You think you're untouchable
You know -
No one's untouchable
Gwen was thirty years old tonight. It had been five years since LISA had allowed her to have a brief taste of human touch. It had also been five years since she woke up with a man she adored, and she leaned over and kissed him . . . she still remembered the feel of the electricity as it poured out of her lips and into him. How his eyes got wide and she tried to let him loose as soon as she realized but it was simply too late.
"You know where my battery is," he had said, so confident and careless the night before.
And she had been careless too. But dammit, she deserved one night of bliss, and she hadn't been about to pass it up. He was right, though. She did know where his battery was, and once he was 'restarted' she ran out of there.
Literally, she ran. He called behind her as she just rushed to get the fuck out of there. It had been five years since LISA shorted out, robbing her of the one chance she had at something resembling a normal life, forcing her to run from the man she could have loved.
She ended up in Westchester about a month ago. She was on the job, of course - she always was. That time it had been some priceless artifact from the personal collection of a socialite. Nothing incredibly remarkable. She was set to leave for Tokyo tomorrow, but tonight it was her birthday. And she was going to celebrate how she always celebrated.
Or at least that was the plan. She hadn't planned on meeting Rogue in a divey bar on the edge of town. Rogue who was actually named Marie, but honestly? If Gwen's name was Marie she'd go by a cool code name as well.
She briefly wondered why she didn't think of adopting a cool alias, but she was distracted from her thoughts by the young woman beside her, who was crying quietly into her virgin strawberry daiquiri.
"Hey, Rogue, you all right?" she asked, not really caring but feeling it was the right thing to say.
The girl tried to discretely wipe her tears away, shaking her head slowly while she said, "Yeah, I'm all right."
Gwen nodded, not really believing her. She pulled the cherry out of her drink, sucking on it thoughtfully. "So what's your story?"
Rogue looked like a deer caught in headlights - such a cliche, Gwen thought, but she really did. "I don't have a story."
"Yeah, well, everyone's got a story. You, me, Mr. Bartender," Gwen gestured towards the corner, "that guy in the patched-up Armani. We all have our stories. Some more interesting than others, but still, all stories. So what's yours? Hot little Southern number in a skeezy bar in Westchester? You can't be more than seventeen. I want to know why you're here."
Rogue shook her head quickly. "No, I really don't think you want to know my story."
"I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours, cherry." Gwen licked at the cherry slowly before popping it into her mouth. She noticed Rogue's wide-eyed expression. It amused her.
"You first," Rogue said quickly.
Gwen nodded. "Not really fair, but hey. I'll go with it. I'm a go with the flow kind of girl - electrical flow, actually." Gwen took off one of her gloves and touched her finger to the rim of her glass, sparks shooting everywhere. "I'm a freak. I shock anything I touch. I've been struck by lightening more times than I can count anymore. I've been like this since I was little. I was seven when I killed Adam Brown. Closest thing I ever had to a friend. I didn't mean to, but that didn't matter to Miss Thorpe." Gwen said all of this as if it was the most boring thing in the world - on purpose. She slid her glove back on and smiled. "Now, I'm sure your story is much different."
"Actually - " Rogue began, shifting on her stool. "Actually, it's not."
Gwen eyed Rogue carefully. "You're - "
"No, I'm not electrical. I'm - I kind of. I don't know what happens. I suck the life from anything I touch. I'd really rather not give you a demonstration." Rogue paused, staring off into space. "The first boy I kissed ended up in a coma for three weeks."
Gwen shrugged. "At least he didn't die."
Rogue nodded slightly. "I guess."
"So we both are freaks that can't touch people. Lucky us," Gwen said with a sarcastic smirk as she finished off her drink.
"Yeah. Lucky." Rogue looked so forlorn. Gwen would hug her if it was possible. Not that she cared about the girl sitting beside her at all, nor did she want to comfort her. At all. Gwen lied to herself a lot, it made things easier.
Gwen looked at the gloves Rogue sported. Cheaper than her own, of course, but worn for the very same purpose. She wondered why she hadn't noticed them before. Rogue's hand was on the counter, her eyes looking in the distance, obviously lost in thought.
Gwen slowly moved her own gloved hand towards it, watching Rogue's face the whole time. Her hand made first contact, and Rogue swung her gaze around to face her. Their eyes locked, and Rogue looked at her in fear.
"What are you doing?"
Gwen didn't answer, but began to stroke one of Rogue's fingers with her own. Watching Rogue's reaction - watching as the girl relaxed a bit. Watching her face as Rogue laced her fingers between Gwen's own. Gwen's eyes fluttered closed for a moment, and she remembered the feel of Gunn's hand sliding down her bare back . . .
Gwen shuddered, her eyes flying open to see the girl's eyes were also closed. After a moment, Rogue's eyes opened again, and she seemed to realize what was going on. She pulled her hand away quickly.
"I have to get out of here," she said quickly, hopping off of her stool. "Bye, Gwen."
Gwen gave her a small nod of acknowledgment, before she went back to what she was doing before Rogue sat beside her. She celebrated her birthday. Alone, but with the small consolation that there were freaks like her.
Gwen ordered herself another drink, and when it came, she sucked on the cherry and thought of the other untouchable girl.