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Tuesday, October 1st, 6:44 PM


The Dutemps Building bustled with activity as the various office workers and residents of its lower and mid-levels shared space with the construction workers and ubiquitous scaffolding wrapping around the skyscraper like wireframe chrysalis. The hewn stone of the fantastical addition to the tower's upper levels was beginning to take shape, promising to be a memorable addition to the Freedom City skyline but most of the people forced to detour around cordoned-off area or squeeze into elevators alongside power tools seemed to be counting the days to its completion.


One young woman had entirely different matters distracting her as she politely apologized for bumping into yet another person in the crowded lobby and made her way to an elevator. On the taller side, the unremarkable taupe trenchcoat she wore, fiddling absentmindedly with the buckles, concealed most of her athletic frame while the snow white streak in her otherwise dark, chocolate brown hair drew some small amount of attention. The other elevator riders were too consumed in their own schedules to pay her much mind, though one gossip-minded administrative assistant couldn't help but notice that the young woman selected the highest floor still open during construction after checking a room number jotted down on her phone.


The last person to exit before the elevator headed back down, the young woman hesitated, having to shoot out a hand to stop the doors from closing when she took a moment too long. The sliding metal creaked in protest at the unexpected resistance but she slipped into the opulent hallway and let them shut behind her. Taking a deep breath, she glanced at her reflection in the floor to ceiling windows and quickly rubbed a bit of errant dirt from one cheek off on the back of a sleeve. Walking the rest of the way to the end of the hall she knocked quickly on the door as though worried she would loose her nerve otherwise.

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The apartments sole occupant was curled up on a couch wearing a simple charcoal grey camisole and pajama bottoms, reading something off of a tablet. Scattered on the coffee table in front of her was a laptop and several open textbooks, a legal pad with some quickly penned notes and a half drunk cup of coffee.

The knock brought her head up from her reading, and a moment later she was padding barefoot across the thickly piled carpet to answer the door. She brushed a hand through her shoulder blade length white hair in a quick effort to look presentable and pulled the door open.

Sage green eyes opened wide in surprise, and Eve Martel was momentarily stunned into speechlessness. When she finally found her voice it was quiet, barely above a whisper, and a little husky. "Becky?" Eve said, hesitantly, before starting forward and hugging the young woman in front of her.

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"H-hi Eve," Becky replied with a flushed smile, stooping slightly to return the hug with the sort of ginger care one might give brittle porcelain. Up close the petite Frenchwoman could hear her visitor's heartbeat speed up a step, a little louder that it really should have been through the trenchcoat and clothes underneath. There was a faint earthy scent of someone who had been working with soil and only had time for a quick shower in the meantime. "Sorry for not calling ahead, I didn't know I was going to be in town but there was a thing and, um. May I come in? Unless it's a bad time or anything, of course, sorry again, really!"

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"Mm? Oh, please, come in," Eve said in a tone that was just a little absent sounding. If it looked like the blushing telepath, whose cheeks were a delicate shade of apricot, was reluctant to let go of Becky it's because she was. Eve had missed Becky, of course, but she never realized how much she missed her until the moment she opened the door and saw her.

With a gracious wave, Eve stepped to the side of the portal and beckoned her guest into the apartment. The initial joy she had felt was starting to be eroded by another feeling, guilt, but the petite Frenchwoman kept it from reaching her expression.

"How long will you be in town?" she asked.

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"Ah, you grew out your hair!" Becky observed, sounding a little distracted herself, reaching over as she stepped through the doorway to brush the white locks lightly with her fingertips. It had been some time but Eve might have sworn that her guest's mouth as she smiled was just a touch wider than she recalled, her teeth a little more angled than square. "It looks good." Catching herself, the taller young woman pulled back her hand a little more quickly than she'd meant to and walked the rest of the way inside with her hands in the pockets of her trenchcoat.

