic hiss that made Domino cringe. She hated hospitals with a passion. The smell, especially. That clean smell that was so alien and ... lifeless.

It washed over her in waves as she walked towards the Nurse’s station, nearly making her gag. She had spent way too much time in hospitals for her to ever fully relax. Even now, her stomach was tensing, and it made her feel like she was about to go into battle.


'Of course,' she thought, hating the way she was feeling, 'it might be because I’m about to see my daughter for the first time since she was ten.'

“Excuse me,” she said, stopping at the dimly lighted Nurse’s station, “can you tell me where Mercedes Ember is at?”

The elderly lady briefly consulted a chart that was hanging by a blinking computer terminal. “She’s in room 134. Down the hall and it’ll be the last one.”


Questions nagged at Domino’s mind, racing in circle’s, over and over again. 'What will I say? How is she? How the hell did she age ten years in five?! Will she forgive me?' The last one kept getting stronger by the second, and seemed to pulse along with her heartbeat.

The door appeared before her suddenly and she stopped before it’s faded exterior. A sudden desire to turn and run sprang up but she squished it down. 'C’mon, I’ve faced a number of villains, X-Force, *Storm*, and Cable all in the same morning, *before* my coffee. I can do this.

She twisted the knob and pushed the door open quietly, her eyes scanning the room without her really knowing that she did it. Pure instinct. She encountered nothing that wasn’t supposed to be there.

And there, lying on the bed was her daughter. She closed the door behind her and leaned against the cold wood, staring at the sleeping form. Tendrils of midnight black hair framed the head that rested on the pillow, but it stopped just below the jaw level. Her face was tanned, with a strong jaw, small nose and full mouth. The only thing that marred it was the stark white bandages wrapped around her forehead.

The rest of Mercedes’ body was covered with the ugly sheets that the hospital provided, but from what Domino could ascertain she was slender and short.

Breathing suddenly became so much harder and Domino pushed herself away from the door and stopped at the foot of the bed. She needed to do something, so she grabbed the medical information and scanned it.

'Two broken ribs, concussion which is fading, several lacerations to the back, pulled muscle in the right leg and sprained left wrist. What have you been up to these past years? Have you missed me, or have you pushed me to the farthest reaches of your mind, trying to forget?'

She replaced the medical sheet and took a seat beside the bed. Hesitantly, Domino reached out her hand and took her daughter’s in hers. Clasping the warm hand, memories suddenly poured through her mind, taking her back.


*“Argh! Why the hell didn’t I ask for medicine?! *Gasp*!”

“Just one more push, ma’am, and then it’ll be over with.”



“Congratulations, Ms. Ember, you have a healthy baby girl.”

As she held her child in her arms, Domino (then going by Cassandra Ember), gazed down at the miracle in her arms. For once in her life, she felt whole and strangely at peace.*


*“Momma!” the five year old cried, jumping up from her coloring book as Domino threw open the door.

The weary woman smiled and gathered her daughter in her arms, her worries forgotten for now. “And how’s my girl today?” she asked, knowing if any of her teammates saw her they would be shocked. Gone was the sarcastic, extremely capable warrior. It was replaced by a loving mother, who knew she had the most beautiful daughter on the face of the earth.

“I went to the park, and then Sam pushed me on the swings.” She tilted her head and gave her mother a puppy dog look she knew would get her her way. “Momma, can we go to the park and can you push me on the swings?”

Laughing, Domino swung her around. “Merc, let me change and then we’ll do anything you want to do. Within reason, bright one.”*


*“I can’t do it!” Merc shouted, now seven, throwing down the jumping rope in frustration.

“Just try it a couple of times, bright one,” Domino said, knowing her daughter could do anything, “and you’ll get the hang of it. You can do anything.”

“Momma, what if I couldn’t. Would you get mad?”

Domino dropped to her knees and looked her daughter in the eyes. “Listen to me: I would love you if you couldn’t do a thing, but I know you can. You can do anything you want to, and don’t let anything stand in your way. And remember this, I’ll always love you, no matter what.”*


*“Merc? Mercedes, where are you?” Domino called out, throwing her duffel bag on the ground. Suddenly she knew something wasn’t right, that something awful had happened. “Mercedes?!”

She pounded up the staircase, and flung open her ten year old daughter’s bedroom door. It was in shambles, clothing flung everywhere, the bed broken in two four or five different pieces. Crumpled in the corner lay the body of Sam, the woman that had looked over Mercedes. And from the way she lay, had attempted to protect the girl. Scrawled on the wall was this message: ‘Domino, you’ve stopped us so many times consider this payback. You’ll never see your daughter again. Have a nice life.’

And for one of the few times in her life, Domino broke down and sobbed. She let out an ear piercing shriek, vowing revenge and vowing that she would find her daughter.*


Tears flowed freely down her face and she suddenly realized that she had been talking out loud. Then she noticed that Mercedes’ fingers entwined between her own and Domino lifted her head and found herself staring into oddly colored yellow eyes that were overflowing with tears.

A shaky smile grew on her face and Merc whispered, “It took you long enough to do it, mom.”

Within seconds, Domino was on the bed, embracing her carefully, trying to avoid the injuries. And the two women, mother and daughter, were finally reunited.

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