by Te
May 26, 2003

Disclaimers: Not mine, dammit.

Spoilers: None, really.

Summary: The embodiment of memory.

Ratings Note: R.

Author's Note: Jenn made me do it. I think she has
some sick, heretofore unknown kinks.

Acknowledgments: To Jenn for audiencing.

Feedback: If you'd like.


Mystique doesn't do this all the time.

There are... limits to the amount any fantasy can be
used without the power of it beginning to fade, and
it's not as though she hadn't done this before. Many,
many times while Irene still lived.

She hadn't been able to *see* Mystique shift, but
she always knew just the same.

"The air changes," she'd say.

"I can *smell* it, lovely," and she'd cackle and light
another unfiltered cigarette.

More likely, she just knew Mystique well enough to
catch all her moods. She'd never been with anyone as
long as she was with Irene. Long enough to watch the
flesh of her neck go soft and somewhat saggy, to
watch her breasts wither and slump against her thin
chest with nothing like defeat.

Woman's body, pale and fragile and wonderful. The
taste of her on her tongue, sharp with all the nicotine
and spicy from all the foods she wouldn't let the
doctors make her stop eating.


Mystique knows bodies, knows how to read them
down to the muscle and bone, how to catch a walk,
how to shape her lips just right for a growl or a purr
or any other exclamation.

She knew Irene's better than any other. Every wrinkle,
every freckle, every mole and the way the skin at the
back of her neck seemed thicker than the rest. Velvet
with hairs too short to see. And it wasn't as though
there was any practical *reason* to look like Irene --
the woman hadn't lived a life that demanded that sort
of thing. But... still.

Sometimes she just had to.

Slipping into Irene's form like she thought humans
slipped into favored old clothes. Only... not their own.
The clothes of a lover, or a friend, the smell of them
rich and high in their noses; the memories, at last,
solid enough to touch.

To *be* Irene, to touch herself with Irene's hands,
taste the inside of her elbow with Irene's sharp pink
tongue... oh, she could almost pity the humans at
times like these, with their worn out t-shirts and
ill-fitting jeans. They have only the barest fraction of
what she does, even though Irene herself is long, long

Even though there is only Mystique, gazing at herself in
a full-length mirror, one bunch-knuckled hand hidden
behind the grey fuzz of her sex.