Coughing softly to cover some of her jittery nerves, Becky looked about the penthouse apartment. "And this place is... wow. I wasn't sure how hard it would be to find you in a whole city but this stands out, heh." Wandering into the middle of the room, she stood a little awkwardly as though worried that sitting down would presuming too much for her already unannounced visit. "I'm heading out either tomorrow or the next day, it sounds like. I sort of had to convince my boss to let me tag along and I, uh... I'm still not really supposed to go too far without, y'know, supervision. In case."

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This time the flicker of guilt did cross her expression but Eve quickly got that under control. Offering to take Becky's coat, and inviting her to be seated, Eve manged a small smile. "It's a bit over the top," she acknowledged, "I mean, putting a castle on top of a skyscraper is bound to be considered little eccentric, which is the image I'm attempting to cultivate. You know; crazy, spoiled, little rich girl with the devil-may-care attitude sitting in her castle looking down on everyone."

"Someone divorced from reality, who doesn't care about anyone but themselves," she added quietly,

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Becky hesitated for a moment before slipping off her trenchcoat and handing over to Eve. Underneath she wore a jumpsuit of red and white that had the look of a uniform not unlike Claremont's blue and yellows. Even at a glance Eve had seen enough morphic molecule costumes to recognize the material on sight, the cut fitting closely enough to reveal that the Thunder Bay native had put on a significant amount of lean but defined muscle on her reedy frame. "I, ah, didn't have a chance to change," she explained, flushing with embarrassment as she took a seat at one end of the couch. "Don't know if Wraith and Ghost Girl got a chance to fill you in on when they came up for Canada Day but I've got sort of a paid internship deal. ...with punching."

Listening to Eve's explanation of the avant-garde architecture brought forward a breathy exhalation that wanted to be a laugh but couldn't quite make the leap. "I was going to ask about the castle, yeah. Sort of a big secret identity thing? Pretty smart. Kinda seems like it'd only work on people who haven't actually met you, but I guess that's the point, eh?" Folding and unfolding her hands in her lap, Becky tried and failed to estimate just what kind of wealth was required for such a project.

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After she put the Canadian heroine's coat away Eve padded across the living space and joined Becky on the couch settling in next to her instead of taking a place at the other end. She hesitated for a heartbeat then took one of Becky's hands into her own--for the physical contact as much as to calm her and the fidgeting--and smiled.

"It looks good on you," Eve said, indicating the uniform, the added, "You look good too, really good."

She got quiet. "I'm really happy to see you, Becky. I've thought about you a lot these past couple years, and I kept wanting to call or write or do something to get in touch but I was afraid. Afraid you hated me because what happened in the forest was my fault, and I'm sorry."

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"O-oh, well, thanks," Becky managed with only a slight stammer, looking down at the slender digits wrapped around her own as though unable to quite parse what her eyes were telling her. "Listen, I had a lot of time to sit around and think, even after the coma. It's not like you knew what was going to happen, right, and you didn't make me go with you anyway." Finally managing to tilt her head upward again, she looked into Eve's green eyes and unconsciously bit her lower lip for a moment, exposing teeth that were a little sharper than they'd been a few moments previously. "I'm still sorta trying to get a grip on what my life's turned into but it'd be stupid to think it was your fault."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Well, that's me then."

Eve didn't let go of Becky's hand, in fact she gave it a little squeeze as if to test to see if the tall brunette was actually still there. The petite Frenchwoman had played this conversation out a nearly a million times in her head, and this wasn't quite the way she thought it would go.

She expected Becky to be furious with her and that she wasn't made Eve feel even worse about what she dragged the woman into. She could close her eyes (or keep them open--it really didn't matter--such was the curse of perfect recall), and relived every terrible moment in the woods when the girl she had taken a fancy transformed into a Wendigo.

"I hope Daniel Storm didn't give you a hard time," she said after a moment, shaking her head to clear the memory away. "I.. I may have threatened him a little. I was worried about you, and I was afraid of what they'd do so I was ready to.. well.."

Eve trailed off, looking a little embarrassed.

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Becky's cheeks darkened briefly as Eve squeezed her hand but she made a sound that was half clearing of her throat and half laugh as she focused on the thought of the petite Frenchwoman attempting to intimidate True North's stoic and weathered survivalist. "Hee, well. Lucky for me budget cuts to government funded heroics are a bigger problem in Canada than shadowy super-soldier programs or something," she noted with a quick smile, shifting her posture on the couch in a way that not incidentally brought her slightly closer to Eve.

