FANDOM: Marvel Comics Universe
RATING/WARNING: Rated G. Very depressing. Mild homoerotic themes.
SUMMARY: Cloud talks to Uatu again.
NOTE: This is a sequel to "Lonely As A Cloud" but can be read independently.
DISCLAIMER: Marvel owns all characters and concepts in this story. I make no money from this. Please don't sue.
FEEDBACK: Please, to soul_spinner@hotmail.com

by Soul Spinner

I go back there sometimes. Nobody knows. The people I loved, my friends, the lost pieces of my soul ... I don't drop in and say hi. But I do watch them. I can't help it.

You watch them, too. Do you ever -- ever want to be among them? Do you ever want to feel as they do? You and I, Uatu ... You and I are so much more than they could ever be and yet ... and yet I can't help but envy them. The people of Earth. So I leave the bulk of my essence behind, gather my consciousness up, create an appropriate form, and I walk among them. And they never know. They never realize that I, a cosmic entity whose very being they would never be able to grasp, walk among them.

Even -- even THEY don't know that I'm there. THEY think I'm happily breeding new stars out in the furthest reaches of our vast universe. I'm not. Happy, that is. Once I tasted mortality I could never go back to being what I was before. You know my story. You know I was once called Cloud, was once a superhero, was once ... loved. Well, twice loved. Having tasted the passions of human flesh, having felt the tender touch of love between the embodied, how could I not miss it? How could I not miss THEM? Moondragon. Iceman. My loves.

I went to see her the other day. Well, spied on her really. I stopped loving her even before I realized who I was, but I still hold the memory of my passion for her. She didn't detect me, even with her much vaunted Shao-Lom telepathy, but then, she always did have a problem with my mind, even back when we were in the Defenders. He companion detected me, though. She was hanging out with the new Captain Marvel. His cosmic awareness clued him in to my arrival but he's still inexperienced with it's use so he didn't exactly know where or what I was. I had to leave pretty fast, but I did stick around long enough to gain my objective. I would have liked to stay longer and talk to Rick Jones. He always made me laugh. But I couldn't face HER. Heather has found someone else to love. Her student, Hellcat.

I almost hate her you know. Patsy Walker, Hellcat. I know I shouldn't speak ill of the dead but, well ... She's not dead anymore, so what does it matter. Actually, my jealousy almost comforts me. Before I was human, I didn't feel emotions like jealousy. I felt the dance of the particles that made up my being flow with the subtle eddies of far off solar radiation. I felt the contentment of being within the cosmic harmony of the star-kind. I burned with the fires of creation. I was aware, alive, sentient ... but not truly living, just enduring, just serving my purpose in the grand scheme of things. But emotions so intense, so powerful, so vital, weren't mine until I lost my identity and ended up a human. I find it encouraging that I can feel animosity towards Hellcat. It means that I've kept some humanity with me.

Oh, who am I trying to kid? Certainly not you, Watcher. Maybe myself then. Of course I've kept the gifts that life among the humans brought me. If I hadn't I wouldn't still feel this longing, this need to go among them. I'd be content with the vast stellar songs instead of craving the pains and pleasures of embodied existence. Instead of feeling regret.

Ah, regret. There are many things I regret. I regret that I could not make it work between Moondragon and I, either as a man or a woman. I regret that I could not help her overcome the Dragon of the Moon and the darkness that it's evil had tainted her soul with. I regret with all my heart that I told her that I hated her and attacked her. She was out of her mind at the time and the pain of my pretended venom was the only thing that would have made her withdraw her threat from the Defenders, but still ... After her defeat, when I saw her and the others crumble into dust ... My pain was such as to rip the planets out of their orbits.

It still hurts. I want to go to her, to explain, to beg her forgiveness, to tell her that there is still love within me for her. But I can't. She has created a good life for herself out of the ashes of that time. She has come back to life and found a new love. I cannot disturb that. I can't bring back the memories of that troubled time to her. Although I do think she could do better than the ex-wife of the son of Satan himself!

While my time on Earth with Heather was full of hurt and misunderstanding, my time with Bobby was, well, it was everything. Can you understand that, my friend? You, who dwell alone and silent, ever watching, never interfering, can you understand what it means to be in love? I know that you have come to care for the world you watch because you broke your oath and saved it from Galactus, but do you truly love? Ahh, I see from your expression that it might be so. Perhaps someday you will tell me. No? Well, I can wait until you're ready.

Anyway, with Bobby I was ... consumed. He was my all, my love, my life. It sounds so absurd doesn't it? Here I am, a sentient nebula whose mass is greater than his world, who has been around longer than his species, whose natural environment is lethal to his kind, and he and I go and fall in love. Of course, I didn't know all that at the time. We were star-crossed lovers. Literally. It's too ironic. It's absurd.

But our love was such that I thought not even death could tear us apart. Naive and cliched? Of course! It wasn't death that ripped us apart, it was the return of my memory. Oh, how I wish sometimes that I had never recalled who, or rather WHAT, I really was! Sometimes, the spinning strain of the star-kind is not enough. Sometimes, the void of space seems so lonely without him, so cold. Ah, there's that irony again. He who is called the Ice-Man, he whose nature is to freeze, it was he who warmed me with his love and with his touch. Before my memory returned, the warmth of his tenderness melted through the lies woven around my life. In his arms, whether in the form of a woman or a man, I felt whole and at peace.

Then I left. I know I made the right choice, painful though it may be. Knowing what I was again, I could never be truly content on Earth. I heavens would always be above, taunting me. I truly do love what I am. So after the Sun-Thief was defeated and my purpose for being on Earth served, I had to return to my true home among the stars. I wasn't human, could never be human, could never be content as a human, could never be all that Bobby needed.

He needed ...

I -- I went to see him, too. So much has happened since I left. For what to us, with our long existences, is merely a blink of an eye, to the humans is a long time. The years have hardened him. The jokes that always fell freely from his lips have a brittle edge to them now. He has recently lost an old and dear friend and teammate, Scott. I could tell that his own part in that death, used by the evil Apocalypse as a power source, pains him greatly. I wish I could be there for him. I wish I could comfort him. But I have no right to. I left ...

It pains me to see his sadness, Uatu. It is like a physical ache to see him suffer so. And it's not just because of his recent hardships that he suffers. He's lonely, too. In need ... longing ... like me ... But while I long for him and the life I once had as a human, he longs for ... another.

His name is Johnny Storm. The Human Torch of the Fantastic Four. Fire to Bobby's ice. Opposite and equal. Human, as I never was. Oh, he hides it in other lovers, hides his longing behind a joke and a laugh. Hides behind various women because of his fear of what he is. But I KNOW. See, a wisp of cloud can go anywhere, past the security of even so guarded a place as the X-Men's mansion, into the room of a certain Bobby Drake..

It was wrong of me, I know, to read his journal. But I had to see, I needed to know if he still thought of me at all. He doesn't. After all, for him, I have been gone a long time.

So I float among them, an invisible mist, watching. After a time, I go home to the deep darkness of space. And try to forget.

The End

-(main) - (biography) - (discussion) - (stories) - (pictures) - (links) - (updates)-