Every person in Task Force X had seen their fair share of tragedy and pain, even Digger, the only difference is that they could drown their sorrows in a bottle. So when you found yourself knee-deep in humanoid magic bullshit, you figured you could at least try. As the infamous Harley Quinn played bartender, you snatched the whole bottle of Vodquila from her hands. Silently you walked to the back of the room, observing rather than interacting. When the conversation turned to Harley scolding, no, bashing, Diablo about his hope for a normal life, you glared, not that she noticed in her ranting.
“What’d ya think was gonna happen? Huh? What you were just thinking you and have a happy family, coach little leagues and make car payments? Normal’s a settin’ on the dryer. People like us, we don’t get normal!” She exclaimed
Digger was about to say something but before he could, a salt shaker shattered against the wall behind Harley. “You mind? Some of us want to at least attempt to get smashed in relative peace.” You grumbled.
“And what’s your story, huh?” She pressed.
“I don’t think that’s any of your fucking business.”
“Oh come on, it can’t be worse than accidentally murderin’ your family.” She gestured to the solemn pyrokinetic.
“Guess you’ll never know, asshat.” With that you slammed the now empty bottle on the table and stalked out the back doors of the bar. The tears started as soon as you sunk to the wet asphalt. Images of mutilated bodies and death flicking across your closed eyelids. You didn’t even realize someone else had come outside until Diablo sat next to you.
“Hey…” You said, voice cracking.
“If you’re here to hear my shit show of a story you may as well leave now.”
“I’m not. Just wanted to make sure you’re good.” He replied
“Well obviously I’m not fucking alright, so I guess we’re done here.” You snapped, turning away.
“Anyone can see that carniῆo, but you did drink a whole bottle of the strongest shit here, and that ain’t normal.”
“You’re one to talk jalapeño.” You replied, wiping the tears from your cheeks. “It’d be nice if that booze actually did what it was supposed to in my cluster fuck of a body. We’re not so different, you know?”
He looked over at you, questions written on his face.
“After my asshole of an adoptive brother found out about my healing factor he manipulated me onto a bunch of evil shit. There was some minor things, dealing, and robbery. But the bastard couldn’t stop there. No, he manipulated me into seventy-two murders. That’s seventy-two lives on me. Thirty-three of them were just kids.” You let out a bitter chuckle. “He kept a god damned scrapbook of the hell he put me through. The only time my hand wasn’t forced was when I put my sword through his neck.” You took a shaky breath. You hadn’t meant to tell him everything, you just needed to tell someone and dammit he was so easy to talk to. “I’m sorry… I… sorry…” You made a move to get up to get up but his voice stopped you.
“I don’t think no one blames you, Pollito.” He said.
“Tell that to seventy families.” You mumbled. “The only good shit I’ve done is turn myself in.”
He stayed silent.
“Everyone hates me, even myself. If I can’t love myself, why should anyone else?”
He remained silent but not still. When you stood he did too, grabbing your wrist and pulling you into a hug. Unbeknownst to you, his first willing human contact since the incident with his family. Your brain told you to shove him off and dart away, but he was warm and smelled like smoke and his heartbeat was strong against your ear. So you wrapped your arms around him and held on for your life.
“Not everyone, Pollito, you got a family with us now.” He said.
“A family of murderers and thieves, sounds fucking lovely.”
“Well, I ain’t exactly the sentimental type.”
You both pulled back but stayed close, afraid to look at each other and afraid to move farther away. Just as the silence grew awkward, there was a hand on your cheek that pulled you close enough for him to place a short kiss on your forehead. Seconds later he pulled away and your eyes fluttered open. You hadn’t even realized you had closed them.
“Thanks Diablo.” You whispered, smiling.
“Chato.” He replied.
“My name. Chato Santana.”
“Well then Chato, let’s go save the world.” You grinned.