"They took me to a facility out in the Northwest Territories for treating potentially dangerous metahumans while I was in the coma. Once I woke up, Mr. Storm worked with me on a bunch of meditations and stuff to stay in control, which... took a while. Not what you'd call a smooth road." Biting her lip again, she debated for a few silent moments about explaining further, looking over at Eve's expression and sniffing lightly. "I, ah, I know you were sending money along, I guess I should mention. The hospital was pretty advanced but it turns out there are some rare root extracts and salves and things they wouldn't have been able to get normally, so..." The young woman unconsciously leaned forward slightly, toward the shorter heroine's height, the bone white streak in her hair falling loose from the rest and nearly brushing Eve's cheek. "If it wasn't for you I probably wouldn't have even woken up at a--"

Abruptly the hand Eve was holding seemed to spasm. It took an instant to realize that the bones beneath the Canadian's smooth skin were growing and twisting about unnaturally while the muscles attached to them tore violently apart and reknit themselves together in new, unfamiliar shapes. With a pained curse, Becky pulled away in a panic, kicking back with her feet and stumbling off of the couch entirely. She made it a few meters toward the wall before falling to the floor and clutching her hand in her lap, curling up around in and squeezing her eyes shut. Her mouth gritted into a hard line, lips pulled back from too many teeth and continuing noticeably further on either side than it had moments before. "AARGH, no! I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, sorrysorrysorry..."

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Eve had shadowed Becky's movement with no hesitation, and even as her guest folded up on herself the petite Frenchwoman enfolded her in a hug. "It's OK," Eve said quietly, soothingly, as she held Becky to her. "I'm here with you--I'm here for you--and I'm not letting you go. She planted a light kiss on top of the brunette's head--it was more of a comforting gesture than a romantic one--and she continued to speak in a quiet voice and she opened up a telepathic connection.

No words flowed through the link, it was a purely emotional conduit, and through it Eve sent her sympathy, her empathy, her admiration and her devotion. Anyone who knew Eve, truly knew Eve, wouldn't be surprised by her devotion to the girl she held in her arms; Eve's sense of loyalty was one her small circle of friends knew to be both deep and fierce and an even small selection of that small circle knew what the Canadian meant to her.

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Becky shuddered briefly as Eve's arms wrapped around her but didn't push the smaller woman back, instead folding further inward upon herself, her apologies quieting until they were nearly silent, shaky breaths. Without realizing it she gradually shifted her huddled posture to lean slightly into Eve.

The savage roar that screamed at the telepath the moment she made mental contact was in stark contrast. A voice like claws slashing though flesh and teeth gnashing against bone howled inarticulately with hot, rancid breath, a psychic presence pushing forward toward Eve. Despite its violent scrambling, however, it grew no closer, held back by a low pulsing rhythm of thought the Frenchwoman had almost failed to notice over the din. It took a moment to recognize it as a mantra, a litany of practiced willpower forged into bars and chains that strained against their enraged captive.
"M'sorry." Becky whispered aloud, starting to lift her head. "Being around you... So stupid, don't know what I was thinking. It's-- I'm still not safe."

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  • 1 month later...

Eve kissed Becky on the forehead, it was a gentle touch, a mere brushing of the lips against her skin but the telepath was still able to impart a lot of meaning in it. "No apologies, Becky," Eve murmured. "You are very brave and strong, and I admire you for it."

In Becky's mind Eve stood defiant in the face of the malevolent parasite that continually threatened Becky's control. Eve couldn't see a way to extract the Wendigo presence from the Canadian's mind, but she could lend her own considerable mental strength to Becky's own, bolstering her defenses.

And she could plant the seed of another thing, one that would take a while to germinate but one that the Frenchwoman had every intention of seeing bear fruit. She sectioned off a sliver of her psychic presence and did the same with Becky's and melded the two, forming a bond between the two women.

