Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Come on an adventure in the Marvel Universe. Your character could be a superhero, regular person, or a wacky alien...Basically, anything else that exists in that 'verse.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

McIvors

"Great! I'll pick you up tomorrow at...six? I wanna beat the commuter rush, you know?"

Cait had clearly taken Marshal's hesitant agreement as a solid 'yes' and was now proceeding to make 'firm plans'. She'd learned that she needed to do that or her life just became filled with half-made plans and a sad social life. Of course, whether or not the person actually wanted to make plans or was simply being polite by initially agreeing was something Cait still hadn't fully figured out.

"Dogs are done!" she bellowed toward the house, despite the patio certainly being close enough to the house to not require that volume of speech. Rhiannon shot her a glare and she returned a smirk. Her sister was certainly chatting George up. It did look like it might be something serious, but really, that was all the more reason to interrupt. Private conversations were now something Cait considered to be potential points of concern. If she and Rhys were going to live together and get them and the kids back home - they really needed to be on the same page.

Her cooking duty performed, she shut the grill off and picked up hers and Marshal's conversation where she'd left off. "Super soldier, huh? Yeah, I guess can see it." She gave him a side glance and a half-smirk as though to suggest she hadn't noticed his finely-tuned physique. "Don't know why that gives SHIELD the right to stick their nose in, but you might have to enlighten me on that another day. I have a strict 'only nonsense' rule for the dinner table - I know the kids appreciate it."

At this, Ewan and Charis both made over-exaggerated scowly faces which lasted for exactly three seconds before they started laughing.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Rhiannon

Outwardly, she managed to keep her expression neutral, while inwardly she registered some degree of shock. Certainly there were aliens where they came from. There were the Martians, the Kryptonians, the Reach...all of whom tended to be powerful. Rhiannon couldn't help but wonder if alien species in this dimension were similarly gifted.

The talk of war silenced the voice of curiosity.

"I see now why you were concerned. You are in hiding to protect the girls from the other side...I suppose, the other side will want them back. That must have been a very difficult decision." She looked out into the backyard where Annie laughed alongside her children, cheeks ruddy from a day of fun. "But I would guess that the decision becomes less difficult as you see them so happy."

She was certain there was more to the story, like how he'd come across orphans from this other race. How he'd managed to escape with them. Why he made the choices he did that brought him here, to Earth of all places. But it was also obvious that this was a subject he was careful to broach. She didn't want to ask too many questions - nor did they currently have the opportunity to sit down and discuss...life. Picking up the potato salad bowl once more, she nodded toward the gathering in the backyard.

"I suppose we shouldn't keep them waiting. I'm...glad you and the girls are here, George. This place just feels a bit more like home with company."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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George Collins

"Thank you, Rhiannon," George said. "It's nice to be able to talk about it. It's been so hard to pretend to be something I'm not. To hide the truth, all the time. I can't show my true face here. I can't use my real name. That's harder than I expected. I wish..."

They were becoming friends. SHIELD wouldn't approve. But maybe it wasn't too much to ask...?

"Could you use my real name? At least when it's just our families? It would mean a lot to me. My real name is Imiel."

It was a relief to say that, after months where only his false name had passed his lips.

***

Marshal, too, was relieved. He was relieved that Cait wasn't bothered by the whole super soldier thing - that she didn't even seem to care. It was the only thing SHIELD seemed to notice about him. It was nice to be... just some guy, for once.

"Six o'clock. Bright and early. You're on."

He would have to watch the drinking and the pills tonight if he was going to drag himself out of bed that early. Maybe he could even try sleeping without chemical assistance for once?

Marshal let the talk flow around him. Friendly conversation. Normal. It felt good. Maybe there was a way to dig himself out of the hole of depression he'd been in for so long, after all.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

McIvors

Rhiannon stopped and faced him squarely. It was quite the risk he'd taken, telling her his true name. The trust she'd been given in such a short time.

"I would be honoured to call you by your name, Imiel. Thank-you for your trust. I will guard it with my life."

At that moment, Charis ran in and took hold of the potato salad bowl, popping it out of her mom's hands.

"Sheesh Mom, why are you being so slow."

Yes, it was definitely time to have a talk with Cait about the influence she was having on her children. Despite the fact that she was a bit embarrassed by her daughter's lack of regard, she managed to smile and walk out into the backyard knowing their new friends just that little bit better.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel

It felt so good to hear his real name again. There was a smile on Imiel's lips as he sat down to eat. He sensed he could trust them... 'them,' not just Rhiannon, because telling her was telling the whole family by default, since she couldn't exactly use the name and expect no one around her to notice. He was okay with that. It felt right.

