Unrealized RealityStarted by Marcos Diaz at Sep 16, 2020 10:15 AM
February 26, 2023
I don't wanna rest. I wanna hit 'em back.
Marcos Diaz has been through a lot in his still quite short lifespan. He had completely lost contact with his birth family after being rejected by them due to his unwillingness to hide his mutation and had found a new one with the Mutant Underground in America, especially with a certain Lorna Dane, also known as Polaris, the brightest star in the northern sky and in his life up until Dawn was born and took that title from her mother, who was still very beloved to him, no doubt.
But fate befell him again and just after the small family of three was reunited at Lorna's aunt's house after all their ordeals and imposed distance caused by the Inner Circle, just after he had had the chance to play with his baby girl again, he felt weird and then saw his hand dusting away. What was happening? He was just happy Dawn was already back at her cradle as he was taken from existence.
When he came back during the Blip, at the same place in Elizabeth's house, he got desperate when neither Lorna nor Dawn could be found anywhere. He knelt and cried for long minutes until a female voice spoke in his mind telling him that they were at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in New York. Weren't they closed? Had they reopened while he was elsewhere? It didn't matter. He would go after his family anywhere.
A few days later, Marcos had managed to arrive at the front gate of the school, having learned by now that five years had passed since his last memory. He wondered if Lorna had moved on and how big Dawn would be now. He was always afraid he wouldn't be a part of his daughter's life and now it was a fact by reasons beyond his will, but he'd do everything in his power to try to remedy that and make sure Dawn knew he was there for her now.
He tried to get inside after being welcomed by a male voice in his mind, but for some reason, his feet wouldn't follow his command to go on and enter as he had just been allowed to do. The gates were opened, but he didn't move. The moment of truth was all too close. What would happen now? Would he be well received? Should he have stayed lost and not come? His mind was coming up with a thousand scenarios while his body remained motionless at the gate.
She’d been told he was coming. Didn’t know exactly when he’d arrive. Tried her best not to just go off running or levitating down the path all the way to the front gate so she could meet him there. No, she had to think of her daughter, now five years old and having only met her father briefly a few times before he was just gone. How was it that out of all the people on the planet it had to be the love of her life taken away from her, while she got to keep going like nothing had ever happened? The only thing that hadn’t torn her apart completely, especially considering her Aunty Liza had also been dusted, was the fact Dawn was not also just ripped away from her at that moment either.
She felt a tug at her right hand, Lorna looking down into eyes of confusion. “But Mummy, Daddy is dead. He died. I don’t understand.” Polaris leaned down to be at the same height as her daughter. “I’m not sure how else I can explain this to you but remember everyone is back now,” she said, with a reassuring smile. “I know, I can’t get my head around it either,” she added, standing back up and holding out her hand. “Come on, Dawn. I know it’s been so long. I know this is strange. Just, look at the picture,” and Lorna pointed at the well-worn photo of Marcos she had given her little girl a long time ago. “He’s back and he’s waiting.”
After pulling forward the photo she'd been holding against her chest this entire time, dark brown eyes glanced down at the face of the man her mother had spoken of so often she could pretty much remember everything about him off by heart. There was no one else in her mother’s life that she cared for more than him, except for her, of course. Along with her Mum, she’d accepted he was gone but it wasn’t until she’d been old enough that Lorna had told her exactly why. Her three-year-old brain had all bar exploded and whenever she heard people mention the dusting and blipping back, her five-year-old mind wasn’t much better at handling it now either.
Reaching the top of the incline that finally allowed them to see all the way across the front of the grounds, Polaris stopped in her tracks, recognising the figure standing at the open gates in the distance immediately. Still looking at the photo, Dawn didn’t notice until she basically ran into the back of her, soon peering around at what had caused her to stop so suddenly.
Marcos shook his head, but his eyes were aimed downwards at his feet as he turned to leave. It was for the best. Suddenly, his heart ached at his decision and he turned back to look inside one more time at the pleasant grounds and, at a considerable distance from the gate, saw Lorna, beautiful as ever, and a small girl, who was giant in size considering what he remembered of her, peering from behind her. His eyes locked on their frames, Lorna's more easily visible than Dawn's, and his feet started to walk towards them as if pulled by an irresistible force. Soon, he was running and a few minutes later, his still 26 years old young body had reached them.
He fell on his knees, not out of tiredness. He could run a much longer distance if needed. He wanted to get down to look his Dawn eye to eye. His smile grew so large that a small tear ran down his left cheek at seeing how beautiful his daughter had become. "Hello, Dawn. I'm Marcos. How you've grown! How beautiful you are, just like your mom." His words left him just as he gave Dawn the tightest hug he was capable. The photo fell on the ground replaced by the real Marcos. He looked up at Lorna and didn't know what to do, so he just did what he was capable. "Lorna, I'm so sorry." As if leaving them behind had been his choice.
