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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Cora’s safehouse apartment
June 9

The problem with no pain that most people don't think about is that most human senses relied heavily on discomfort to inform the person that something was wrong. Like eating or sleeping. No discomfort, no reminders that those are things that Corrigan should be worried about. In fact it wasn't until they got annoyed that the sun was going down and making it difficult to read their book that Corrigan even realized that they had been sitting in the same spot without a break since early that morning. But, dammit, it was a good book and they wanted to finish it. With an annoyed sigh, they pushed themself to their feet and the blood rushing had them staggering to the kitchen much quicker than they had thought they needed to initially.

Digging through the fridge, Corrigan pulled out some random vegetables and leftover chicken before setting to make food quietly. This had been their existence since Matt had gotten them away from the Hounds, what a week ago? That was it. Barely a week. And Corrigan hadn't seen the other mutant since. Not that they were complaining about the free lodgings and privacy. It just got lonely. Not only that but they had questions about some strange dreams they had had. Dreams that didn't seem liked dreams but rather bits of memories Corrigan couldn't, or maybe didn't want to, remember fully. All they knew is he had been there. They had met before, in that place, though neither of them seemed to recall the other. Another part of them seemed to warn Corrigan that whatever they were forgetting was probably better left in the recesses of their mind and not further dug up, no matter their curiosity.

Either way, Matt hadn't been back to check on them. Corrigan frowned setting to the task of making a quick dinner with a glass of water, trying to push away the sudden sense of loneliness. They fried up some vegetables with the chicken in a bit of oil and spices before plating it and throwing the dirty dishes in the sink. Leaning on the counter, Corrigan pushed the food around their plate for awhile trying to get it to cool enough to eat while trying to motivate themself into eating despite their lack of appetite.
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by: Matthew Cox
Despite the drizzle outside, Matt pushed the long sleeves of the cotton tee that Tristan had gotten him up to his elbows as he walked to the safehouse. The pitter pattering of raindrops hitting the plastic bag of takeout Thai food provided a good staccato discretion for the serpentine thoughts twining and striking at him from his subconscious.

Bashar's funeral was tomorrow. He and Cora were rocky thanks to Sunshine. Her curse was broken at the cost of her health. His was broken at the cost of his sanity.

Matt pushed the thoughts aside and reminded himself that he was on the way to see Corrigan, not unload his problems on her. As he had promised, he had books in the satchel slung across his shoulders. He'd brought her a sketchbook and some CDs of classical music as well so she wouldn't be too bored. He took the stairs up to the small apartment and knocked on the door, waiting to be let in. It smelled like she had already cooked...dang it. Ah well. It reheated well and he was hungry, so it wasn't a total bust.

"Corrigan, its Matt. I come bearing gifts."

He waited for her to open the door, then greeted her with a smile.

"Hi. Brought some books and some Thai food. Which you want first? How are you doing?"

He moved into the living area easily like this was a long standing habit between them, as comfortable in his civvies as he'd been in his armor.
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
The unexpected knock on the door sent her into an unprepared panic as she jerked to stand, electricity skittering out of control and shattering the light bulbs above her. Her heart still raced at Matt’s voice but a smile broke across her face easily. She hurried to answer the door, ”Welcome back!” she greeted brightly. She hadn't expected him but that didn't stop the surprised joy that bubbled through her veins calming the surging electricity. She cocked her head at the bags, glass from the shattered bulbs falling free from her loose hair.

”How did you know I love Thai?”

Corrigan watched the other mutant quietly. Had he been having the same odd deja vu she had experienced? Or simply a lucky guess? She tilted her head again then looked at him sheepishly, ”Without a set schedule I keep forgetting to do things for myself,” she admitted to answer his question. She watched him move to the living room easily, watching him as he walked intently. Corrigan frowned and scrunched her mouth a bit. A strange, familiar protectiveness had taken residence in her chest burning brightly at something. Something wasn't right but she couldn't put her finger on it quite yet.
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by: Matthew Cox
It didn't smell like she hadcut herself on the broken glass from the light bulbs shattering, so Matt set his bags down and began picking up the broken pieces.

"Maybe you should get a watch, then, and set alarms for yourself. And the Thai?"

