A/N: I had to fix this up a bit. That's all. Mah Gawd it was written so horribly I had to delete it from the sites it was posted at and fix it up. Thanks to my last two reviewers!
Shadows of Yesterday
For as long as he could remember, he'd been in love with Jake James. Named after his parents' best friend, Jake Tripp, Jake was five foot eight and a healthy 140, with dark brown hair and hooded black eyes. He was a half-breed: his mother Native American and his father an Alien whose features closely resembled an Asian. With these mixed features, his skin was olive, his nose had a slight hook, his chin was as pointy as his father's, his mouth wide and his lips plump. His father often mentioned that he looked more like his mother than himself–and Jake was happy with that.
He wore his hair in a particular style; parted in the middle, the floppiness hung down past his eyes, but at a level starting at his ears, his scalp was close-shaven. From the back of his head hung a long, thin braid that rested against the middle of his back, a personal homage to his mother's ancestry.
Quite clever with his own sense of style and for the fact that Jake did what Jake wanted, this particular teen also had dreams and aspirations that would send his father into convulsions if he heard of them.
Jake was also considered an asshole. It must have been the bad boy appeal that whispered to Gone. Or perhaps his sense of adventure, or for the fact that Jake pushed the limits in that no one else did. All the adults thought he was crazy, even his own father–who, in his day, was considered homicidal. So Gone took him very seriously.
In their small town, where everyone knew everyone, their high school was even smaller. Highlands High held only eight hundred students and the group often had classes together. Gone Darun was rather delighted that he had a few classes with Jake, but PE was definitely not one of them.
He stood in his frumpy gym clothes, feeling awkwardly skinny and unappealing in the Nike grey shirt and the baggy shorts he'd taken from his father's room. His feet, encased within untied Nike basketball shoes, seemed so clownishly large compared to the rest of him, and he stood pigeon-toed as he fiddled with his shirt hem.
The football sailed completely over his head, and he didn't bother reaching for it. There was simply no effort in trying for anything he considered strenuous, and participating in anything athletic was 'strenuous' for him. He felt sheepish when Jake heaved an exasperated sigh, racing past him to retrieve the ball he'd thrown.
"I didn't finish the essay," he said, shooting Jake a nervous look as the boy climbed atop of the bleachers to chase after the wayward football. Behind him, six foot one Chase Bellows screamed, tendons straining in his neck as he was given a wedgie by another classmate. Gone looked back to see that his friend had finally antagonized another classmate to a breaking point. He secretly thought that Chase deserved that wedgie for the comments Chase had been shouting.
"WHAT?!" Jake bellowed from atop of the bleachers, which were pulled in to allow space within the small gym. He found the football, looking down at his screaming partner with a scowl. "Hey! Knock it off! I'll kick your ass if you keep that up, Jameson! I mean it!"
Gone twitched, shooting Chase a look as the boy escaped his captor, who returned to his own clique with a satisfied wiping of his hands. Chase grimaced as he sought to remove the fabric from his ass.
"I didn't get to it!" Gone explained, lifting his voice a little to be heard. Chase was taken out by the football that Jake hurled as he leapt from the top of the bleachers, the teacher screaming at him in warning. The teachers never had patience for Jake–it seemed to Gone that the only way they felt got through the boy was screaming at him. Jake had long developed an indifferent way to their raised voices and worked around it with an annoying calmness that seemed to drive them even more crazy.
Jake hurried over, shooting Gone a glance. At five foot two, Gone was much smaller than him. A disappointment to Gone's own father, an Alien kick-boxing prince that actively wished and hoped Gone would somehow appear manlier someday soon. "What'd you say?"
"I didn't do the essay. I didn't have time. Not after that load of homework I'd had yesterday," Gone explained once more, shuffling self-consciously. He shoved his dark brown hair out of his face, revealing deep set light blue eyes that were often hooded with seriousness. Gone wasn't the type to be silly or cheerful.
Jake grimaced as Chase slowly rose from the floor, looking rather disoriented as he searched for the football. "Oh man...Mrs. Kingston's going to have my ass for lunch. You can't just whip it out here?"
"No. Mr. Bradley won't let me in with a notebook. You know how he is."
"Man o man...dad's gonna murder me if I fail."
Gone wished Jake wouldn't say things so casually–his father was actually a former homicidal mercenary that had been 'rehabbed' in order to obtain his Earth Visa. While Mr. James hadn't displayed anything fearsome or scary in all of Gone's years, just the very fact made him wary of the older man.
"Why didn't you do it, Jake?" Chase asked, rejoining them as he tossed the football from hand to hand. He darted a nervous glance at the jocks that were watching them from the other end of the gym. He latched onto Jake's shirt. "I seriously think they're going to rape me. They want my ass, dude. I mean, seriously! Who spends all their time beating me up if it ain't some excuse to feel me up?"
Distracted, Jake grinned as he easily shoved him away. "Well, you are pretty hot for prison bait, Chase. Look at you–gangly limbs, sunken chest, acne that never quits...You even have the legs of an eight year old, man!"
