Disclaimer: I don't MGLN.


It was almost four in the morning; Lutecia Alphine only knew that because she'd taken the time to carelessly check her watch after leaving the hotel. It wasn't yet early enough for the sun to begin its inevitable rise into the sky, though the purple-haired summoner could make out faint, murky slashes of sunlight in the fading night sky. Sighing and turning her back to the sunrise, Lutecia slid her key into the apartment door and twisted, pushing it open and kicking it shut behind her with a foot.

The hallway was dark, quiet; for a moment, Lutecia wondered if perhaps Megane had spent the night with Genya again, or if she'd gone to bed. The thought was dashed as the door clicked shut and she saw a movement in the darkness, huddled on the couch; Megane sighed sleepily. "Lutecia? Is that you?"

Guilt was like a clawed hand, reaching up from her stomach to tightly grip her heart; Lutecia swallowed the lump in her throat and stepped into the living room, moving through the darkness with ease as she knelt down beside Megane. "Hey, Mom," she whispered. "What are you doing out here? You should be in bed."

Megane yawned tiredly as Lutecia gently brushed loose strands of hair out of her eyes. "I know, but I was worried."

The claws dug deeper. "Mom, I'm eighteen now, you know."

"I know, but still…"

Lutecia sighed and smiled. "Thank you," she said softly. "I'm sorry. Had to do some overtime at work. I'll try to not make it a habit."

Megane murmured tiredly, closed her eyes again, and was out like a light with a soft sigh; Lutecia chuckled quietly before she rewrapped the blanket that had fallen off the couch around her mother, placing a light kiss on her forehead before heading into the bathroom.

She stripped, leaving her clothes in one pile in the corner, and turned the water to scorching hot before she stepped under, not minding the burn; if anything, the heat jolted her awake and made her groan, softly, before she reached for the soap.

--"And just where are you putting your hands?"

"Aw, come on, babe, you know you want this… you've been flirting with me all night, you know how this ends…"—

The first few times, when Lutecia had still been young and inexperienced, she'd scrubbed her skin so hard that she'd bled, and had spent the rest of the day dodging awkward questions from Caro, Erio, and Vivio as a result. Since then she'd learned.

And she'd gotten more experienced.

--"Did you get the necessary information, Alphine?"


"Good. You can come back now."

"… What about him?"

"He'll crawl back into the woodwork. Don't worry, we'll tell you if he wants to… pass information on to you again. Come home."--

Lutecia winced as soap got into her eyes and made them burn, rubbing at them with the back of her hand. That was why her eyes were burning, after all—not because they stung, not because of the hard, hot lump in her throat. She'd just gotten some soap in her eyes.

She'd passed the point where these kind of missions brought her tears.

At least, she liked to think so.

--"How do you do it?"

"Why are you asking, Storm? You're a guy, I'm sure it's different for you."

"I know, I guess… I'm just curious. I mean, you know what sex is…"

"… I just… it's not something I think about, honestly. I've… read books, studied videos… I know how to properly react to the situation. I don't think about it if I don't have to."

"So… you don't feel anything at all? You just… trained yourself?"

"… I guess I did. It isn't… emotional, for me. It's just… part of my job."—

Muscles relaxed, Lutecia reached up and switched the water off, taking a deep breath before stepping out of the shower and grabbing a towel, ignoring the shower fog that had formed on the mirror as she dried herself off. She wiped the mirror and checked to make sure she had no marks that would imply anything, relieved when she saw that he'd left nothing on her, not even a bruise or a bite; apparently the man wasn't only a good informant for the NSIS, but he was also a gentle bedmate.

Because in the end, that was all he was to Lutecia, really. Not a lover, or a friend, or even an associate; just someone she had to sleep with under orders, one of many she'd had to physically be with since she'd turned eighteen and become old enough to do such things.

Miranda must be rolling over in her grave, the Belkan summoner thought with a rueful smile. Miranda had never liked this particular aspect of being a Shadow, and had done her best to keep Lutecia out of the frying pan when she'd been alive.

But now she was gone, and Lutecia was in the fire.

"So… you don't feel anything at all? You just… trained yourself?"

Sighing, Lutecia flicked off the light, plunging the house back into darkness as she headed for her room and some much needed sleep. "Is that really so hard to believe?" she mumbled as she stepped into her room and slid into her bed, falling asleep before her head even hit the pillow.

For Lutecia, it was as simple as that. Sex was sex, nothing more than a physical act that could be enjoyable if done well and even believable if she had the proper reactions at the right time. She had to believe that, for her own sanity; that in having sex as a Shadow, she wasn't losing anything important.

Because if she believed otherwise, she'd never forgive herself for it.


I originally had some debate over whether or not to post this as part of my "Shadowfire" drabble dump, but I like the idea of this just a little too much to make it a part of that. Basically, what we have here is an AU of my AU; that is, in this world, Lutecia as a Shadow not only lies, kills, and tortures, she also sleeps with people for the sake of her missions. Originally I never intended for Lutecia in my series (my ViCia series, most recently "Shadow" and "Sunrise") to go that far for various reasons, but after my friend DezoPenguin wrote out his response fic "Border Crossing" I have to admit I'm rethinking it.

Some things referenced here might not be fully understood if "Sunrise" and "Shadowfire" haven't been read beforehand; for example, the mention of Lutecia's dead partner Miranda, and her friendship with Victor "Storm" Stormhawk (who, admittedly, has only appeared on AnimeSuki so far), but again, they don't need to be known for the impact of this short... I hope.

Read and review, please!