He stopped and thought for a moment, chewing his lip absently as his brow furrowed.

"I dunno. It just seemed right. But I love Thai as well, so maybe that was it."

Or maybe it had just been that pushing little sense, the same way he'd chosen Vivaldi and Wagner and Bach for her to listen to. Matt discarded the broken glass before getting a dustpan to sweep up the smaller pieces.

Once the light bulbs were cleaned up, Matt unboxed the noodles and curry he'd ordered for them and plated it, then went to the small table to sit and eat. He bowed his head briefly and prayed, then resumed the conversation.

"So what have you been up to?"
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Corrigan frowned when he set to cleaning up the mess her powers had caused. She quietly set to changing the bulbs while he worked on the broken glass. It would be safer for her to not cut herself this way. ”I probably should. I almost didn't eat after that first night because I forgot and got distracted,” she said, hopping off the stool once the light bulbs were replaced.

She got them fresh glasses of water to go with dinner, breathing in deeply at the smell of curry and spices. A hum of delight escaped her throat as she sat with him then, ”Thank you.” She stirred her food before eating slowly to ensure she didn't burn herself by going too fast. After a few bites, Corrigan could feel strength returning to her starved body. She was still vastly underweight for her height and skipping meals definitely wasn't helping her stay healthy.

Blue eyes glanced up at his question, slurping up a noodle with a small giggle at her own behavior before focusing. ”Reading mostly. What about you? How is everything?” Her voice was earnest and worried. Genuinely caring about what had happened in the week she hadn't heard or seen him. Moreover, her eyes never faltered from his form watching for any signs of lying.
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by: Matthew Cox
She seemed happier and more vivacious since their last time together. Honestly, Matt had meant to come and see her, but when he'd stopped in to get his spare armor, she hadn't been here. On top of that, he'd been so focused on his own recovery and the emotional weather he'd been trying to navigate that she had slipped down the queue of his priorities.

He smiled at her giggle and began eating his own food, enjoying the bright and blended flavor of the dish. Reading was good, and it was what he'd spent a lot of time doing himself. The reflection of the question back onto him made him pause and carefully swallow, then take a sip of water. How to...no, where to begin? Matt felt his expression take a cautious and considering bend.

"Well, you know that odd place where things can be both better and worse at the same time? I'm making a detailed map of that country, in a manner of speaking. A lot has happened in the last week. A LOT. Biggest and most important thing..."

He set his fork down, signifying the importance of the news he was about to drop.

"Last time I was here, I was under the imperius curse. I'm not, anymore. The woman I was with also dropped the curse controlling her. The instigating factor...well. We'd been arrested by our favorite government entity."

His mouth twisted with a sardonic smirk.

"Dunno if you saw the smoke or heard the news that day, but there was an explosion and we escaped. We didn't set the explosion. In the intervening days, I've been trying to recover. My control is shot, Sunshine is practically feral when he makes his appearances, and my relationship with Cora is...turbulent. I still love her, but Sunshine wants to kill her sometimes. Makes it difficult. And as if that wasn't...well, never mind about that one."

He trailed off suddenly, dropping his gaze back to his plate as he resumed eating in an effort to not talk about what he'd nearly let slip. His body posture spoke of grief and self loathing, said he felt dirty for whatever thought he'd kept to himself.
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Corrigan straightened, static instantly tainting the air. Imperius. Beyond control into the realm of puppetry. It made her skin crawl uncontrollably with rage and disgust at the idea. That had been the Matt she had met a week ago? But he didn’t seem so different now, maybe she could have helped more. Not that she had any talent with Occlumency. But she had the knowledge. She could have helped. Disgust with herself, roiled around like a black eel. That feeling of something being wrong with the way Matt had spoken about the witch, she should have pressed more. Asked more questions. She shook her head sharply; this wasn’t the time for her own pity party when Matt was still suffering.

”Your friend was like this too? So mutual suffering in an uncontrolled setting. Is the person who did it to her dead at least?” she spoke about murdering another so simply, barely flinching at the idea despite her reaction to it at their last meeting. A coldness overtook her eyes before small sparks tangled in her blonde hair. She tilted her head, laying down her fork quickly rather than continue to hold the metal implement.

