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Aug. 11th, 2007

Title: #3 Reality
Character: Victor Creed, Sabretooth/Mystique
Theme set: Alpha
'Verse: Comics
Rating: G
Words: 532

“What the hell are you reading?” Victor flopped artlessly into the armchair next to Raven and poked at the paperback novel she was reading with his index finger. She would have made a comment about certain people respecting personal spaces, but knew that it would have been wasted on him. He did whatever he wanted whenever and wherever he wanted, other people’s feelings be damned.

“It’s called a book. You know, those things made of paper that have words printed on them.”

He snorted and reached for the remote. “Smartass.”

She stretched on the couch, lazily crossing one sock-covered foot over another. Frowning, she noticed that there was a piece of colored cereal sticking to the bottom of her right toe. One of them was going to have to clean sooner or later. Knowing the fit he’d pitch, she knew it would wind up being her doing the sweeping. “Since when did you care about what I do in my spare time?” she asked, putting the book down so that it rested on her chest. It was strange, this truce that they had somehow unofficially fallen under. It likely wouldn’t last for long, but she decided that she was going to enjoy it for as long as she could. Times like this, she almost felt as if they had a normal relationship, if them constantly arguing back and forth and then having sex afterwards could be considered a basis for a relationship.

“I don’t,” he told her, putting his feet on the coffee table. Flecks of mud fell off the bottom of his boots and covered up the celebrity-of-the-week’s face on the cover of the magazine under his heel.

“Then?”

“Never pegged you as the type to read them bodice-ripper books is all.” He poked with his finger again; enjoying the annoyed look she shot him when the book closed, losing her place.

“Yeah, well I like them. And for your information, there hasn’t been a single bodice ripped in this one.” She swatted at his hand and leaned on one of her elbows. “Anyway, they’re entertaining. The guy gets the girl in the end and they ride off into the sunset happily ever after.”

He was quiet for a while and Raven fought the urge to squirm under his stare. “That ain’t how it happens in real life, you know,” he finally said.

She gave him a sad smile. “Yeah, I know.” They stayed like that; looking at the other with words unsaid hanging between them until Victor stood up.

“Thinking about calling for pizza. You want anything special?” And just like that, the moment was gone. Raven rattled off a list of toppings, but knew by the twist of his lip that he would ignore her and get whatever he wanted. She sighed, then thumbed through her book until she found her place again. Victor came back and flipped channels until he found a badly done made-for-TV movie where nearly everything blew up every other scene. Deciding to pay more attention to the muttered commentary Victor would give every so often instead of the words in front of her, she figured that sometimes Happy Right Now was enough for her.

***

Title: #5 Dance
Character: Victor Creed, Sabretooth/Mystique
Theme set: Alpha
'Verse: Comics. I'm skewing continuity and putting Sabes and Raven in the Brotherhood around the time that Rogue split and joined the X-Men.
Rating: PG
Words: 900

The sheets next to him were cold. He had the distinct impression that he had told her to stay next to him before he had rolled over and fallen asleep. Not that she would have listened to him, but hell, he had even used a tone of voice that could have easily been interpreted as asked instead of told. Annoyed, he padded down the hallway until he found her in the kitchen. She had her back to him and was putting up dishes while humming along to some tune that was playing on the radio near the microwave. She swayed as she moved from cabinet to drawer, and Victor couldn’t help but enjoy the fact that she was wearing nothing but one of his shirts. It hung down to mid-thigh on her and the neckline sagged enough that her bare right shoulder peeked through.

“It’s three in the morning, Darkholme.” She jumped, nearly dropping a dish on the floor.

“Jesus, Creed,” she said, a hand to her chest. “It’s creepy as hell when you sneak up like that.”

“So learn to be more aware.” He walked over to the fridge and helped himself to a carton of leftover takeout. “What are you doing up at this hour anyway?”

“Couldn’t sleep.”

“Thought I’d taken care of that.” He picked out the lo mien noodles from the carton with his fingers, which was something he knew annoyed her.

She rolled her eyes and stacked a plate on top of another. Her movements were too precise; he knew that something was bothering her. “Unlike you, I don’t automatically roll over and start snoring after sex.”

“You should take it as a compliment, woman.” He braced himself for a perfunctory argument about how he was nothing but a pig, but didn’t get it. He didn’t know if he should have been disappointed or not. Truth be told, he kind of liked the arguments they got into - or at least he liked the not-so-serious ones that weren’t likely to make them come to blows and then wind up hating the other for long periods of time.

“I’ve been looking at the blueprints for tomorrow.”

“And?”

