disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Torie, because she ships this as hard as I do.
notes: this has been half-finished in my notebook for like a month. whoops.
notes2: I will always love Fall Out Boy. always.

title: don't feel bad for the suicidal cast
summary: I just came to say hello. — Raven/Hank.






Raven picked listlessly at her shining dress. Floaty and silver-black, she shimmered in the ballroom like a desert mirage; all long gold hair, tan skin, and green eyes. It wasn't often she used this body, anymore—not when she was so much more comfortable in her own, and especially not when this particular shape brought back so many horrible memories.

(The gun, and the flick, and Charles falling—stupid, stupid Charles—)

But tonight was for Hank, and Raven wasn't about to miss it for the world.

(She'd made a promise, once, when they'd been lying in bed together. Raven had rolled over and stared at his profile in the dark. And she'd told him that if he ever won the Nobel Prize, she'd be there to watch him accept it.

She wondered if he remembered it at all.)

Sneaking past the guard checking invites had been easier than taking candy from a baby, and Raven had stepped from behind a pillar into the glitz and glam of this ridiculous party a beautiful blonde, perfect in all aspects.

She stood all alone in the center of the room, a bubbly glass of champagne tipping precariously in one hand. And she smiled easily at all the men who approached, a secretive thing, and introduced herself as Victoria.

Married, sorry boys, and flashed a stolen diamond.

They left her alone, after that.

So simple, Raven thought, and tried to mask the sneer of distaste that tried to fight its way onto her face. As if she'd ever touch a human. As if.

The thought sent disgusted shudders down her spine.

And besides.

The married thing wasn't quite a lie.

Raven sipped at the champagne mostly for appearance (she'd never allow herself to lose control in a place like this—she was not an idiot), and stared up at the podium. It wouldn't be long until Hank took the stand and spoke.

And really, Raven was interested in how he planned to hide that furry blue face of his.

A soft, girlish part of her hoped he hadn't. A soft, sweet part of her still waited in the laboratory, nerves fluttering, just as he was about to kiss her; and it had all been heat and teenage lust and he had just be so cute.

Raven smiled slowly at the thought.

That had been a long time ago.

The world blurred around her and Raven, lost in her own head, only looked up as the lights began to dim. Something shifted and caught in her throat, maybe half a sob, and—and—and Hank was standing there at the podium, and—and Hank. Dark all around her, and Hank.

She couldn't get the words out.

He squinted against the spotlight they had shining down on him, and Raven knew without being told that he was sweating. He gulped once, Adam's Apple bobbling up and down.

It was so Hank that it almost made her laugh.

And then he opened his mouth, and began.

"Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I welcome you…"

It was a long speech. Echoey with the static from the microphone, a little hesitant in some places, a little awkward; she could see that he was restraining from going off on a tangent that none of these people would understand.

Hell, Raven probably wouldn't understand, either.

She waited the speech out the same way most people would wait out a storm, and smiled at him with her teeth when the lights came back on.

Hank gaped at her.

He cut a path through the well-wishers and the smoozers and the bankers and the coked-out whores on their arms, straight past them all, straight to her. Raven tipped her head to the side.

"Hello, Hank. Been a while."


"Victoria," she corrected, still smiling. "Tonight I'm Victoria. I just came to say hello."

He looked at her for one more moment.

"Yes," he agreed. "You are."

Then he took her in his arms, and brought her to the dancefloor.