New Mutants Unlimited 41

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New Mutants Unlimited #41
Post by Cheshire on Feb 5, 2007, 11:52pm

New Mutants Unlimited #41

Cover: A girl in a wheelchair in silhouette, facing a window

Title: Hey, Joe

Writer credits: Cheshire (…okay fine, the guy who play's Joe.)

***
Letter from Cory «Off-white text boxes, put in brackets like…well, these here.»

«“Hey, Joe. I know it's early, but I just wanted to see how you were. I'm doing fine. Mom made a really good meatloaf yesterday, your favorite kind, with gravy instead of ketchup…»

***

“Aww, Dr. McCoy, I ain't never gonna get this, it's too hard, “ whined Joe, after he had gotten the algebra problem wrong for the fifth time in a row. “I'm too dumb to understand this, why do I need to learn this anyway? It ain't like I'm going to use it anyway.”

“A man's errors are his portals of discovery – James Joyce. Joe, I know it's difficult, but it's to help you learn to think logically.” Dr. McCoy puts a friendly, sympathetic hand on Joe's shoulder. “It may not help, but Bobby never did figure out the solution to this problem.”

“Aww, now you're just lying to make me feel better, “ Joe said with a shy grin. “Did he really never get it right?” he said, with a slow hope dawning in his eyes.

“Never to my knowledge, “ said Beast with an absolutely straight face.

“Allright….four ex plus…”

«”I know you're fitting in, and making lots of new friends and doing well in your classes.»

Joe sits at the lunch table, with a massive pile of burgers and fries in front of him. He steals glances at Wildfire whenever he can, trying to to catch her eyes. In front of him is a spiral notebook, with a childishly drawn picture of him and Wildfire together, holding hands. Written above it is “Ms. Bella Olson” is huge, childish script. A few of the other students begin walking towards him, and he quickly rips it out and crumples up the paper.

«”It must be tough for you to have to leave the wrestling team in the middle of the season. You looked so happy when you came home after they made you JV captain…»

Joe stands in a small gymnasium, with big red wrestling mats in the center of the room.

“Now, Joe, this is a big responsibility. If you don't think you can do it, tell me, because I can't watch this wrestling team have another losing season,” says a fat, balding man with a whistle around his neck.

“Oh, no, Mr. Coach Chance, I'm ready and rarin' to go for it. I won't let you down, no sir,” says Joe, his face split by a wild, disbelieving smile.

The coach stares at Joe soberly before replying “Good. You ain't a rocket scientist, but you're the best freshman wrestler I've seen in years. I have big plans this year, Joe, so I hope you were right when you said you wouldn't let me down.”

«”Dad was so proud of you when your team won it's first meet…”»

“Hey! Y'all ought not horse around so much! We gotta get better so that we don't let Coach down. Now, ya'll are good wrestlers, but we're wrestling ANNA next month, and they're the best in all of Southern Illinois. And we can't beat them if ya'll is snapping each other with belts instead of liftin' them weights. So, ya'll go and gimme 15 laps around the gym and then you come back and do them bench presses,” says Joe, a whistle now around his neck. The boys he was yelling at give him dirty, venomous looks before they head out for their laps.

****

A big scoreboard shows “0-0”. Joe stands on the sidelines of the wrestling mats while a skinny, scared looking kid stares back at him. “Alright now, Bobby. You just go out and do it like you did at practice. Look at that kid, he ain't so tough…heck, your arms is bigger than his waist.”

This was decidedly not true. The wrestler in the opposite corner was very muscular and defined, and had bad intentions written all over his face. “Now you just go out and do like you done in practice, and pin this kid.” The skinny kid wanders off, not looking in the least bit confident.

The scoreboard shows “6-0”. Joe looks on as Bobby's hand is raised, clapping and cheering with the rest of the team. The next kid up looks much more confident in himself after Bobby pulled out the win.

The scoreboard shows “24-0”. The hulk of a student that Joe's teammate Mason just pinned is furious, throwing his headgear off the mat and kicking a trashcan.

The scoreboard shows “42-0”. Joe himself stands on the mat, ready to take on his opponent, a kid who looks like his only aspiration in life is to become the next Fred Dukes. They trade takedowns and headlocks and pin attempts, as the clock ticks closer to the end of the third round. Joe suddenly rolls from out of a headlock pin, and lays his entire bulk onto the chest of his opponent. The referee slaps the mat. The rest of the junior varsity lead Joe off the mat, cheering and clapping…and pouring Gatorade all over him. The scoreboard shows “48-0.”

«I know it must be hard to be away from the family. Especially after what happened…»

Joe tosses in his sleep. The same nightmare he's had ever since he came to Xavier's. There is no sound. He can see bolts of energy flying out of his body, striking the walls and windows. A kid in a trench coat is firing a pistol down the hallway. And Cordelia, sweet little Cory with her bows in her hair and tears running down her freckle cheeks coming down the stairs. He can see her so clearly, standing in front of the stairs, by the vending machines, crying and screaming. A bolt of force catches her in the belly and throws her into the banister. Now there is sound. Gunshots and screaming. Police sirens. And the sound of Cory's spine shattering as it hit the railing. There was no way Joe could have heard it over the chaos, but he did then and did now. The whole scene repeats over and over and over and o-

“AHHH!” Joe sits bolt upright, looking in fear around his darkened dorm room. Raptiir hadn't even stirred. That was good, because Joe didn't want to talk about the nightmare. He padded down to the kitchen for a snack.

«”Don't blame yourself, Joe. I know you do…but don't. It wasn't your fault, or Gary and Phil's fault it was just…an accident. Please? I'm okay, really, and it's not that bad. Mom gets to park closer to the school now, and the handicapped water fountains at school don't look so dumb now. Okay, that was a bad joke, but I mean it. Don't blame yourself, or I won't send you any of my fudge for your birthday.

Love, Your Sister
-Cordelia»

Joe sits in his room, crying and smiling and laughing over the letter he had just received. He didn't know how he knew, but he knew that the nightmares wouldn't be back tonight. He grabbed a sheet of notebook paper and a pen.

“Dere Dear Cory,

Hay your self. It's ben really kool here. I've maid lots of frends, and I even went on a date with a girl. Her name is Bella, but she likes to be caled Wildfire. She has red skin and blak eys…”


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #41
Post by Protoman on Feb 6, 2007, 12:06am

I liked this, it makes me like Joe a lot more. Not sure why…


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #41
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Feb 6, 2007, 12:11am

Wow. It was good.

But I already liked Joe. =)


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #41
Post by Protoman on Feb 6, 2007, 12:12am

Oh me too, but it made me like him more.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #41
Post by Nephy "Lifebeat" Nephrahim on Feb 6, 2007, 12:14am

Everyone likes Joe! He's like the Hulk, except less green and more hugable!


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #41
Post by Cheshire on Feb 6, 2007, 12:15am

Hey, I've seen push Hulks that practically ooze with hugability.

And thanks for the feedback everyone. Never written a fanfic before…even though I'm not sure it's a fanfic when it's your own character…


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