Polaris didn’t understand why she too couldn’t move to meet the man she adored with all her heart. Instead just stood there watching him come, feeling the most intense feeling of love she’d ever experienced at the sight of him falling down to take their daughter into his arms. It’d been so long. So, so, long.
Shocked at the suddenness of it all, Dawn wiggled a little in this stranger’s embrace, a mixture of fear and pure kid wonder rushing through her. She glanced up at her Mum, who nodded before she manoeuvred herself a bit so she could see the man’s face properly. The photo on the ground was now face down but she remembered it clearly as if she was still holding it in her hands. She looked down at the cement footpath, then back up into Marcos’ face, repeating this a few more times before her little mind decided this person hugging her so tightly really was indeed the father her Mum had been telling her about all these years. He was the spitting image of the man in the photo. To her, that’s all that mattered, and, well, brown eyes looked at her Mum again, waiting to make sure her reaction was a positive one too.
Marcos’ apology retched at Lorna’s heart. Why would he think… he had to know it wasn’t his fault she and Dawn had been alone all this time. The part of her that felt she may very well be dreaming reached out to touch his head just to make sure. Fingers adorned with varying metal rings then ran through his hair, every part of Lorna inwardly screaming out with joy. She soon slid her hand down to caress the left side of his face, staring into eyes she’d missed so much.
“Marcos,” she whispered, her voice breaking with sheer relief. She didn’t do anything else though, just kept her hand in place, the moment between father and daughter far too precious to interrupt for now.
Seeing this, Dawn very exuberantly cuddled him back. “Daddy!” she cried. “Daddy, I’ve missed you so much!”
Marcos' heart broke for a moment as Dawn seemed to wiggle from his embrace, but then he understood he might be holding her too tight and loosened his hold on her. Also, he was, for all intents and purposes, a stranger to his own daughter. It might take a while for her to accept him as a part of her life. His eyes focused on Dawn's features to burn them on his mind as she looked back at him.
Then, he felt Lorna's hand pass through his hair until it rested on his left cheek. She'd be able to sense his face muscles move to form a welcoming smile before he turned his head slightly and kissed the palm of her hand. "Lorna..." He wanted to say more, but his words also failed him. He still didn't know about her situation, though none of the rings he could notice on her fingers looked like an engagement one. At least, not like a traditional one.
Marcos could no longer control his tears from rolling down his face on both sides when Dawn seemed to finally recognize him as her father. "Te amo mucho, Aurora." He reverted back to his native Spanish due to emotion, but didn't take long to notice it. "I love you so much, Dawn." He translated his last words and tightened his embrace again, but not as much as before.
"When they look at me they see a troubled young woman.
I'll show them trouble."
How Lorna just wanted to take Marcos into her arms, feel his touch again. To kiss those… she glanced away briefly, the mere thought of it causing her a lot of distraction. Soon refocusing her attention on his interactions with their daughter again greatly helped to alleviate her own needs for right now. Their reunion was also something she’d pictured happening over and over, after all. Dreamt about even, long before finding out everyone had indeed been returned to life.
Dawn leaned her head to the side, grinning from ear to ear and what came next made her mother also smile wide, so proud and full of such love it was almost overwhelming, “Te amo también, Papa,” and the little girl proceeded to reach up a small hand, using her forefinger to wipe away at some of the tears.
Marcos was pleasantly surprised to hear Dawn speak in Spanish and a good, fluent one at that. He wondered if there were other speakers at the mansion or if it was Lorna who had taught her after getting used to listening to him in his moments of stress and happiness when he naturally reverted to his mother language. "Mi hija amada." He then kissed Dawn's forehead and picked her up in his arms, rising to his full height afterwards. She was much heavier than last time, but he wasn't about to let her down anytime soon.
Marcos had no idea how adorable they both looked in Lorna’s eyes! This was a moment she’d only imagined and now it was real, she almost had to reach out and touch him again just to make sure. “Someone needs to pinch me,” she said, smirking. “Better yet,” and she held up her hand, the green glow of her magnetic powers appearing. She stepped closer to them both. “Show me,” she told him.
Dawn looked at them both curiously. "Show Papa what, Mummy?" she asked, now aware just how much her father had liked her calling him that it was now going to stay as the way she addressed him forever.
Saying nothing, Marcos reached out for Lorna's hand and a beautiful Aurora Borealis soon surrounded the three of them. His smile grew. That was what began it all. Both fell in love with the beauty they were able to create together by adding their powers. From there, came Dawn. "Do you believe now, Lorna?" He then pulled her into his embrace as well with his free arm.
Lorna’s face lit up with a mixture of absolute awe and the intense love she felt for a man whom she was able to connect her powers to in such a special way. “Oh yes,” she whispered, shivering slightly at the feel of him pulling her in closer. Giving Dawn a smile, the little girl’s eyes wide with surprise and trying to take in all the colour patterns at once, Lorna leaned over and kissed Marcos very briefly on the lips. The look she gave him when pulling back left no doubt more to that would be coming at a more appropriate and private time later.
