FIC: Skinless (1/1) Mystique, NC-17
- Title: Skinless
Keywords: X-Men: The Movie fic, post-movie
Summary: Mystique wears many skins.
Category: Slash that could be seen as Het, and Het that could be seen as Slash. Yay Mutation!
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters.
Distribution: My site (http://www.ficorama.net) and Kate Bolin's X-Men: The Movie Slash Archive, if she's interested. Anyone else, please ask.
Thanks: To Mare for the quote, to Kate Elizabeth for the title, and to everyone who answered my infoquest.
February 26, 2001
Every little girl knows about love. It is only her capacity to suffer because of it that increases.
"Please," he said.
Mystique had never heard Magneto use that word before. It didn't sound right and she glanced at him, uncertain. He stared back, his face impassive, waiting. It reassured her that the word was just that. A word.
She stood, awkward and uncertain in her new skin, and walked over to him. He'd taken her in, showed her how to make a place for herself in the world and she owed him.
She reached a hand up, placed it against his face. His cheek was bristly against her palm, rough with stubble, and she shivered from gratitude and more. The feel of his face scraping against her, his skin abrading her neck, her chest, her stomach, her thighs, the small of her back, those were feelings she wanted, sensations she craved. She would be anyone and anything for him.
He turned away from her touch. She held her hand out anyway, cupped in case he should return. He pushed her hand aside and rested his fingers against her face, slid his knuckles over her cheek. She shuddered, the self she wore falling away for a moment as she forgot who she was supposed to be.
A rap on her face reminded her, red pain reverberating on her cheekbone, spreading up behind her eyes. "You must not," he said. "There is only one face I wish to see."
She closed the eyes she wore, nodded.
Another rap, harder. Her teeth shuddered in her jaw, an ache spreading down into her throat and lower still. "Better," he said.
His hands moved then, curving over shoulder, waist, and hip. He stood so close that the distance between them almost didn't exist. She opened her eyes and leaned forward to press into him fully, to make sure that their bodies touched everywhere. He moved back. Away. Just slightly, but she saw it.
He knew she would never leave him. He knew she would always close the distance between them.
One of his hands rested against the small of her back, his fingers digging into her spine almost painfully. Her legs twitched, spasming against his. She tilted her head back, hoping he would rest his mouth against her skin.
"I've restored you," he murmured. His mouth was hot, open, barely touching her skin, and his fingers pressed into her spine again, harder. "Aren't you grateful for that, Charles? Aren't you?"
"Yes," she gasped out, tears gathering behind eyes that weren't hers, were never hers. Her voice was not her own either and she marveled at the emotion in it. Was that how she felt? "Of course I am."
Senator Kelly's wife was blonde-haired and blue eyed. Both were faded, the hair to a dull gold, the eyes to a washed-out blue, the wife herself shrinking in stature, lessening. Mystique had seen pictures of the Senator's past (now her past, another one she owned) and had noted the wife's fading. Slowly, over the years, everything about her had dimmed.
The wife's name was Sharon. She'd worn the same perfume for years and the smell of it, though pleasant, wasn't quite right for her. Mystique, as the Senator, gave her a bottle of a new fragrance, a gift. She hadn't given many of those but as soon as she saw the envelope in the mail she knew what she would do. She bought the perfume after she'd read the letter and shredded it. She didn't question her actions. She never did that.
Sharon stared at the bottle after Mystique gave it to her, misery etched on her face. "I don't understand," she said. "You've always said L'Air du Temps was your favorite. I've worn it for years, just for you. It gave me such headaches at first..." A pause, and Mystique watched as Sharon looked down, knotted her hands together in her lap. Summoning courage, she thought, and remembered the long strips of the letter after it had been shredded, made into something ready for forgetting.
"You've changed," Sharon said slowly. "And Robert...I'm glad. There, I've said it. I didn't think I could love you more, but I do. "
A wife that loved her husband. Of all the things Mystique expected when she donned Kelly's skin, that was something she'd never thought about. She'd anticipated what she thought was the typical political marriage--public appearances, chaste affection for the cameras only, separate lives, perhaps a tense exchange or two in private. She hadn't expected the slow melting Sharon was capable of.
