by PoiLass



Disclaimer: Not mine, of-course.

Continuity: After X-force #90, in which Siryn's throat is slashed by Feral, though mostly ignoring #91.

Feedback would be just the _nicest_ thing.

1. Killing Me Softly.

There is something about silence that deafens you. So you surround yourself with sound.

You had a radio, but you broke it earlier this evening, joyfully smashed it to bits, kicked it to pieces, sent it to the place all good little appliances go. You've forgotten why already. For some reason it made you angry.

You've forgotten why already - but you could probably make a good guess.

So, since you can longer carry sound with you -- not ever again, not _ever_ -- you sit again in this pub, watching this boy sing. His voice is nothing special, and it kills you, cruelly. Every note not held long enough, not hit clearly, is a knife in your gut, in your heart -- in your throat, claws too quick to see, pain too new to feel.... You would like to go up to him and tell him that he has no talent. That he should give it up, get a real job.

Of-course, if you _could_ tell him that, you wouldn't want to, and oh, how your life is filled with these little ironies now. You don't find them amusing, but you dwell on them anyway. You dwell on everything. It has come to be a sickness in your stomach, this vicious jealousy, this bitter regret, that you cannot overcome. There is a sick shame in that, too, that you have fallen so utterly, and so quickly, into self-pity.

You think your father would be ashamed of you, your mentor disgusted, your friends full of pity and disappointment, and disdain.

You dwell on that, too.

2. Temptation Waits.

For a while, it was almost easy not to drink. For a while there, you could think about it without much longing, you could watch other people drink and not be envious, and not want especially to join in. You were happy, you were stable, and although there were often problems, although you risked your life all the time, although you fought with your friends, although you sometimes felt quite desperately lonely - you were never really tempted.

And so, despite knowing better, you let yourself believe that the temptation was gone forever, that the struggle was over and done. That you were cured.

You're realising now, right this minute, that you were wrong about that.

And you're realising now, right this minute, that you no longer really give a damn.

3. The Drugs Don't Work.

One of these mornings, you wake up. Your head hurts, and your throat hurts, and your eyes hurt, and as you catalogue your injuries, you realise that they encompass your entire being, and that they are all self-inflicted.

And that you are tired of self-loathing, and self-pity, and that this isn't working, it isn't working at all.

And that you want another drink, very badly.

And you cry for quite some time, without making a sound.

4. Your Voice.

You keep expecting to get used to it.

You keep expecting to stop resenting it.

You keep feeling, that really, you can't possibly sustain this sort of anger indefinitely. You will cool off, and learn to accept it, you will get on with your life, the way heroes always do.

Because you risked your life all the time.

You were risking your life at the time.

You _risked_, as you always have, with the understanding that there might be consequences.

So you hate yourself for this fury you can't let go of, for this grief you aren't getting over, you hate the realisation that, having deliberately, _knowingly_ risked, you were not, after all, prepared to lose.

Not to lose this. Not to lose your voice.

Not to lose flying and singing and talking and screaming and laughing, and your friends, and your cause. And you can't stop listing the things you've lost with one wrong move, and you can't stop being angry about one wrong move, and you can't quit with the could've beens and should've beens, and ifs.

When you named yourself for the women who lured men to their deaths with a song, it was because, in your heart of hearts, you knew that you could do that too.

That men would die for you if you asked them to.

You wrapped your identity up in what you could say.

You've lost more than your voice.

5. Don't Speak.

Another man tries to talk to you. The gesture you make is one that you won't allow to become second nature; a motion towards your throat, an apologetic shrug. You make it quickly, and turn away.

But he catches your arm, your attention, and starts signing at you instead.

For a moment, you stare, the movements are oddly beautiful, and look just like words in a language you don't know.

And then you make another, sorry, sorry, can't help you, gesture, and he apologises too.

You don't watch him go as he leaves.

But you think about it.

6. Say Anything.

Another hangover later, you lie on your bed, you raise your hands in front of your face. They twist and turn and you feel dizzy, and you feel sick, and you watch your own hands, as they dance awkwardly through the air, as if from a great distance. From that distance it is possible to see more clearly, and they seem fine hands to you, slim, elegant, expressive.

You wonder, for the first time, what you might say with them.

And then you head into the bathroom to throw up again.


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