The story is not long, but the idea started running around my brain after I watched the show a second time. I hope everyone already has a ton of fic ideas in the works. I can't wait to read all of them. This opens immediately after the end of Origins. I'd like to thank Cassie for being a wonderful proofreader and putting up with my current sleep-deprived state.
So, without further ado:
Sleep was like the elusive memory of a dream.
He could feel it hanging out there, just beyond his reach. It beckoned to him, called to his weary body. The long days of workouts and training this last week had left him fatigued. The physical therapist said that would slowly go away as he became accustomed to his new body and as his body, which apparently spent many weeks lying inactive in the hospital, gained strength.
But still, sleep would not come.
He'd tried counting sheep, ceiling tiles and days since he'd last seen his wife, but nothing helped. His mind seemed only to return to the doctor's haunting words.
You know how in the movies it's always raining? Your funeral -- the bluest sky. This lovely faint breeze. Your wife didn't wear black. She wore orange.
Michael closed his eyes, trying to picture the dress and the graceful way it draped around Lisa's beautiful curves and showed off her long, shapely legs. But the image was fuzzy, the color of her dress dull. Sighing heavily, he slowly opened his eyes again and stared at the ceiling as sorrow washed over him. He had told Theo that all he had were his memories, but after months away from his family, he wondered if he really even had those anymore.
Rolling over on his stomach, Michael studied the brick wall behind his bed and tried to push the thoughts away again. Dwelling on it, he knew, would only get his family killed. And while he might welcome his own death right now, he would do anything to protect them.
His mind drifted and he wondered what life now held for him. He had a body unlike any he could have imagined. He'd never dreamed of having a 30-inch waist, let alone the physique of a 20-something. In just the limited time he'd been working out, he realized he could run faster, leap higher and lift more than he used to weigh. He was young and strong and attractive -- even he could see that. The doc had explained that the best biotechnical engineers had worked on him, but a small part of him had to wonder if he was truly human. He had to wonder if he could bleed or age or make slow, passionate love to a woman.
Just because he had the equipment didn't mean he could use it.
Suddenly restless, Michael rolled over again and pushed out of bed to walk over to the window. The dim light of the moon shimmered on the rain-slicked street below. He allowed the light to mesmerize him as he thought about his days filled with workouts, medical testing, psychiatric evaluations and a great deal of intensive training in self defense, survival and intelligence.
But for what purpose?
The doctor hadn't been specific about any of the tasks ahead of him. Michael vaguely remembered Theo talking about creating men who could face the dangers no American man wanted to face. Michael chuckled wryly when he realized that the very things they wanted him to do might give him his wish. It would only take one bullet, one terrorist, one war to destroy their $3 billion G.I. Joe.
Or, it could take just one moment of inaction on his part.
Of course, Theo had probably found a way to program Michael's DNA with an extreme sense of self-preservation. It seemed he thought of everything else.
Well, everything except for the ability to fly or see through things.
A new body, a new life, a new job -- it all seemed so simple for them. So straightforward. So matter-of-fact. So cold and scientific.
Of course they weren't him. Dr. Theodore Morris and his group of government cronies who cataloged everything about him down to how much food and water his body took in and how much waste it spit out didn't seem to care that he had people he cared about. They didn't care that, while his life had been full of thorns -- having a daughter who didn't want to speak to him, being passed over for a promotion, and having less than a perfectly engineered body, just to name a few -- it had still been his life. His life to screw up however he pleased.
And, at least he'd have his wife back.
Sighing again, Michael turned and trudged back to bed. He might have prayed for death, but he'd accept sleep right now. Perhaps if he could sleep, he could dream. And if he could dream, he could be with Lisie for at least a little while.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind
To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them?
To die, to sleep: no more!
And by a sleep to say we end the heartache
And the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to.
To die, to sleep; to sleep, perchance to dream:
Ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause!
Hamlet Act III, Scene II
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