Expanding her chest, she took a slow deep breath at the next bit of information. Her eyes shut slowly taking a moment to calm at the mention of Mi5. She didn’t want to imagine what would happen to Matt, or even herself, if they ever got their hands back on their pet projects. A terrified shudder raced through her causing her breath to catch for a moment before she could get it restarted again. Her eyes stayed shut as the shadows of memories tugged at her again.

”June. Ninth. Twenty-eleven. Eighteen oh-five. London. Seventh floor,” Corrigan whispered taking a few moments between the words until her heart wasn’t racing as badly and her chest loosened enough to breathe. Pushing back at the panic, shoving it down into the well of her mind and using it as a cap against the shadows trying to escape and overtake her. She would deal with it later.

Fixing her blue eyes back to him, a deep frown tugged her lips. ”So I have a few questions,” she began though the seriousness of her tone made it clear she wasn’t going to let him ignore them, ”Sunshine is feral? So what are you doing about that? The witch’s name is Cora I’m guessing. Do you still want to be with her? Why does Sunshine want to kill her? And finish what you were about to say. You don’t have to worry about sparing my feelings or overburdening me when you rescued me. I want to help, tell me how.”
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by: Matthew Cox
Was he dead? Yes he was. Matt nodded.

"Voldemort is very dead, from what I understand, but his fuckeru with Cora's mind lingered."

Corrigan started to spark up, so Matt paused to let her get her control back, frowning when she mentioned the year. He cocked his head.

"It's twenty twelve," he murmured, confused.

Corrigan got ahold of herself and started asking questions, so Matt answered.

"He is. I'm getting counseling and coaching from a half-blood Garou friend. I very much want to be with her, but Sunshine blames her for the fact that my life is in shambles. One of the agent's Cora and I attacked before we were arrested died and his funeral is tomorrow. I want to go, but I'll be shot in sight. And then my memorial is the day after THAT, but I can't tell my family that I'm not dead like the government has said."

He sighed and spread his hands, troubles all out on the table.
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Matt was really good at knocking the wind out of her. More along the lines of dive-bombing her diaphragm with facts that left her reeling and unable to even think about getting enough air into her lungs so her brain could begin to process it. His witch friend had not only been a Death Eater but had worked for Voldemort. Despite her carefully schooled features, her racing heart was probably letting Matt know loud and clear that Corrigan knew that name and knew it well. Dammit. But the next shred of information left her frowning in confusion. ”It’s definitely twenty eleven,” she grumbled. Not because she thought he was lying to her, moreso that Corrigan just didn’t want to accept the extra year. An entire missing year.

She was thankful when he continued his story. Tilting her head, she frowned a bit, ”Okay, so, you’re working on your control but have you let Sunshine out to work on his? What about talking to him about Cora? I thought he loved her as much as you did? Do you want to send your family a message? Also how are they going to shoot you on sight?! They kidnapped you! Arrest my ass. After everything they put us through they can just fucking die. They're the ones who left your life in shambles.” Corrigan cut her own rant short as the lightning smell in the air thickened dangerously, trying to regain a little of her own control.
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by: Matthew Cox
Matt shrugged off her insistence that it wasn't 2011. He didn't want to argue what he knew was true. She'd figure it out with a newspaper or something, so he wasn't going to push her. Her heart rate spiked as well with the mention of Cora's demon. Maybe he shouldn't push on that, either. Thankfully, she picked up on his narrative instead.

"Of course I am, when it's safe and he's not going to hurt anyone. First time he came out after the incident he pulled a knife on my friend. I don't want a repeat of that. And talking with him has been difficult for me. He's talking with Mae, so that helping a lot. As for my family, I don't want them targeted. My parents don't deserve the whipsawing back and forth, the emotional bs. Tom, my brother, I think he can handle knowing. Why, are you going to the funeral? I'm incredibly tempted to go..."

It would be stupid if he did, he reasoned, but he still craved seeing his friends and family again. He needed to distract himself from it, if at all possible.