The meal was a pleasant one. Even Marshal seemed to be enjoying himself - he was fairly quiet, but seemed relaxed, which probably wasn't typical of him.

Imiel made sure to help clean up the condiment mess before taking the tired girls home, giving them a quick bath, then tucking them into bed.

It had been a good day all around, and they had made some real friends.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Marshal Knox

Marshal was whistling softly under his breath when he got home. He wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings - which became all too clear when a red haired woman stepped into the glow of the porch light, coming between him and the door. Marshal took a step back like he'd been threatened, even though she was just standing there.

"Where have you been, Marshal?"

"Um, just out for a walk, Dr. Thornton."

"I've told you, stop being so formal. Just call me Ginny. We're friends, aren't we? You can trust me. Just Ginny."

"No thanks, Dr. Thornton. No offense."

She looked irritated that he had insisted on keeping that distance between them, but let it pass.

"Where have you been, Marshal?"

"I told you..."

"Where have you really been?"

"I... there was a fire. A kid was trapped. I went to help."

"Oh? You went to help? You aren't supposed to do that, Marshal. You aren't supposed to stress yourself. You could snap. And around a child? Far too dangerous."

"A damn sight less dangerous than a burning house!"

"Oh, really? Are you telling me you've never been a danger to a child, Marshal? That you've never harmed one?"

Marshal looked away, out into the yard. "I just wanted to help..." he muttered.

"Are you so narcissistic as to believe that no one else could? That you were the only capable person there?"

Marshal thought about Cait, how she'd adapted to the smoke. Just as capable as him. He shook his head.

"So you're saying it was just an excuse. How many times have we talked about your excuses, Marshal? Are you ever going to start taking responsibility for your actions?" She let the question hang in the air, then added, "And where did you go after that? The fire has been out for hours. You haven't been home and you haven't answered your phone."

"Some people. Invited me over."

"Invited you over?"

"For a picnic. It was... nice. I just ate and came home. I didn't drink there. I might try not drinking tonight?"

"Oh, you want a medal?" Ginny replied sarcastically, taking a step toward him. He backed up again. Her eyes were level with his. "For a few hours of sobriety? Most people manage that every day, Marshal."

Marshal looked down, embarrassed.

She wasn't done, though, apparently. "You're not supposed to socialize with the neighbors, Marshal. With families? It's far too dangerous. You could hurt them. Are you really that selfish? Do you not care at all that you could have harmed them?"

"I wouldn't..." Barely a whisper. He was embarrassed by his own inability to stand up to her, but he couldn't figure out how to navigate doing that.

"Speak up, Marshal. You wouldn't do what?"

"Hurt them. I wasn't going to. It was nice. I just ate dinner with them."

"Oh really? You can't control yourself, Marshal. You know that."

"I did tonight."

"You belong to HYDRA, Marshal. You always will. The best we can do is contain you and minimize the damage."

"I don't."

"You don't?"

"Not anymore. I... I feel better. I bet SHIELD cured me after all. I bet I'm fixed now."

"Oh really?" Ginny stared for a moment. "That's not what it sounded like last night."

"Last night?" He blinked stupidly at her.

"You were talking in your sleep again." Without any apology for surveilling his house, Ginny pulled out her phone and showed him a video. In the grainy frames, he was talking, saying something he couldn't make out, and then... and then he said it. Hail HYDRA.

Marshal shrank back, horrified.

"You see, Marshal? All the work I've done, all the ways I've tried to help you... but there's only so much I can do. Some people are just beyond help. You need to stay away from people. Leave that poor family alone."

"I will," he said, shaken. "I promise. I'll leave everyone alone."

"Good. What's their name? I have to go apologize for you."

"The... the McIvors."

"Fine. I'll go tell them you're sorry and you won't bother them again."

Marshal just nodded. He couldn't stop hearing the words over and over. His own words. Hail HYDRA.

"Do me a favor, Marshal. Just... stay inside tonight. You've caused enough trouble for one day. I don't need to worry that you're running around somewhere."

"I will."

Ginny stared at him. He stared back. She motioned impatiently toward the door with her chin. She didn't leave until she had made a show of watching him go inside.

