Written for comment_fic at livejournal. The prompt was for Parker from Leverage, "Medusa was made, not born." The last line of the fic is borrowed from Helene Cixous' essay.

Some said that Medusa's only purpose in myth was as something for Perseus to kill, to prove his manliness by facing a petrifying woman.

Well, not really facing.

Parker often thought, though, about how Medusa ended up there. She was a victim first, cursed by her weakness, assaulted because of her desirability. Then cast out, turned monstrous, because the normal social world of normal social people had no place for someone like her, someone marked by her past.

Medusa was made, not born, Parker knew. Destined to live among statues, the frozen images of scared and angry men whose last wish was to kill her.

But Parker chose to believe that Medusa figured out how to turn off her power, that she at some point learned to control her capacity for destruction. And then her power would stop being a compulsion and a curse, and start being a weapon of vengeance, or even justice.

Her weapon. More powerful than arms or fists or swords....

Then the monster would not just be a monster; she would have something else to offer the world.

And the victim would transform. She would become the heroine, the warrior, the magician, the guardian.

Total transformation, like stone turning to flesh.

Then Medusa would stop her shrieks, Parker knew. Medusa would learn to look the world in the eye and laugh.