"And yeah...he still loves her. That might be the source of his anger, oddly enough. She's an emotional focus. I wish there was something I could do to make up for the hell he keeps trying to put her through..."
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
”I will go if it helps. Maybe let your brother know to look into things. There should be a way to clear your name without exposing what actually happened. Weirder things have happened in government dealings,” she said thoughtfully. The plan was already forming in her head. Whether Matt agreed with her or not she would attend his funeral even at the risk of running into Mi5 members or anyone else that may know what her own condition was.

Corrigan tilted her head a bit at him, ”No offense Matthew but Sunshine seems to like me a lot more than most people. If you don’t want to let him out that, that’s your choice but I’m not scared of him and he can’t hurt me anyways.” When he voiced his want to make things up to Cora, her face split into a bright grin. ”Well I can help with that. What do you want to do to make it up to her?”
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by: Matthew Cox
Yeah, the funeral...should she go? Matt cautioned her. "If you do go, be careful. Tom looks a lot like me, but he may not be very open minded."

For now, he ignored her defense of his alter in favor of talking about Cora and his intentions.

"I want to marry her," he admitted shyly with a small smile. "so I need to get a ring and propose to her...we both need a vacation, so maybe Paris, or Barcelona...I know she loves Italy, too, but I have plans for that as a honeymoon spot already..."

He swallowed and ducked his head. If she wanted to talk to Sunshine, he'd have to focus and drag the alter out since the stubborn jackass wasn't going to willingly come out it seemed.

"If you want to talk to Sunshine, I can see if he wants to talk...just let me know."
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Marry the woman? The frown tugged at her mouth more thoughtful than disapproving.

”Do you think that's the best plan? Proposing after so much stress? I don't doubt you love her just from the way you talk about her but questioning the timing.”

Corrigan looked up thoughtfully at his suggestions, ”Well Paris is the city of romance so if you want the sappiest, tooth rottingly cute date that would be the place to do it,” she pointed out with a joking grin.

Watching his dropped shoulders, she frowned at the strange nervousness he presented. ”I would like to talk to him. See how he's holding up. But if you don't want him out then that's fine. Do what you are comfortable with Matthew.” she insisted to him gently. She didn't want either of them uncomfortable even though the two seemed to be in a competition over which could make the other unhappier.
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by: Matthew Cox
Matt grinned at her description of Paris. He DID want a tooth achingly sweet date, but she was right that it was a bit soon to propose.

"Yeah, its soon, I was just thinking out loud about my intentions. Whatever the case may be, we need a relaxing and beautiful trip that's overly saccharine."

Her pressure on him to be fair and nice to his splintered alter was intriguing. Most people were taken aback by his rudeness and hostility, but Corrigan rode his waves like a cork, never losing buoyancy. He nodded without a word, bowed his head, and tried pulling Sunshine out. He stayed in the meditative stance for a full minute before shoving back from the table suddenly as if scalded, springing up to dart to the butcher block and pull a carving knife out threateningly.

Sunshine bared his teeth, eyes darting to and fro as he panted with ragged and raw defensive aggression.

"The fuck you want me for?!" he snarled visciously.
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by: Corrigan Ardagh
Smiling at Matt as closed his eyes, Corrigan cleaned up their plates quietly trying to keep her space organized for the most part. The crashing of furniture made her look up but didn’t surprise her with the way Matt had described Sunshine’s mood. Seemed he was even defensive against her. Tiny, angry sparks flared across her face at the thought of what Mi5 had done to cause him to be this out of control. Inhaling, she calmed the raging anger in her lulling it back to the icy silence that she clung to desperately as a way to control her tendencies.

Turning back to him slowly, Corrigan didn’t even look at the weapon as she smiled at him. ”Am I not allowed to worry about my friend? Or want to see him?” she asked teasing him. She turned back to the kitchen quietly, ”Do you want some tea? I found this really nice Chai at a market down the street.”

Corrigan readied the kettle quietly, giving him her back as a sign of trust. It was stupid but for some reason Corrigan just couldn’t bring herself not to trust the other mutant even in his current state. Perhaps it was linked to the strange feelings of familiarity that came around him, especially when Sunshine was out. Maybe once he had calmed down she would have a chance to ask about the strange foggy dreams she had been having about that white room and him.


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