It was a small link, a sliver of psychic presence that belonged wholly to both of them, one that did not yet have the strength to carry thoughts and feelings across vast distances but each girl would still know that the other was there, and that they were never again alone. With proximity however, comes potency, and this melding of psychic signatures could easily be a source of strength and a sanctuary for Becky--and Eve--should there ever be need.

It was a typical Eve solution, who was always willing to sacrifice herself for others.

"You are safe around me, Becky. You always will be."

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Becky's breath caught audibly in her throat as Eve came closer rather than pulling back. The screeching, howling voice in her psyche seemed only more enraged by that. Coiling its terrible psychic mass, it lunged for the spot where Eve's mind touched its host's, baring the conceptual abstractions of a million million claws and fangs eager to tear and rend. It had barely started forward however when its chains snapped back hard, reeling it back, kicking and screaming, to a dark corner of the mindscape.


Leaning against her, Eve could feel Becky's frame subtly shift as bones and muscle retracted back into more familiar proportions. The brunette raised one hand, flexing it open and closed experimentally. "This... is the most I've felt like myself in a long time," she admitted quietly between slow, cautious breaths. "Thank you."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Eve made a pleased little sound as she held Becky; now that the immediate crisis had passed the petite telepath was able to enjoy the feeling of the Canadian in her arms. "Of course," Eve murmured, lightly blushing at the thanks. "It was a risk, but you're worth it." she added. "The bond will take a while to mature; you'll always have a part of me with you, but the strength of the mental support I can provide is significantly affected by proximity."

"And to make it grow and strengthen, we'll have to use it." Eve smiled. "So I hope you don't mind seeing more of me; because I would certainly like seeing more of you."

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"O-oh, well," Becky began with a start before trailing off and squeezing her eyes shut with a small, rueful smile. She looked tired from the momentary lapse in control but already there was a little more colour in her cheeks and a little less tension in her shoulders. "You know, I had this whole plan in my head about showing you how I'd gotten stronger and smarter and how I didn't just lose my head over every pretty girl who paid me a little attention, right?" With a sigh, she shifted her posture enough in Eve's embrace to place one hand on the petite telepath's hip. "So, with the established..." Tilting her chin up, she gave Eve a kiss she'd been waiting to deliver for more than two years.
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If Becky had been waiting for over two years to deliver this kiss, Eve had been waiting just as long to receive it and return its like in good measure. The brunette's hand on her hip sent an electric thrill through the telepath, while a corner of her mind was suddenly and acutely aware of her state of dress, all of which only encouraged her to lose more of herself in the kiss--not that she truly needed much encouragement.

While Eve's lips explored Becky own--they were intimately remembered and wonderfully familiar--one of the hands she had wrapped around the Canadian explored the new muscled contours of the Canadian heroine through her morphic molecule costume. A low purr developed in the former gymnasts throat, laced with a sense of satisfaction, appreciation and approval that was in turn echoed along their nascent bond.

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Becky broke the kiss first with soft, shuddering gasp as Eve's fingers traced the lines of her back and side, the muscles there tensing in response to the telepath's touch. She had a brief, irrational fear that she was dreaming, still in the coma that had eaten months out of her life but the racing heartbeat pounding in her chest told her otherwise. Nuzzling her face into the gap between Eve's chin and clavicle while her fingers tightened around the elastic waistband of the Frenchwoman's pajama pants, she murmured, her breath hot against Eve's neck, "This is probably weird to say, but you smell really good."

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The Frenchwoman's normally pale complexion, which was flushed to a delicate apricot hue, nearly became scarlet at Becky's comment and despite herself she gave a slightly embarrassed giggle. "Not silly at all," she said when she found her voice, shifting her seated posture slightly, incidentally slipping the tips of Becky's fingers past her waistband.

Eve's heart hammered away in her chest as she tried and failed to find the words to articulate just how right Becky felt to her. It was more than just a physical attraction to the telepath (and there was plenty of that), but something about the Canadian woman drew Eve to her over two years ago--some underlying and fundamental aspect to her psyche--and that something still persisted.