“It’s not going to work. If you go in the back way like Magneto planned, and if they show up like I bet they will, I’m sure that Wolverine is going to wind up meeting you there.”

Victor shrugged and licked his fingers. “So what? The Runt an’ I haven’t had a good tussle in a while. I’ve been itching to kick his ass since the last time.”

Raven sighed and leaned against the sink. “If I remember correctly, it was you who wound up with your ass kicked all over the place that last time. You were grumpier than usual while you licked your wounds.”

He scowled. “Only because the punk made sure he had backup. I could have taken him by himself.”

She waved her hand in dismissal. “Anyway, I’m just saying that if you do get into it with Wolverine, that would be exactly what they’d want. There’d be one less of us for them to contend with. We need to get this right.” Her eyebrows pinched together and she rubbed her hands over her arms.

“You don’t really give a shit about who fights who. What’s really eating you?” He tossed the now empty container into the garbage and went over until he was almost a foot away from her. “It’s Rogue, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her back stiffened up and she moved to put a handful of cutlery into a drawer. The sound of metal forks hitting the drawer organizer was nearly deafening in the silent kitchen.

“Might not. Sticks in your craw, doesn’t it? How she dumped you to fight on the good side.”

“I said shut up.” She ran her hands through her hair. “Besides, she can make her own decisions, even if they’re bad ones. She’ll come back.”

“And if she doesn’t?”

Raven shrugged. “Then I guess I’ll just have to fight her. Anyone that stands in my way is my enemy, Creed,” she looked him in the eye. “Anyone.”

He reached out, gathered her in his arms. Her head fit neatly under the shelf of his chin and it felt right for her arms to wrap around his back. He didn‘t know when they started to sway to the music on the radio - some tune from back in the forties, if he had to guess - but that felt just as natural. “Just you remember that when it happens. Don’t go screwing things up by going soft on me.” He wasn’t sure if the last part pertained only to dealing with Rogue or not. It was too late and he was too tired to give it a closer look either. “Come on, it’s late. I know how bitchy you get when you don’t get enough sleep.”

She hit him in the stomach with the flat of her hand. “Ass.”

“See? It’s started already.” He flipped off the light switch and left the kitchen. “Come back to bed.” There, he’d used the asking tone again. When she didn’t follow him right away, he figured the hell with her, but quirked his eyebrow when he felt her hand sliding into his. He gave her fingers a brief squeeze before heading back to the bedroom.

***

Title: #23 Compliment
Character: Victor Creed, Sabretooth/Mystique
Theme set: Alpha
'Verse: 616 Comicverse, no actual continuity reference
Rating: PG-13ish for Vic's slight potty mouth.
Words: 432

He had been awake for some time when Raven bolted up in bed, her hand over her mouth to smother a scream. He feigned sleep when she shoved the sheets off her body and made her way to the bathroom. She had closed the door nearly all the way, but the thin ray of light that shone through the crack between door and jamb managed to hit him straight in the eyes. He threw an arm over his face and pretended he didn’t hear her crying under the sound of the sink running. It might have worked too, if she hadn’t sounded so broken. He pushed the door open softly, finding her sitting naked on the cold linoleum floor with a makeup compact in her hand. The cheap hotel lighting cast an eerie glow off her blue skin, which already stood out in sharp contrast to the white floor.

“Go away,” she said, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hands.

He leaned against the doorframe and crossed his arms over his chest. “Not until you stop your damn wailing. A person can’t get any sleep with all the racket you’re causing.”

She sniffed, then glared at him. “Well excuse me for waking you. I’ll shut up.” She flinched when he walked into the bathroom and turned off the sink faucet. He gave her a sideways glance before sitting down on the rim of the bathtub.

“That’s the third time this week you’ve woken up like that.” The tone he said it in surprised them both. It was almost gentle, which wasn’t something that people usually associated with him.

“It’s nothing, just me being stupid.”

“Bull. Spill.”

She sighed, then picked up the mirror and looked at it for a long time. Victor was about to give up for the night when she finally spoke. “Sometimes…sometimes I wonder what face is mine. I change so often that I’m scared one day I won’t remember how I’m actually supposed to look.” She shook her head and leaned against the tub. “That’s about it.”

Victor stood up and offered her one of his hands. “You’re gonna freeze your ass off on that floor if you sit there any longer.” She took his hand and stood, wiping at her eyes for a final time. Victor was already headed back to bed, his bare feet slapping against the thin carpet.

“Hey, Darkholme?”

“Yeah?”

“Always did like you best as a redhead.”

She smiled at his back and turned off the bathroom light. “Creed, I think that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

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