disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Chloe because she's as much of a dweeb as I am.
notes: this is what happens when I watch Young Justice instead of sleeping. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS.
notes2: fucking Maroon 5.

title: like we're going to war
summary: He would slam her up against the wall and kiss her 'til she bled, but he wouldn't look her in the eye. — Conner/M'gann.

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"We can't do this anymore," he said.

She'd cut her hair and she wasn't his girl, anymore—there was an undercurrent of cruelty to her, now, and he couldn't stand it on her. M'gann wasn't supposed to be like that. She was supposed to be the girl that saw the good in everyone; she saw the good in even monsters and clones and little lost boys.

For the record, Conner was all of those things.

"That's what you said last time," M'gann said. She crossed her arms under her breasts, the black-crimson cloth crinkling up, and Conner gulped. She looked as though she hadn't changed at all except for the cut of her hair—maybe a little taller, a little less young—and he knew he looked the exact same as the day he stumbled out of that growth tube in Cadmus.

Except he was going to look like this forever, and she could look like whatever she wanted.

And maybe that was part of the problem.

But she was M'gann, beautiful and alien, and when she smiled like that out of the corner of her mouth with her lips a burgundy slash of sharp relief against the green of her skin, it was all Connor could do to not throw her over his shoulder and squirrel her away somewhere where no one would ever find her.

Sometimes he thought she abused her powers just because she could.

Other times, he thought it was because she was trying to protect him in the only way she knew how.

"Tonight's the last time."

"You said that last time, too," M'gann said. Her eyes were brown and low-lashed, and Conner wanted to hate her, wanted to hate what she could do to him. Even when she wasn't in his mind, she was everywhere.

It was only killing him a little slowly.

"M'gann, don't start—"

"Was I the one that invaded your room?" she asked, voice gone sharp as the Joker's knives. "No? Then don't you start. I have a boyfriend."

She wanted it to hurt.

It did.

Conner didn't let it show, either way. He reached for her waist, knuckles going white as his fingers curled around her side to drag her in close, pressed to his chest; pressed as close as she could be.

She was smarter than he was—always had been, always would be, and she smiled like a lie and kissed like a benediction.

"What if your precious Lagoon Idiot finds out about this, M'gann?" Conner breathed into her ear. Two could play the cruelty game, and five years had been enough to teach him that sometimes, words could hurt more than anything.

She had taught him that.

"I could do something to make you hate me even more," she said, and she knew he was thinking of that single time she'd tried to wipe his mind that had ruined everything. "I don't even think he'd know I'd done anything."

"What happened to you!?" Conner snapped, eyes blazing.

"You did," she snapped back, and then she went very, very quiet.

They'd gotten pretty good at breaking each other, and maybe that wasn't healthy. Then again, being part of the Justice League's all-encompassing influence wasn't all that healthy, so maybe it was just a side-effect of Real Life.

"M'gann…" Conner started again, but this time he had no idea where he was going with the statement.

She sagged against him, and Conner thought she felt too tiny, too light—not herself at all. They had history. They had too much history.

"I don't even care if you tell him," she said softly. "He won't believe you anyway. He likes me too much."

Conner snorted. "If I have to hear him call you Angelfish again, I'm going to punch something."

"Anger management, Conner," she murmured into his chest, and he thought that she might be smiling again, but not the cruel one: the one that made him love her, the one that made him lose control.

"Been there, done that. Canary knocked it into me, remember?"

She did. She'd watched.

"Promise me this'll be the last time," she said.

"Guilty?" he guessed.

"Yes. No. I don't know," M'gann replied. Her fingers curled tightly into the fabric of his shirt. She was strong enough to rip it off him, if she wanted, or she could simply control him—but this was delicate, for now, and it would stay so until they were both naked and fighting for control.

But after that, it was free game. He would slam her up against the wall and kiss her 'til she bled, but he wouldn't look her in the eye.

It was better that way.

Hurt less.

(It never hurt less, but he could pretend.)

Her cape came off first. It always did. The dark blue material puddled around her feet. Connor knew she could have melted them away; she probably did for Lagoon Idiot (and the thought of her with anyone else like this made him want to break things), but this was ritual, sacred rights, and they didn't break rituals, did they?

He slid around her. The zip to her uniform came undone easily, too easily, and the eerie buzz of it set them both to shivering. The planes of her shoulders were soft-lit things in the half-light, sent shadows down the long line of her back. Conner walked his fingers up her spine, the tiny freckles that dusted the back of her neck, and he loved her, he loved her, he loved her. He'd loved her literally his whole life, and somehow he knew there would never be anyone else.

Because there was literally no one else on Earth like M'gann Morzz, no one else with her smile and her honest goodness and her cruelty and her unexpected, strange loveliness. He touched her softly with his fingertips, and Conner almost grinned.

No one else had seen her like this, he was sure.

And Lagoon Idiot could never have seen her the way she really was: the white monster-girl who wanted to be loved as she was because Conner knew without needing to be told that M'gann had never let that idiot in that far.

There were some things that the original team would keep secret forever, all to themselves. What M'gann really looked like was one of them. Where Conner Kent came from was one of them. What deciding between saving friends and leaving two hundred living things to die was one of them. What watching Robin hack through security systems in seconds was one of them.

There were a lot of things, really, that anyone outside of the original team would never understand.

Conner pressed his mouth down the slope of her neck, hot and wet and urgent. She was shaking already, hands clenching and he watched her skin ripple from green to pure white and all he could think was I'm the only one who can do this to you and you know it.

He didn't even care if she heard the thought.

He wanted her to hear it.

"You don't scare me, Conner," she breathed out. "You scare everyone else, but you don't scare me. You couldn't scare me if you tried."

She was right, and she turned in his arms to try to catch his gaze. He wouldn't let her get there, and so instead she pressed her chest against his, and ordered "Shirt off."

He peeled away Superman's sigil, and suddenly he was just another boy way in over his head with a girl who in just as deep, and he picked her up at her thighs, lifted her mouth to his, and kissed her and kissed her.

M'gann was vicious.

She bit and scratched, dragged her nails down his back and dug her teeth hard into his throat 'til she was sure it would leave a mark. He'd wake up and it would be there and she would be gone and then she'd smile at him over breakfast like none of this had happened.

Conner wasn't much better.

They fucked hard and fast against the wall, and she murmured prayers into his neck in a language that he didn't know and didn't care to learn. And with her legs snarled around his waist and her lips against his throat, Conner could laugh about this later to himself when fucking Lagoon Boy put his arms around his girlfriend.

Mine first, Conner thought loudly. Mine always.

They sunk to the floor together.

"Last time, huh?" M'gann murmured.

"Last time," Conner said, and reached for his shirt.

They were both quite aware that he was lying through his teeth, but the door closed behind him, and it sounded like finality.

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fin.