AN: I do not own the X-Men, but I do own Maggie Dorn, aka Stealth.
This is in response to Dark Jaded Rose's challenge to write a story with an OC and an unloved or rarely mentioned character. I decided to choose Irene Adler (Destiny). I don't think I've ever seen any stories where she was the main character or that didn't directly involve Rogue or Mystique.
This story takes place several months after Mystique's death, and it is slightly AU in that Mystique was not resurrected by Apocalypse.
The wind was cool across her cheek as Irene moved down the sidewalk, cane tapping in front of her. She could hear the scrape and scatter of leaves on the pavement as that same wind sent them here and there. It was such a calm, peaceful sound, one that she always associated with fall, her favorite season. The weatherman had said that it would be sunny today and she took him at his word; the wind didn't feel like the type that came with stormy weather. She always took him at his word though, as it had been years since she had been able to open her eyes and see for herself.
She tried not to dwell on that too much though as she made her way to her favorite coffee shop. It did no good to keep going over things that could not be changed, and besides it promised to be too nice a day to get depressed before one's first cup of coffee. There was more than enough time in the day to be depressed, and better things to be depressed about, she sighed to herself.
The coffee shop had become a habit ever since Raven's death. The small house in Bayville that her partner had left her was close enough that she could walk to most places that she needed, and wandering one day not too long after the funeral, she had found this place and had ended up staying several hours at one of the outdoor tables, nursing her coffee and listening to the people go by. One might ask how a blind woman could find a place like that on her own, but Irene was no ordinary woman. She was a mutant, and a uniquely gifted one. Her gift of precognition, that had both taken her sight and allowed her to see the future, also gave her the ability to see what was going to happen just far enough ahead in time for her to "see", for the most part, where she was most of the time. Nothing was 100% accurate though, not even mutations, so she still used her cane.
Irene had been isolated for so long; her life before Bayville had been spent in solitude with her foster daughter Rogue in Mississippi, and before that in travels with Raven. It was unusual, and kind of nice, to be among people again, normal people who had nothing to do with mutant problems; and so she took these mornings to sit and feel part of the world around her. As much as she loved and missed Raven, it was kind of nice to go through the days now and feel like an everyday person. Magneto had no claim on her as she had never worked directly for him; she was always Mystique's partner and had very little to do with him. Besides with Raven gone, Irene had no desire to affiliate herself with mutant groups for either side any longer. She had always used her abilities out of love for her partner and family, and that incentive was no longer there. Charles had offered her a home at the Institute after the funeral, but she declined. Even though she did not blame Rogue for Raven's death as she knew everything her partner had put the girl through and was partially to blame for it herself; there was still a strain between the two of them and it would just have been too difficult to live under the same roof again after everything that had happened. Anyway, she didn't need a home; between her own money and what Raven had left her, she was able to live quite comfortably for whatever remained of her life.
Reaching the coffee shop, she went inside and ordered a cappuccino, taking the carefully separated bills out of her wallet to pay. She took the coffee and turned around to go outside. She noticed that she wasn't seeing what was going to happen within the next minute or two so she gripped her cane a little tighter. This wasn't too unusual; there were sometimes occasions when she couldn't see ahead of her. They never lasted long though, and she didn't rely on her visions 100% of the time anyway. She was almost to the door when she collided with someone, spilling her coffee and almost falling down. A hand grabbed her arm to support her and startled, she said,
"I'm sorry, I didn't see you there."
And a warm, pleasant voice responded. "Now that's something I don't hear every day from a blind person."
Maggie Dorn was amused. The woman in front of her was either very confused or just had a really good sense of humor. It was obvious from the cane and sunglasses that she wasn't in the habit of seeing anything or anybody though. Despite the fact that she couldn't see it, Maggie smiled and reached down to pick up the cane from where it had fallen on the floor, still keeping her hand on the other woman's arm.
"Here you are, "she said, placing the cane in the woman's hand. "I'm very sorry about running you over like that. I wasn't watching where I was going. In too much of a hurry to get that first cup of caffeine, I guess."
Her victim smiled. "I can understand that. I feel like that myself sometimes."
Maggie finally noticed the remains of the woman's coffee lying on the floor. "And it looks like I've deprived you of your fix too. Let me buy you another cup as an apology."
"That's alright, it's not necessary."
"Please, I insist. It's the least I can do after almost knocking you over like that. Where were you planning to sit? I'll bring it over to you."
"Outside, at one of the patio tables."
"Okay, I'll be out in a minute. By the way, what were you drinking?"
"One cappuccino, coming up."
