Disclaimer: not mine.
Fandom: Aeon Flux (movieverse)
Pairing: (though it's mostly subtext) Aeon Flux/Sithandra
Rating: G/PG, sparring.
Length: 1100
Notes: This glittering world has been sitting in my head all day. And I truly must ask the question: for a movie full of nothing but women kicking ass, betraying each other, trusting each other, swearing oaths to each other, etc, WHERE IS THE FEMSLASHY LOVE? Seriously. Aeon, Sithandra, Freya, Handler, Inari, Una. Six women, all hot/determined/awesome/incredible. And not one femslash fic out there? For shame, people. For shame.
Extra note: This was written nearly a month ago, but I've been waiting to see if I actually liked it or not.

Just Rhythm
by ALC Punk!

The training to become a Monican, a person with the skills and knowledge to help put right what is wrong with their society, is rigorous and full of near-misses and failures. It is something that Sithandra has waited patiently to complete. She has moved up through the levels, from mere messenger to someone who could become a trusted operative beholden only to the Handler. To have such autonomy is worth any training, any body modification she can consider.

She's already made plans to have hands grafted in place of her feet, confident it will boost her abilities in the field. Thoughts of the loss of her feet don't particularly concern her--as they shouldn't. She will be doing this for the greater good.

For now, though, she's training under the harshest taskmaster the Monican have.

Aeon Flux. There are stories of her, amongst the lower levels. That she once believed in something other than the cause. That she once had a husband and family, children and a life of luxury. Most of those stories, Sithandra chalks up to gossip with no bearing or basis in reality. But the ideas behind the suppositions seem sound. Aeon seems to be a woman with only her mission to sustain her.

On the training mats, there are no missions and no boundaries. There is only the movement of body and mind, twisting and turning, each attempting to get the upper hand. As one technique is mastered another is added to the repertoire.

They drill and fight, a dance that leads them around and around until Sithandra is breathless and dripping sweat into her eyes. Aeon barely seems affected, though there are dark patches on her training uniform.

"Again."

Sithandra takes up her stance; she can feel the sweat on her back and limbs, the way her muscles want to vibrate from fatigue. Across from her, Aeon simply stands, waiting for the attack.

This is what she has trained for, what she's drilled for, over and over. And now, with her new taskmaster, Sithandra is reaching a new level of physical proficiency. Handler will be quite pleased--as long as Sithandra does as she was trained to do and surpasses her current mentor. If she can. But there is no room for doubt on the training mat.

Forward, and she's into the movement, feeling it flow along her arms and legs. Aeon turns into her, countering and flowing under, and suddenly Sithandra isn't the one in control anymore.

A brief exchange of blows, and Sithandra tumbles forward, barely regaining her feet.

"No." Aeon says, moving in the same exact way, showing Sithandra where she went wrong.

Then she does it again, at speed, and Sithandra finds herself flying through the air, caught unawares. Like this, she thinks as she turns the free fall into a curve, a spin that brings her back to her feet--

And almost, almost, Aeon looks surprised.

This is not enough.

Sithandra reacts to her inner directive, throwing herself to the side, rebounding from the wall and then diving at Aeon.

Or where Aeon should have been, if she'd moved to counter Sithandra as the movements dictated.

But Aeon isn't there, and Sithandra loses her balance, slipping sideways.

Aeon pounces, levering her to the floor and pinning her down. "Give up."

Rolling, turning, Sithandra tries to free herself and simply ends up more tangled. She's facing upright, again, Aeon staring down at her so very calmly. And an idea hits her--she reacts before she can think it through, pushing up and brushing her lips against Aeon's.

There's a flicker of surprise in Aeon and Sithandra takes advantage, pulling away.

But she doesn't get the time to push her advantage further, because Aeon is reacting, almost faster than the eye can follow.

Sithandra goes down again, this time pinned too well to get away. "Give."

Panting, fighting the urge to scream against the pain slowly throbbing through her shoulders and back, Sithandra grates out, "Give."

The pressure eases, and Aeon backs off. A moment later she's up and gone.

Laying where she was pinned, Sithandra gathers her breath and wits, pulling her arms around herself and curling up on her side. Once the tension is eased, she pushes up to her feet, swaying slightly for a moment before straightening.

There's a tugging to the side of her spine, a tingle. Sithandra reaches back, thumb and nail pushing and digging until the release occurs.

The sanctum always looks the same, no matter the weather, clean white lines and formless shapes that catch the edge of the brain and tug at it until you learn to ignore them and focus. Handler gives a striking piece of the scenery to focus upon, her cold-cut-crystal features topped by flaming hair.

Sithandra bows, then looks up through her veil. "Handler."

"Report, Aeon."

Simple words fall from the lips of the woman next to Sithandra, and she feels a cold joy at the approval in them. The discussion of her physical prowess and mental fitness makes her shoulders straighten.

When she raises her head, Handler is watching her, eyes distant.

"Is she ready?"

The negative makes Sithandra want to bow her head, but she understands. She isn't ready for a mission on her own. Not yet.

"Return to your training."

The hall dissipates, and Sithandra breathes in the scent of the gardens so close to their training room before opening her eyes to look at Aeon. "What next?"

"Dinner, I think."

In an alcove that's shared by the many who train, she and Aeon prepare a simple meal of vegetables and grains. Reaching across for a knife, Sithandra bumps Aeon, and is suddenly reminded of her distraction of earlier. The momentary surprise in Aeon, and the strange flare of satisfaction she'd felt. Turning her head, she says, "About, earlier..." and then her voice fails, because those dark eyes are watching her.

"Earlier?"

"I kissed you," Sithandra blurts, not feeling particularly bold, though she should be. She's danced this sort of dance before. She's no innocent. And yet something about Aeon makes her want to run and hide--perhaps it's the cold purpose that fills the other woman. Perhaps, it's something else.

"You did." Handing over a knife, Aeon says, her tone devoid of tone, "You're a student, Sithandra. Nothing more."

"I would--"

"No." Aeon shakes her head, "You are a student, Sithandra."

The repetition's inflection has changed, but Sithandra isn't entirely certain how, or what it means, until the words play themselves back. She blinks, "And when I am not?" There is no question of not becoming an operative. Either she will, or she will die.

For a brief moment, something soft slides over Aeon's features. She's a younger woman, carefree. Then it's gone, "Then we shall see."

It's not a promise, and it's nothing that she can bank upon.

But Sithandra was already determined to pass her training with flying colors. Now she simply has an extra incentive.

-f-