She watched herself in the mirror. The Senator smiled, pulled his wife into an embrace, his hand cradling the back of her neck. One simple twist of her hand, she thought, and slid her fingers down, resting them under the collar of Sharon's blouse. The skin there was pale and soft and the beginning of wrinkles, of fleshy folds, were developing.
She took his wife (hers, for as long as she needed) to bed then, middle of the day, sunlight coming in through the windows of the Georgetown home. She unhooked Sharon's sedate skirt, unfastened her white bra with its yellowing straps. Sharon believed in economy. She unbuttoned her own shirt, looked down at the expanse of Senator Kelly, now herself. White belly, rounded with fat and sprinkled with hair.
Sharon stroked a hand down that stomach, over the curve that was contained by tailored pants and the ability to tell photographers that 'I don't really enjoy having profile shots taken. I like my constituents to know I'm not afraid to look them in the eye.' "You've been stopping to buy doughnuts in the morning," she said, a smile on her face. Chiding, but gently, and the press of her fingers didn't carry any disapproval. Just wanting, and that Mystique was able to answer. That she was willing to answer.
Pressing Sharon back on the bed Mystique ran hands-- blunt, square fingernails capping pale flesh dotted with freckles, his hands, her hands--down, lingering touches across skin. Skin with wrinkles and curves it could never lose, would only gain. One skin to show. One skin only. That's what Sharon had. That was her gift.
Mystique bent down, Kelly's glasses (hers now) slipping off onto the bed. She surveyed Sharon through eyes that rendered everything a little out of focus. She missed seeing the folds, the curves, and pushed her fingers down a little harder, mapping flesh.
Memorizing, so she could remember no matter who she was.
Night, and Sharon was sleepy-eyed. The blue of her eyes, that faded color, was barely visible under heavy lids. Mystique rolled in close, pressed the Senator's face against Sharon's cheek. She thought she could feel the red pulse of blood pushing inside Sharon's face, making her skin warm, making it glow a sated pink. She liked the color.
"You missed your sub-committee meeting," Sharon said. "Robert, what are you going to say when they ask where you were?"
She shrugged, placed the Senator's hand on Sharon's breasts, rolling a nipple between thumb and forefinger and then curving a hand over it. Sharon's back arched and her nipple stabbed into a palm. My palm now, Mystique thought, and bent her head down, ran her tongue across flesh she had recently tasted. After a moment she lifted her head up and scratched her nose (Kelly's nose, and she could tell that he'd had surgery on it, she could feel the places where flesh had been rearranged resting on the inside of his face), which itched. "It doesn't matter."
Sharon had taught her how to linger in the aftermath of sex, how to hold on to the feelings it roused. It was a nice feeling and she was loath to give it up, especially for meetings. Robert Kelly had a far greater tolerance for fools than she did.
"Do you want something to eat?" Sharon asked.
She ran her hand down Sharon's side and then over across her stomach and lower still, finally resting fingers--hers now, she told herself --at the top of the juncture of faded blonde curls. "Maybe."
Sharon smiled, stretched up. Mystique's fingers slid down, rubbing across slick flesh. "Are you still going to leave for that conference tonight?"
"Yes." She rolled Sharon closer towards her, so that they lay face to face. Kelly's penis, red and straining, lay between them, pushing against Sharon's stomach. She shifted and slid it between Sharon's thighs; let it wait while she continued to move her fingers.
A moan, and Sharon's voice in her ear. "I'm going to miss you terribly, love. You'll be back soon, won't you?"
She bent her head down, rested it against Sharon's neck. Pushed inside her with Kelly's flesh, her flesh, and began to move. Whispered "No," against the skin of her wife, her mouth forming the words, but no voice escaping. She wasn't sure if she had one of her own anymore.
She wasn't sure if she'd ever had one.
