by Brooke Hembree



Cable- Nathan Summers- is many things to many people. I've known him for too many years, yet sometimes, I still marvel at him. Sometimes, I'm amazed at the ease with which he handles his weapons, or wields his mental powers. Other times, I'll see him trying to interact with X-force and it impresses me how far he's brought those kids to having a family...something most of those kids never really had. He no longer intimidates me...I don't have to steel myself for a conversation with him. That's good, since I am his coleader in X-force. We've made a lot of memories since we first met...since I joined the merc group he was running.

Even though I try not to dwell in the past, sometimes I can't help remembering. And my mind most often drifts back to when I was a cocky young merc and he was the Askani Chosen One. He wanted to prevent his future from happening; I was in it for fun and for the money. Of course, I didn't know that then...I didn't know a lot of stuff. He just impressed me....Maybe even intimidated me- not that I'd ever admit it. And maybe I thought that if we could get together-

Well, I don't know what I thought, but I wanted him. And I filled in the blanks about what I thought he was. He didn't have a use for me then, though, outside one of "The Pack." I still remember the first time I realized that. It wasn't exactly a happy memory, yet I have clung to it for years. Maybe because it was so poignant...maybe because for once, I had let my guard down...I don't know. And sometimes, it's so easy to surrender myself to the memories and drift back to that that morning.

I woke up to the morning sun streaming through the windows. I had a headache, which was normal for the morning after a night of drinking. I noticed I was in a strange room, with someone beside me. Not that unusual, either. I sometimes got a little wild when I drunk...and why not?

I was just getting ready to roll over and see who it was, when I remembered the night before. Cable.

Damn. Why had I been so stupid last night? I couldn't blame being drunk, I actually thought this through. He'd had a little bit too much to drink, granted...but me? No. I was just stupid.

I slid out of bed, careful not to wake Cable. I looked around for my clothes....they were all over the room. I sighed. Last night had been incredible. Passionate. Intense.

For some reason, in the bar, he had actually been pretty attentive. We'd talked about a lot of stuff...nothing to personal, but I felt like we were making progress. And when he had kissed me and invited me back to his room, it had seemed like the most logical thing to do.

And now, with the morning light chasing away the shadows, everything was different. I had told myself that he'd love me eventually, that I saw it in his eyes. When he held me, I could believe what he whispered to me. I grabbed my bra from where it had been tossed over a chair. The sun was up, though, and he still didn't love me. It was finally dawning on me that he never would.

Looking at him, everything still seemed so real. If I closed my eyes, I could still feel his hands on my body still. I had never had anyone be that attentive to me, he had seemed fascinated by me. But he didn't love me. I realized that this was an impossible dream of mine, and I was through hoping for it. It was time to wake up and go on with my life.

As I finished dressing, I actually felt tears running down my cheeks. I swallowed, blinking fiercely. Stop it, I admonished myself, It's done. No point in worrying about it now. Another day was starting, and I had to leave this in the past, where it belong.

I started toward the door, then I stopped. It was a moment of utter weakness, but I turned toward the bed. I crossed the room silently, to crouch by his bed. He was so handsome...I was more attracted to him than any other man I'd met. But we just didn't have a chance at a long term relationship. I brushed a quick kiss on his lips. He stirred, but didn't wake. Then, I turned to leave.

Back in my own bedroom, I forced myself to calm down. Maybe I could have loved Cable, but it was stupid to try. I swore to myself then and there to never again admit that I wanted him, needed him, or-

Or loved him. Throughout my life, I have buried things, kept secrets. There were things about me that no one knew, things so horrible, so private, that I rarely even let myself think about them. And as I made mistakes, as I lived, I had made promises. But that night, those emotions that I felt fifteen years ago...That had been my most solemn oath. And I had kept it for fifteen yearsyears. Through everything, I'd been there for Nate as a friend, as a partner, and sometimes even a lover. But I had never mentioned my feelings for him. I'd taken those emotions and hidden them deep within me, so that even I had forgotten about them sometimes. And on those rare occasions when I thought that my emotions might spill over, I remembered my promise.

Now, though, fifteen years and a whole lot of memories later, I was starting to wonder if maybe some promises were made to be broken.

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