Dawn reached out as the Aurora began to fade. “More,” she said, looking at them. “More please.”
Just to have Lorna so close to him made Marcos feel real again. Instead of pulling away immediately, she had kissed him instead. Did it mean she was still single? Her demeanor seemed to indicate it and that she still loved him the same way he loved her. This thought made his features be lit up by another, larger smile. "We have a fan." That seemed obvious at Dawn's excitement to see more of their Aurora. "Should we?" He extended his hand to Lorna.
Dawn clapped her hands, excitedly. “Yes please, Mummy,” she said, looking imploringly at her. “So pretty.”
Lorna’s heart filled with joy, and she simply nodded, raising her hand up again to touch Marcos’ unable to fully explain just how special this all was to her. Her life had been so empty with the other half of her… everything, their daughter the only reason Lorna felt she retained any control over her sanity this entire time. After everything they’d already been through, had Dawn been taken too, surely she would have lost herself completely. There was no need to dwell on such negative thoughts now, and she told herself that silently as well.
“This is just a dream…” that voice in her head tried to tell her. “Nothing this good ever lasts,” and so on.
“Shut up!” her response was firm and genuine because no one was going to take this moment away from her, not even herself.
This time, as the Aurora grew around them, Dawn actually tried reaching out to catch it, giggling. Seeing this, Polaris laughed too, seeing so much of Marcos in their little girl she wasn’t sure if she’d even gotten a look in really.
Marcos knew Lorna for time enough to know what was probably going through her mind right now. She wasn't accepting that something good was happening to her. She always took the bad as natural and the good as something that would soon dispel in the air. He was the same, he had to confess. Another something they had in common. He held her hand tighter as if to prove he was real to her and to himself as well. The Aurora effect grew more intense then and he could feel Dawn's excited movements while held by his other arm. He smiled and kissed her gently in the forehead again.
“She’s so much like you,” Lorna said, relaxing at the feel of his hand tightening around hers. “I’m not sure I’m even in there anywhere,” she confessed, letting out another laugh and then stepping away only to suggest they start walking on back to the mansion with a gentle tug of his arm.
Dawn pouted. “No! Not yet. More pretty colours,” she protested.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart, the aurora goes where we go,” her mother assured her, catching the gaze of her man yet again.
"I'm sure I'll find a lot of you in her too." His smile dimmed somewhat as the thought of just getting to know his daughter now invaded and took over his mind again. He dismissed it. His dream of having a little girl to play with at a square as he had wanted since seeing a father and a daughter playing happily after being expelled by his own family could finally come true. His girl was on his arms right now and it was up to him to remake that memory scene with Dawn as many times as possible whenever they both felt inclined. Tress and nature wouldn't lack them on those grounds.
"Mama is right. You'll see much more of that." He ran the forefinger of his now free hand down the length of Dawn's nose to play with her. He also took the opportunity to hold her with both his arms, which helped to distribute her weight. "Lead the way, dear." He grinned again while talking to Lorna as he had no knowledge of the school's grounds. His photograph still lying on the floor face down.
Lorna knew that look. She’d seen it many times before. Marcos was worried about something and from what he’d just said, she could only hazard a guess that it had something to do with not being there for so much of Dawn’s earlier life. Five years was a long time. She was almost six now. “I can only see you, for now. Guess there will be plenty of time to see if that is true,” she told him, gently pulling him along and once again falling back into step close beside him.
Over her Papa’s shoulder, Dawn spotted something they’d left behind, wiggling up a little to take a better look. “Oh no, we can’t leave that!” she cried out. “I know he’s real now but that is mine,” and she lifted her hands in a give-me gesture behind them.
Polaris glanced back, eyes widening a little. “Oh, the photo!” she said, briefly parting from Marcos again to go retrieve it. “Here you go,” she said, giving their little girl a kiss on the forehead. “Not that you really need it now.”
“Yes, I do. It needs to go back up in its spot on my wall,” she informed them. “Right next to my bed where I can see it all the time." She then had a brilliant idea. "Hey, Papa, can you sleep right next to me now too?” she came out with. “Seeing you really there would be much better,” her little face lighting up with excitement.
"Plenty of time indeed." Lorna's words repeated by him as he felt Dawn wiggle in his arms. "What's wrong, dear?" His question soon answered by his daughter. He had to confess he was half phased out due to the emotion of the moment that he didn't even notice Dawn was holding a photo when he first gave her a bear hug. Lorna collected it and returned it promptly though.
"Sure I can, dear. Whenever you want." Marcos actually longed for such a moment all his travel towards the front gate. That and a similar one with her mother. He missed just looking at Lorna as she slept close to him. Now it could be a reality again. He grinned from ear to ear as he followed Lorna's lead into the mansion. His new home from now on. A place where their family would be together and safe. Wasn't that what they had been fighting for before he vanished?