The train was crowded. She was not Robert Kelly anymore. There was a young man standing in the dimly lit corridor outside the bathroom hidden in the basement of the Metro station and she snapped his neck, turned his face into her own.
She took the Metro to Union Station and got on a train. There was a phone at the end of the car, snug inside a little booth, plastered with signs advertising that phone calls could be made with credit cards.
Johnny--that was the young man's name, printed on his driver's license--had two credit cards. She found them in his wallet, along with the license, fourteen dollars, and a scrawled piece of paper with a girl's--Missi who drew hearts over her i's--phone number on it. She thought of Sharon, nestled in Kelly's bed, waiting for the phone call she had been promised by her husband as they stood, embracing, in the dimly lit hallway of their home. She put the cards back in the wallet and did not look towards the back of the train car again.
She had a long ride and her feet fell asleep after a while. Johnny's shoes were too tight. When she got off the train, she rented a car using one of the credit cards and drove to her destination.
She signed forms and waivers and allowed herself to be searched twice. She listened to warnings and reminders and nodded at the right times. The guard that walked her through the prison was lean and tall and had a hard, pinched face. He constantly fingered the gun he wore belted around his waist. She figured it was his talisman and smiled.
They entered a building, a squat square blight that offended her eyes. "Stand here while I open the access doors," the guard said. "Security reasons. We gotta get a scan."
She shrugged and stood still, watched as the guard knelt down, letting the laser eye of a scanner pass across his face. A pause, then a click, and then he gestured towards her. She knelt down and let the light of the scanner map Johnny's face and create an image. It would be a memory of someone's visit, but not hers. Never hers.
The door slid open and she straightened up, followed the guard inside. There were two other guards sitting in the glass observation booth. They looked bored. One was staring at the clock. One was yawning. She reached Johnny's arm out, smiled because of the strength it held--she was used to Kelly's aging muscles--and slid the guard's gun out of his holster. He registered the movement almost in time but she was ready and her other hand wrapped around his throat. His windpipe made a crunching noise as she pushed it closed. He fell down, making gurgling noises. She ignored them.
The other guards glanced up then, startled expressions on their faces. Death always came as a surprise to people. She shot one guard, then the other. It was noisier than she'd thought it would be; she hadn't shot a gun in quite a while. The recoil made the muscles in her arms flex. Both guards dropped to the floor like puppets that had lost their strings; no graceful collapse, just a sudden drop, and the holes in their foreheads grew dark red circles around them. Below her, the other guard twitched, his arm brushing against her foot. She looked down at him almost absently and pulled the trigger again.
She'd forgotten about close range shots. It was a shock--the hot smell of the fired gun, the noise that made her ears ring briefly, the feel of bone and blood spattering backwards. It felt like rain, moist damp drops on her face, sliding down and hitting the floor. She closed her eyes, just briefly, and then opened them again. Bending down, she picked up the guard's keys and his wallet. Her skin rippled and as she straightened up, she surveyed her new gaunt frame, then lifted a hand up, smoothed back the widow's peak of hair on top of the guard's head. Her hair, for now. She wiped her face, taking tissues from a box on a desk in the corner of the room, and started the elevator that would take her up to the bubble suspended out above the floor of the building.
In the elevator she fingered the gun, tracing the same patterns on the holster that the guard had. She knew that later when the guards who'd seen her leave, seen her driving the van that was taking Magneto down to the facility that had been newly built for him, were asked, they would say that they thought the guard they all knew was acting "a little strange." She knew that deep down they would all think that everything seemed exactly as it should have been. They would all think that everything seemed fine and she knew that from now on they would find themselves glancing at everyone they met, wondering if the face they saw was the face that really was.
That was the gift she gave.
She was almost there. She could see Magneto's head through the glass walls of his cell. He was bent over his chessboard, waiting. She could imagine the smile on his face. She knew she would see it soon.
Waiting. He was waiting for her. He knew she would come, knew that she would act as soon as she got his letter. He knew she would always close the distance between them. He knew that she would be anyone and anything for him.
This, she thought, this feeling inside her, this--
This is love.
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