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"Oh, good," Becky laughed softly, her voice dropping into a deeper husky rumble against Eve's neck as she ran lips and teeth and tongue lightly over the gymnast's collarbone. Letting her hands continue to explore in the direction the white haired young woman's movements had guided them, she stretched out until she'd gotten he knees under her to either side of Eve's thighs. Becky briefly considered scooping the telepath up in her arms and carrying her over to the couch or looking for an actual bed but quickly decided that after such a wait the plush carpet of the penthouse apartment was a perfectly sufficient venue to show exactly what she'd been wanting to do all that time.

Quite a while later, Becky lay on the floor curled up around Eve with he arms crossing tightly around the Frenchwoman's stomach, her morphic molecule costume serving as an admittedly poor makeshift blanket. Eve could feel the northern heroine's smile against her shoulder blade and the low, rolling sound reverberating deep in her chest sounded suspiciously like a satisfied jungle cat's purr.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Eve snuggled back against Becky with a contented sound of her own while interlacing her fingers with those that rested on her stomach before bringing Becky's hand up to her mouth and kissed it lightly before resting it over her heart. Ever the introspective one, the petite telepath turned her mind inward to examine her thoughts and emotions.

Happy as a word merely scratches the surface of how she truly felt, just as content and comfortable are the shallows of a very deep ocean of feeling. Eve's heart ached at having been robbed of over two years of time with the tall, fit and attractive brunette. Rolling over to face Becky, Eve planted a light kiss on her lips before snuggling up against her.

"I can't do this again," she began quietly. "I'm not a one night stand kind of girl and you're worth so much more than just one night." She blushed, her pale skin flushing a delicate shade of apricot. "I can't let you go and I don't want to."

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Becky's whole body shivered against Eve at the kiss, starting at her lips and rippling all the way down to her toes, skin humming like she'd been shot through with lightning while a low pitched sigh escaped from the back of her throat. "I don't want you to, either," she agreed huskily, craning her neck to run her teeth and the tip of her tongue lightly across the petite gymnast's shoulder. Just then Becky was having considerable difficulty imagining going two hours without Eve cuddled up against her let alone two years.

With a familiar chill of dread settling into her heart, however, she shifted enough that she could look Eve in the face. "It's only... Eve, I can't move here. I needed to get special permission just to come to Freedom with my boss and she's bending some rules letting me be here without a... chaperone." She'd gotten cleared to be in the field and even accompany True North's senior members on international missions but there was a big difference between setting a potentially dangerous, uncontrollable metahuman loose against equally dangerous threats and another letting her wander around a foreign city without supervision capable of taking her down. "I'd never get a visa or any of that and... and I have responsibilities, too. I want this so, so much, I just... I don't know how..." The mournful look on her face threatened to dissolve into tears.

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Eve lightly ran her fingertips along Becky's cheek, brushing back a length of intermingled brown and white hair, before planting a soft kiss on her lips.

"I would never ask you to abandon your responsibilities," Eve said seriously. "And if for some reason I did, I would expect you to refuse." The Frenchwoman broke into an impish smile as she nuzzled against Becky entwining their legs together and resting her head under the Canadian's chin. "I am not without resources," she continued, in a softer but no less serious tone. "I will call in every favor I an owed, and burn my entire fortune to make this work. But let's see where my private jet gets us first."

"All that matters is that we want this, Becky." Some of the iron will and determination that many, hero and villain alike, associated with la Renarde Bleue slipped into Eve's French accented soprano.

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Blinking a few times, Becky took a moment to recover from having her train of angst soundly and efficiently derailed. Money might not have been able to buy happiness but it certainly helped to minimize the obstacles in the way. With some trepidation she began to allow herself to think past the present, considering the possibility that this time things might actually work out, that she could afford to be hopeful about the future. A little voice in the back of her head that had nothing to do with the supernatural parasite bonded to her spirit insisted that there must be some sword of impending doom hanging over the whole affair but Eve's face nuzzling into her neck effectively silenced it. "Has anyone ever told you how pretty you are when you're all resolved?"

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