Marshal looked around his almost empty house. They hadn't left him with much he could do damage with. He was sure that was on purpose.

He took a piece of paper and a pencil, and started writing.

Dear Cait, Thank you for

Marshal stared at the paper for a long time, but he couldn't figure out how to put the gratitude into words. So he just crossed out the "for," and let the rest stand.

He threw the note on the table by the door, then climbed on a dining room chair.

***

Doctor Thornton consulted her phone for an address, then went and knocked on the McIvors' door.

***

Marshal put his belt around his neck.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Cait McIvor

Once their guests had left, Rhiannon had given her the cold shoulder. It wasn't overt, of course, but she could still feel it like a change in air pressure every time she got anywhere near her twin. Well then. She supposed they were overdue for an adult chat, but she really had hoped they could continue this dance for just a little while longer. Just long enough to have fun and then split ways once they were back in their own dimension. Was it too much to ask for just a little bit of give and take?

It was just so strange to see so much of each other. Though they were almost literally cut from the same cloth, the longer she spent in her sister's presence, the more differences seemed to crop up. Rhiannon went from respecting her role to being annoyed that she wouldn't overstep the bounds of it - sometimes within the space of a breath. It was infuriating. And sure, she knew she was a bit...rough around the edges, but the kids loved her! And admittedly, she loved them too. Children had just never been something on her radar. This attachment she felt to them was unexpected.

When there was a knock at the door, Cait willingly answered it just to get out of the discomfort of Rhy's aura. It was probably George - maybe one of the girls left something behind...but then he would have brought the sleeping kiddos with him? Her assumption was already melting away as she opened the door wide enough to see a woman on the front step. There was something about her that Cait instinctively didn't trust. She looked over the woman's shoulder briefly to see if there was anyone accompanying her, but didn't open the door any wider.

"Can I help you." her voice, flat, indicated that Cait was not looking for conversation.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Ginny Thornton

For just a moment, her eyes were flat and lifeless - but then like a switch flipping, she was warm, her gaze full of sympathetic support and her voice dripping with kindness.

"I'm so sorry to bother you this late. My name is Doctor Virginia Thornton. I'm here to apologize, on behalf of SHIELD. One of my patients has been having difficulty with boundaries, and he came to pester you tonight. Marshal Knox? I've told him sternly to leave you and your family alone. I appreciate that you tried to be kind to him, but Marshal is a dangerous man. He should not be around civilians - especially children. He has a bad temper and a history of violence. I wanted to let you know, so you can stay away from him. If he bothers you again, give me a call, and I'll address the situation further."

She pushed a crisp business card into Cait's hand.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Cait McIvor

She knew it. There was practically a government employee smell about the woman. Cait should have guessed that the agency would be sending people around to check up on them. After all, SHIELD had no idea whether or not they'd be a flight risk and they had certainly seemed annoyed by the extra paperwork surrounding registering mutants.

The woman's speech did not go the way Cait thought it would. She remained silent through the entire thing, amazingly, and looked down at the card wedged in between her fingertips. Ah. So, no ordinary government slimeball - a shrink. It hadn't escaped her notice that the doctor's first name would shorten quite nicely to be 'Ginny', though why this chick would go so far as to come directly to her door to tell her all this...

"Why, I had no idea. Thank-you for letting me know. I'll be certain to contact you if anything happens."

There was really only one way to deal with government types. Tell them what they wanted to hear. Cait could hardly wait to bid the woman goodbye - because she'd then slink out the back and make her way to Marshal's house. Maybe that last bit was a little bit crazy. A lot crazy. But still, if this moron of a psychiatrist had told Marshal what she said she did...Cait just didn't feel right letting him to go bed not knowing the truth.

That he wasn't pestering them. That he was good man and was welcome at their home anytime.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Ginny Thornton

"Good," Ginny said. "SHIELD thanks you for your cooperation. And again, I apologize for Marshal. Have a good rest of your evening, ma'am."

She returned to her car, and peeled out of the driveway with a screech of tires, eager to get back to her own plans that had been interrupted by a wayward patient.

It didn't occur to Ginny that Cait might not have been sincere. Cait had only met Marshal that evening - how much could the woman really care about him? Ginny assumed that Cait was breathing a sigh of relief to know the truth and have an excuse to be rid of him.

Ginny wouldn't mind if Marshal quietly solved the problem of his existence for them both, either. He had been interesting to manipulate, but now he knew too much. Well, the danger he posed would soon end, one way or another.
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