She watched to make sure the woman got out the door okay then went to get the coffee. *Way to go girl. For someone codenamed Stealth, you aren't very stealthy today. Nearly running over a blind woman. At least your alias isn't Grace. Then you'd really be in trouble. * She laughed to herself and fiddled with her long, brown braid while she waited for the clerk to fix the beverages. It's not like she had to live up to her name anymore anyway. After having been a freelance thief for over 15 years, not to mention one of the Hellfire Club's favorite hackers, she had finally built up enough of a nest egg that she could retire, and only work when she find the job interesting enough to keep her from being bored. The most interesting jobs usually came from Hellfire though, and Emma Frost hadn't contacted her in awhile so she was enjoying some free time. *Retirement at 35, does it get any better than this? *
Maggie's reverie was broken by the clerk handing her two cups of coffee. She thanked the girl and made her way outside to find her new acquaintance sitting at one of the tables nearest the sidewalk. She placed the cappuccino in front of the woman.
"Here you go,..........you know I just realized I don't know your name. I'm Maggie. Maggie Dorn."
The blind woman extended her hand. "Irene Adler."
Maggie shook Irene's hand politely. "Do you mind if I join you Irene?"
She smiled. "No, please, go right ahead. I don't mind the company."
Maggie sat down and sipped at her coffee, a thoughtful look coming over her blue eyes as her mind raced. "Adler, Adler. I've heard that name before. You, um, don't go by another name do you?"
Irene's face became guarded. "I might. Why do you ask?"
Maggie smiled but then remembered she couldn't see it. She then lowered her voice. "It's okay, don't worry, I'm not affiliated with anyone. I just happen to do some freelance work and saw the name in of my client's files once."
Irene's face relaxed a little, but still retained a bit of wariness. "Are you a mutant also?"
"Yes, and I realized now why you said what you did about not seeing me. My mutation renders me invisible to psychic mutations such as telepathy, empathy and precognition. You honestly didn't 'see' me before we ran into each other, did you Destiny?"
Irene looked intrigued. "No, I didn't. That has never happened before with anyone. Sometimes I won't see what's going to happen when there is just myself, but that doesn't happen when other people become involved. That's very interesting. I don't think I've heard of a mutation like yours."
"That's okay; there aren't that many genuine precogs either." Maggie paused as some details from Emma's file on Irene came to mind and she made some connections. "I heard about your partner's death. You have my deepest condolences."
She sighed. "Thank you. It was rough at first, but things are getting back to normal."
"Ah, but what is normal for people like us, Irene?"
"True. I guess I'm learning what normal can be. It's the first time I've lived on my own in quite awhile. Enough about me though; tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do?"
Maggie's lips twitched slightly in a tiny smile. "Well, I guess you could say I'm in acquisitions and information gathering."
Irene smirked and lowered the volume of her voice more than it had been previously. "You're a thief, aren't you? No reason to be shy about it, considering who I've worked with over the years."
She laughed a little. "Good point. You're right. I work for myself though, it's best not to tie in to any particular organization. It keeps one's options and contacts open." Maggie didn't know why she was opening up like this to her, but there was something about Irene that she liked. The fact that she was a fairly attractive woman didn't hurt either.
The patio area remained quiet, and so the two women felt comfortable chatting with each other for the next couple of hours; careful to keep their voices at a discrete volume though. Maggie told Irene stories about some of the more amusing jobs she'd taken, never naming names; and Irene talked about the sillier exploits of the Brotherhood when Raven was in charge. It was the first time Irene had been able to talk about Mystique without feeling depressed, and she was beginning to feel that maybe she could begin to move on.
Maggie intrigued her; knowing the future gave one the sometimes painful burden of seeing what was going to happen in a person's life, and that had always weighed upon her in all her relationships, even with Raven. She didn't experience that with Maggie though, and it was incredibly refreshing. Ignorance truly was bliss.
The ringing of a cell phone interrupted their friendly conversation. Maggie talked to the person on the other end for a few minutes, then hung up.
"I hate to do this, but that was about another job, and I need to meet someone shortly. I've really enjoyed talking to you though, and would like to see you again. Can I call you in a couple of days and maybe we can have dinner?"
Irene smiled. She had been thinking the same thing, but didn't know how to voice it. She'd been with Raven for so long that she'd gotten rusty in dealing with social situations. "I'd like that." She took a pen and felt for a napkin on the table. She handed the other woman the paper after she'd finished writing down her phone number and felt Maggie's fingers linger on hers as she took it. She was amazed to feel herself blush. She hadn't blushed in years.
"I'll call you in a couple of days then Irene. I look forward to seeing you again." She felt Maggie's hand rest on her shoulder for a moment before she heard the woman's footsteps walk off down the sidewalk.
Irene remained at the table for a few minutes longer before getting up to return home. If anything, the sound of the leaves on the sidewalk sounded more pleasant than ever. She hadn't been able to see any visions concerning herself since running into Maggie, and she took this as a good sign. Did this mean Maggie would be staying in her life for a while? She hoped so.
For once the future ahead of her looked empty, a slate wiped clean; and she was looking forward to filling it in on her own.
-This is my first time writing an OC. Depending on the response I get, I may or may not bring her back in other stories.