Title: Blonde

Rating: M (For implied sexual content between a fifteen year-old girl/middle-aged man, references to violence, and manipulation)

Betas: At the Writer's Block and Jericho Pryce

Disclaimer: I own nothing. The owners own. This is for fun, not profit. I've made no money.

Summary: He was unable to form sufficient reasoning for his fixation with the girl's hair. (Slade/Terra, Slerra)

Author's Notes: This was supposed to be part of "Potential", but only received a minor acknowledgment during the piece once all was said and done. So it gets its own itty bitty story! This is pretty much the only reasoning I can come up with for why Terra's long hair was left uncut and not tied back. I mean, how impractical is that? Maybe it was just her personal preference, but my silly brain has decided that this is an equally valid idea...

It was the first thing he had seen of her in grainy surveillance footage, pale and filthy yellow whipping around her face and shoulders as she gathered her power. When she manipulated desert sand it danced around her in time with the flowing, rolling mass of blonde, as if effected by the same current, touched by the same glow.

Shooting through the air on a mobile chunk of rock and earth, the long hair trailed behind her, held aloft by the speed with which she moved. Laying flat and straight as she stepped onto steady ground, pushed back slightly by the eye-wear moved to the top of her head; her hair was flecked with dust and soil, framing the tan face, skin made darker by a layer of smudged dirt.

Early in her apprenticeship, she had tentatively inquired if he was going to give her "a total army buzz job". Toying with her, he replied that if she really wanted him to, he would go fetch an electric razor, which had her giving an immediate, vehement negative response. Once she realized he was merely joking, she asked him if she should put it up at least. "Down," he'd said immediately. "Keep it down, my dear."

Her hair swung with her in a graceful arc as she finally landed a spinning kick to his abdomen during training. It was plastered to her forehead by sweat, caused in the exertion of controlling a barrage of bowling ball sized rocks at his person and erecting multiple barriers to prevent his escape, all at once. It fell forward and covered her face completely, like a golden curtain, when she doubled-over on the earth-covered steel floor after being dealt several powerful blows from him and losing her dirt platform.

On the opposite end of the spectrum were the times when the traces of her element were gone, when she was nothing but smooth and clean. Emerging from his bathroom, completely nude save a toothbrush in her mouth and the white towel being vigorously used to dry stringy locks. The ends slightly curled and dripping rivulets down her skinny arms and small breasts. After air drying, her hair was soft beneath his fingers, hanging over his face as she bent down for a kiss. She smelled of his shampoo and his toothpaste and his sheets. Her thin form moving above and around him, just as he'd taught her.

Sometimes, in her sleep, she would somehow end up clinging to him, nuzzling her face into the crook of his neck and allowing him the pleasure of waking up to strands of blonde silk spread across his shoulder and chest. Winding its way up the side of his face as she shifted position, her breath hot against his skin when she let out an incoherent mumble. Time paused within intimacy.

He was unable to form sufficient reasoning for his fixation with the girl's hair. It wasn't as if he had a fetish or inclination towards such things, but there was just something about her tan, fragile limbs and big blue eyes, betraying every emotion, that combined with that long yellow mane...It stirred something within him, some bizarre, highly specific, aesthetic preference which had never before found reason to surface. And she knew. It wasn't as if he hid it, not with his constant threading of gloved fingers through her hair as a gesture of affection or sign of a job well done. His little apprentice learned to lean into them, almost like a cat, eyes closing in contentment.

But a reason eluded him for months, though he felt as if it was just at the edge of his mind. Waiting for its eureka moment to hit him. It wasn't until she sat before him one evening on the foot of his bed, stripped down to bony shoulders and a pair of white underwear that were on the verge of disappearance. The adolescent was speaking of destruction and revenge, an almost gleeful lilt to her tone, as she accepted quick kisses to her throat and chin. Words of violence fell from her uncouth lips like the tears she could never keep hidden from him. He pushed her onto her back, sliding himself downwards to remove the remaining wall of polyblend cotton...and that was when it all became clear.

Propped up on her elbows, gazing down at him in open expectation, though the sinister gleam had not left the baby blue eye he could see, the one that was not hidden behind her perpetually falling right cascade of blonde. He had remade her in his image, bloodied her until she understood, and maneuvered her into becoming a puppet for his lust and rage. And he suddenly knew what it was that pulled him to her, enticed him, so greatly: Sheer vanity.

It was his dangerous blue eye staring back and his formerly blonde hair tousled, though both were lighter shades than him or his kin. She was not his child, would never come close, yet every nasty, proud piece of him was reflected. He had built up a worthy protege from an unwashed princess living on the streets. She represented his ultimate act of narcissism.

And it was glorious.