Ashes and Pipe Dreams

by Timesprite



Disclaimer: Dom isn't mine... no matter how much I write her. *sigh* Property of Marvel...yada yada yada. Don't sue me okay?

Notes: This is a companion piece to 'Porcelain Masks.' Actually, I wrote this first, then stole the idea to use in the half-finished fic that'd been siting on my hard drive. Muses, gotta love 'em. Much thanks to the lovely Lyss who did a beta in a hurry for moronic ol' me who should have sent the two stories off together in the *first place.*

Happy birthday, kid. Yeah, itís been another year. Too long since Iíve been here, and Iím sorry for that. Lifeís been hell. But then again, when hasnít it? I didnít forget, though. Iíd never do that to you. Not when I spend 364 days out of the year pretending you never were- keeping you locked up in my heart and not sharing you with anyone else. Then I slip away and make the trek here.

I brought flowers. Hope you can appreciate them, kido.

After this is over, Iím gonna go get really drunk. Maybe then it wonít hurt so much. Hell, who am I kidding? I say that every year, and it never does work. 

Okay, well, Iím going to apologize again here. I was young, I was stupid. I thought somehow I could make things work for us. Thought I could walk away from all the violence and death that defined my life, even then. Thought we could take a shot at being a nice little family, just you and me. But like I said, I was stupid. I didnít chose this life, it chose me, and it wasnít about to let me get away that easy.

Yíknow, the cops decided it was a gas main that exploded that night. An accident that leveled our house and the two next door. An accident... that I walked away from when no one else did. I cursed my luck that night, crawling out of burning wreckage with you in my arms, clinging to you though I knew you were gone beyond all hope of a miracle. A part of me died that flame-lit night, the part that longed for normality. 

Some people would say it was stupid- I wasnít even your real mother, after all, but I was the one that found you hidden safely away in the cubbyhole of a house filled with carnage. I was the one who took you away from there with the promise Iíd make it all up to you, your motherís dead, accusing eyes haunting me as I carried you from that house of death.

Weíd made a pretty good start of things, too. Two years of relative normalcy, and I was getting used to the whole Ďmomí thing. Then it all blew up in my face. Literally.

I keep thinking that maybe if Iíd done the responsible thing and given you to someone else who could have taken care of you the way you deserved, instead of pumping my pipe dreams through you, you might still be here. But you wouldnít have been with me. Maybe thatís a damned selfish thing to be thinking- that I wouldnít change things if it meant never having you at all. You were a bright spot in my life, Vihnie, still are, despite the pain. The look in your eyes, the feeling I got when you called me Ďmomí...well, thereís nothing on earth that could replace that. So I guess the thing I regret the most is that we didnít have longer...Christ. Here I go, crying like a fool. You were my salvation, kid, and I guess I really just wanted to say thank you for that.

Well, until next year.


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