Chase sighed, running a hand through his thick black hair, preening. "I can't help it! I'm naturally gorgeous! I guess I shouldn't complain all the time..."
"You both shouldn't joke like that," Gone said nervously.
Jake looked back at Gone. "What about my Geometry?"
"It's ready," Gone replied. "I just couldn't get to the essay."
"All right! Easy eighty," Jake said, cheered himself as he hopped away, shouting for the teacher to allow him a break to dump a large load, much to the exasperation of the older man. Chase looked at Gone.
"Don't do that anymore, man," he said, piercing neon blue eyes looking into the other with annoyance. "You're practically enabling the idiot that feeds on him! Why do you keep covering for him?"
Unsure of what to tell him, Gone shrugged slightly.
Their parents had all been childhood friends, meeting in high school years before. After a couple of years separated while they explored options beyond high school, they coincided with each other in becoming parents. Some married, some had 'accidents'.
Leaving New Park City, a city that had been decimated by errant Alien activity in that same time period, the group had settled in Highlands, a small town located within Oregon. With its completely different atmosphere and change from the overpopulated city, Highlands was a breath of literal fresh air. The group stayed close, raising their children as best as they could. Their past had been left in the city, but as their children grew older, it was only natural that they demanded answers to questions the parents had hoped to avoid.
Hautta James had a past he'd worked hard to overcome; he'd come to Earth upon conflict. When he decided that he wanted to change, it hadn't been wholly welcomed. He had to overcome many obstacles to remain on the planet, and in order to obtain his visa for citizenship, he had to go through many tedious processes. That included leaving his past behind; unfortunately, the mother of his child hadn't been ready to settle down herself. Jake Allen James had been raised completely opposite of what Hautta himself had endured as a child, and while his attitude begged constant attention, Hautta thought he did pretty well to shelter his only child from all that he'd experienced. He was quite content to keep Jake that way.
Drake Bellows had married his high school sweetheart, Samantha, but the marriage didn't work. When the divorce was over, his son, Chase, had opted to stay with him rather than his mother. Samantha and her daughter from a previous relationship, Maryjane, chose to move back to what was left of New Park, and the arrangement worked fine. Drake remarried, but this marriage proved to be just the same as the last; while the couple still lived together, it was obvious their affection for each other died long ago. Drake had become a fixture in Hautta's life, both of them bonding over common issues and their explosive past to become very good friends.
GoDarun was a prince from a far off galaxy–but he was thirteenth in line to the throne. He'd had a career in kickboxing since he was very young, and had slowed only upon the birth of his son. Gone had been an 'accident', the birth mother bound and determined to wiggle her way into royalty, but when it was determined that Go was incapable of inheriting the throne, she'd saddled 'their' child onto him. Since he was unable to conceive a child due to certain circumstances, and he felt too bad to give the child up after learning of Hautta's horrible past, he chose to raise the child on his own. Unfortunately, he wasn't and would never win Parent of the Year.
Years had passed comfortably for the three families–until Jake got a hold of the past. Finding out who his mother was had been the turning point in his life. To know that she was a hard-core henchman had Jake warped into a sense of worship. Jake had been sheltered his entire life, Hautta making sure that this was so in an effort to prevent all the pain that he'd himself endured. To be exposed to the glamour of Jake's mother's past life was inspiring for him.
Hautta, as an Alien, had superhuman strength and regenerative abilities. In his heyday, he'd been one of the ultimate fighters; strong, determined, stubborn. Skilled in a Muy Thai style that enabled him to kill fast and to hurl multi-ton vehicles easy. Jake's mother had similar abilities that worked only on Earth. Both superhumans combined should have made a superhuman child, but Jake hadn't any powers. He'd already determined that with his daredevil antics. He couldn't help but be annoyed that his father was so relieved in that he lacked superhuman ability.
As he researched all that he could on his mother, Jake couldn't help but wonder what his life would be if he had a similar lifestyle. Highlands was comfortable, peaceful–a complete fairytale compared to what he knew of New Park City. People actually lived and died peacefully here–never in fantastic form as people did over there.
Not that he wanted to die–he just wanted that glamour. He wanted to experience the rush and adrenaline of action his mother must have experienced in the midst of some battle her employer had caused. He couldn't imagine anything other than the enchantment of such a lifestyle, and therefore dreamed of a day when he would have the opportunity to have a taste.
That night, Jake pored over the scrapbook he'd made of his mother. Mr. James was at the stove, watching the sauce bubble and pop while he contemplated his job and his finances. He'd become a successful architect with a career in design over both homes and business, and worked for a company based in Portland. He had chosen to work with the main firm via telecommunications rather than move to the city, and it worked out great–with the advance of human technology combined with Alien technology, anything was possible. Rarely did he have to leave Highlands to meet with the other members, but when he absolutely had to, Jake was always with him.
He had designed their home upon moving into Highlands, fresh out of college and trying out his hand in his chosen field. In the past, he had decimated neighborhoods and buildings with his senseless acts of destruction. Now, to repay all that he'd done, he was fixing and creating.
