Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: femslash100100 Alphabet Soup: Loner
Word Count: 1,379
Date Written: 7 March 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
She looks up as the blind woman sits across from her. "You're not getting rid of me that easily, Raven."
She pauses and thins her smile, silencing her gasp of surprise before it can escape her. She thought Irene wouldn't be able to follow her here, and she certainly shouldn't recognize her now. She's completely different from the woman she was when they met. The woman who made love to Irene last night was a dark-skinned, brunette beauty; now, she's a blonde whose pale skin looks like it's never seen the light of day.
"Would you like to tell me why you ran away?"
The pale skin she's wearing now flushes with her anger. Mystique doesn't run away from anybody, which just proves that this woman doesn't know her, not really, no matter how many hours they might have spent working or sleeping together before. That mission is over. It's time to move on.
She holds her head up high, shaking the blonde strands from her face, but her smile is completely gone now. Tight-lipped, she responds with a air of haughtiness, "Je suis désolé. Je ne sais pas qui est ce Raven. Vous devez me faire confondre avec un autre."
Irene has the audacity to smirk at her, a look that Raven almost slaps off of the younger woman's face. Almost, but something stills her hand just before it can reach across the table and knock some humility into her. "Absurdité. Je sais que c'est vous, Raven ou le nom que vous utilisez maintenant."
"Je ne suis pas ce Raven -- "
"Stop the act," Irene demands. "You are not a new mission, at least not yet, and I know it's you. You're the only woman I've ever met whose scent mingles with Chanel Number Five, silk, gunpowder, and lead with just a touch of arsenic."
Raven stares at her, the big, blue eyes of her current form widening even more. They flash back onto her natural yellow as she stares in disbelief at the bold woman sitting across from her.
"I knew the moment you left me in our room," Irene continues. "I thought you would return, so I gave you time to do so. When you didn't, I dressed and followed your scent. Why are you running from me, Raven?"
Raven's lips move wordlessly for a moment before she manages to hiss, "I run from no one."
Irene draws herself up a little higher, clearly proud. "Yes, you are. You're running from me, and I think I deserve to know why. Have we not worked together excellently these last several months? We don't have a new mission yet. What if the agency wants us to work together again?"
"What if they don't?" She'd actually put in a request for a solo mission, but she doesn't volunteer that information.
"Then I'm prepared to quit."
Irene smirks as Raven stares at her. "I can imagine the shock on your face right now. Your eyes are wide, probably reverted back to your natural color which, I'm quite certain, is beautiful. Your mouth is wordless agape, because you don't know what to say. I'm ready to keep working with you, but I expect you're probably just the opposite. You've probably asked for us to be parted."
"What . . . makes you think that?"
"Because during this short time we've been working together, I've come to know you, Raven Darkholme."
Raven winces as Irene uses her full name. It was a mistake to give the woman that information on her, but it had slipped out during one of their nights together when she'd thought they'd both had too much wine.
"I'm a loner, Irene," she finally says. "You don't need to be caught up with me."
"Hell, Raven, let me make that judgement call myself, or are you going to be like the rest of this damned world and try and protect the little, ole blind lady?"
Raven's mouth falls open. "I . . . I'm not trying to protect you."
"That's right." Irene doesn't miss a beat. "You're trying to protect yourself."
"I don't need protection from you!"
"Prove it." Irene pulls her glasses down her nose and directs her cloudy gaze directly onto Irene's startled eyes. "Come back with me. Don't split from me until they tell us we have to, and then . . . Then, if you still want to go," she makes herself say the words she's been planning for months, knowing always this day would come when Raven would try to run from the love for which she knows they're both destined, "I'll let you go until you're ready to come home."
"I don't have a home."
"Kiss me," Irene challenges, pushing her glasses back up and smiling, "and tell me it doesn't feel like home. But know, too, that I know every time you're lying."
"H-How?" Raven questions even as Irene continues, "You can't lie from me."
"I hear it in your voice," she answers. "The decibels is some one's voice as they're telling a lie are always just slightly higher than when they speak the truth. You can lie to yourself. You can lie to our superiors. You can lie to the world even. But you can not lie to me. Now kiss me and tell me my lips, my arms, don't feel like home to you. I know yours do for me."
"You're crazy -- "
"Yes." Irene smirks. "We both are completely insane. That's why we're so good at our jobs. Now kiss me," she directs again.
Raven starts to reach across the small table in the busy cafe. "No," Irene tells her, "not like that. Like this." She reaches out, grabs Raven's nervous hands, and threads their fingers together. As she's doing so, she tugs on her hands and stands, pulling Raven with her. She steps up, closing the space between them, places Raven's hands on her skinny hips, and places her lips on her mouth.
Raven gasps softly as emotions flow through her, emotions that she's been trying to deny for weeks as she's spent nearly every moment of every day so close to this beautiful and alarming woman. Irene takes that moment to slip her tongue smoothly into her lover's mouth and deepen their kiss. Her arms going around her waist, pulling her closer still, holding her -- holding her like Raven's never been held before except by one person, except for her.
And her heart sings. Damn it, but the woman's right! She's never felt like Irene makes her feel about anybody else, and yes, if she can admit the truth even just to herself, yes, it does scare her a little bit. All right, it scares the Hell out of her. She's never loved any one before like she's falling in love with Irene Adler. She's never truly loved any one before.
They kiss for several, long minutes there in the busy cafe. Raven's hair and skin grow dark again. Her body contorts its form, reverting to its normal shape. Shouts ring through the cafe. People run. Guns are drawn. Finally, Irene lifts her lips from Raven's just enough to whisper, "Come home with me."
Raven will never admit the tears that sparkle in her yellow eyes at her love's soft whisper, but her body sings with danger as well as love. She knows they're about to be fired on. "Okay," she whispers, grinning, "but first, it's time to dance." She grabs Irene with one arm and her gun with her other hand. She fires at their attackers just as the first ripple of bullets blast through the French air.
Screams resonate. More people run. More bullets are fired. With one arm wrapped tightly around her lover and the other holding tightly to her gun, Raven dances them out of the cafe and to the shadows of Paris. She remembers being advised that seeing Paris in the Spring time would change her life forever. She'd thought the person sent to send her on her next mission was crazy, and perhaps she had been, but she was still right. Paris in Spring time -- Paris in Spring time with Irene -- had changed her life forever. She keeps them dancing until they're home again, safe in each other's arms, and she feels loved once more.