He found it laughable that over seventeen years ago, he'd been a horrible person that didn't think twice about others. How things had changed.
The house he shared with his son was enclosed within a comfortable cul-de-sac, the others' settled around him. With their closeness and constant contact, all doors were open to any that were familiar. While some would say it was wonderfully cozy, with the way their children were growing up–with all their rudeness and loudness–it was growing rather complicated. Privacy was a rarity.
He realized he was burning the spaghetti, and quickly went to work. Once he saw that Jake was once again looking through his beloved scrapbook, Mr. James struggled to remain calm.
"Put that away. Cut us some salad," he said evenly, straining the spaghetti. Without argument, Jake abandoned the book and began rummaging through the fridge.
"When did you get your powers?" Jake asked him, tossing a head of lettuce onto the kitchen island, then snatching up various vegetables before closing the fridge. "How did you know?"
Mr. James tried not to sigh too loudly. No matter how many times Jake asked, the answers just seemed to go into one ear and out the other. Mixing the ingredients together, he stared at the combination while he listened to Jake work.
"I'm just asking," Jake added, throwing a glance his father's way. "Y'know...cuz I'm going to be eighteen next May. So...I'm wondering what the hell's the matter with me. I'm still not able to body slam any trucks. I tried, today."
"With Chase cheering you on?" Mr. James muttered, shaking his head. Chase was an eerie resemblance to his father when Drake was young.
"Yah. Cuz he'd appreciate it if I had powers. It might make him cool. Give him a rep. Did you know people think we're losers? I mean, Gone already is a loser–man, you know what he was wearing today?"
Mr. James thought it was incredibly sad that Jake and Chase picked on Gone a lot. Gone was a nice boy–a Good boy, despite the intense lack of brain in his father's head. Why couldn't Jake have turned out a Good boy like Gone?
"Anyway, not that I noticed, but Chase told me," Jake hurriedly added, grimacing.
He finished with the lettuce, then sloppily began cutting through the tomatoes. He imagined how his mother would slice through the vegetable–imagined that her cuts would be swift and precise. He didn't imagine it as a motherly action, but something fierce and dangerous; after all, she was capable of slicing through a man's limbs with something so non-dangerous as a butter knife. He'd read that once in a tabloid that had also been fascinated with her exploits.
"Chase notices a lot of things," Mr. James said carefully, furrowing his forehead as he set the finished pot of spaghetti onto the island. "Eat at the counter?"
"Yeah, whatever. I'm not up for the holoset, anyway. Fuck!"
"Band-aid?" Mr. James asked, not surprised by his son's clumsiness. He glanced over his shoulder to see Jake examining his thumb with a grimace. Watching as Jake popped his thumb into his mouth with another curse, he had some pleasure in the lack of coordination and grace that both his parents had possessed.
"Nah. It's okay that I bleed all over the place. We have the same blood, anyway." Jake barked with forced laughter, then shut himself up with a sigh as he finished cutting through the rest of the vegetables. "So...back where you came from..."
"Jake, if you're ever going to get powers, you'll know," Mr. James said tiredly, rubbing at the bridge of his nose. "It's not something you'd ever miss. Trust me."
"Well, I know...but I should have gotten them by now! Why haven't I?" Jake whined as he cleared the cutting board, dumping all that he'd cut into the bowl occupied by lettuce. He tossed everything into the sink, turning to retrieve the Italian dressing from the fridge. He waited until both he and his father had dished up and taken their seats along the counter before continuing. "I wouldn't think that they were canceled out. Because that's not possible, right? In all the odds presented, I should have inherited something..."
Mr. James carefully picked out a couple of reddened mushrooms before saying, "What's wrong with just having our looks?"
Jake rolled his eyes, giving him an exasperated look. He snatched the rejected mushrooms. "You know what I mean."
"I'm actually glad that you don't have them now. Being a teenager, having so much power can be damaging. You're thinking only of the glamour in actually having something flashy, Jake, not of the consequences."
"The 'consequences' can be fixed," Jake scoffed. "You're one telltale example, dad. Besides I wouldn't be stupid with them. I just...I dunno...want them to be cool. There's no one out here that has powers. If they did, they wouldn't be living here. This is like–the community of senior citizen living! Everything's so plain and boring...almost like a sitcom where nothing goes wrong."
"You have no idea how many times I thank whatever power that this is so," Mr. James uttered, giving a grateful glance at the ceiling. "You would never understand, Jake, the horror of violence and death. It is never like your movies."
Jake rolled his eyes once more. "Please...the ones that die are always the ones that need
Mr. James felt the old argument coming up once more. He took his time to eat several bites, chewing slowly while Jake finished off his first serving and began on another. He shook his head. "Real life is different from what you see on the 'set, Jake," he said. He rose from his seat before Jake could continue. "Clean up. Feed the animals if they come over. Do your homework."
Jake frowned at his father's back, chewing sullenly. Why couldn't his father understand that things would be so entirely different if he had powers? He'd never let anyone die.