The blonde woman on the other side of the table was looking out of the window, sipping her coffee. Violet blended her hot chocolate, keeping her eyes on the older woman. She kept on wondering why Mirage wanted her company. First asking her to tea, then offering to help her with her homework, several times just hanging around with her, walking around the town, shopping. Somehow the older woman seemed to appear in several places at the same time as Violet did.
Now, it wasn't that Violet would dislike Mirage's company. Quite the opposite. She just didn't understand why a woman almost twice her age would want to spend her time with her.
Only Mirage's eyes moved as she turned her gaze to answer Violet's.
"Penny for your thoughts", Mirage said, her characteristic sensual smile playing in the corners of her lips. Violet smiled and turned her sight to her mug of hot chocolate.
"I was just wondering why you spend your time with me", she explained. Mirage blinked, slightly puzzled of the question seemingly coming out of nowhere. She, too, lowered her eyes to her mug, letting her long fingers brush the edges of the mug while she was thinking.
"Do I need to have a reason?" she finally asked, answering the question with another. Violet's brow furrowed.
"Well, not really, but I would've imagined you had one", she mumbled. "I'm quite confused, d'you know what I mean, you are almost twice my age, and you were a villain even though you helped us leave that island, and, and... Uh, I could imagine you had loads of people yearning your company, people you'd prefer to spend you time with rather than with me", she said, looking to her side thoughtfully while speaking, thus not seeing Mirage's expression. "But no, you seem to prefer me."
Mirage let the mug be and laid her hand on the table.
"I really can't say why", she told Violet. Violet looked at her through the veil of black hair that had escaped from behind her ears.
"Uncertainty really doesn't suit you, Mir, d'you know that?" she said with a sly smile on her lips, not thinking about the chance that Mirage might have meant it literally. Mirage sneered and shook her head slightly.
"Maybe it doesn't", she said, "but makes me wonder if you, then, have a reason to spend your time with me. You had a boyfriend. You have friends at school. Why to choose me over them?"
Violet graced her hair back behind her ears and looked Mirage in the eye.
"Maybe I like your company. Maybe I'm curious. Or maybe I just have a thing for older women", she said casually. For once Mirage was utterly speechless. Violet mixed her hot chocolate as if she hadn't said anything out of the ordinary, lifted the mug to her lips and emptied it cold turkey.
"You are interested in women", Mirage said, re-phrasing Violet's words. Violet put down the mug and nodded.
Now that Mirage knew how it was, she wasn't sure anymore if she wanted it to be that way. She wanted to reverse it.
"You are only fifteen. Are you certain you aren't just confused?"
Violet sneered to herself.
Oh, it had been confusing to notice that she couldn't think romantically about the boy she was dating and that kissing with him didn't make her feel anything. That she preferred Mirage's company over that of Tony's.
To notice that she could've talked with the older woman for hours just to see her lips moving, that sensual smile playing on her lips.
That the way Mirage moved was captivating, like - however cliché - a wildcat checking on it's prey.
Yes, Violet had been confused.
But when she had realized that she had a crush on Mirage, so many things had started to make sense.
Once she had understood that, she felt she could finally be herself.
Violet turned he violet eyes to Mirage's green.
"I'm certain." There was no doubt in her voice. If she was correct and Mirage was alike, then maybe she would no more need to hide her affection to the older woman.
Mirage drank the rest of her coffee and stood up. She went to the kitchen sink and washed the mug, sorting out her thoughts. Violet's gaze followed Mirage, then she turned it to the bottom of her empty mug and stood up, taking the mug with her to the sink.
Mirage concentrated on washing the mug and kept on washing it until it grated. It took her a while to notice the younger girl standing there beside her with the mug in her hands. When she finally did, she straightened, brushed a strand of her blonde hair to the side and looked at Violet. The girl put the mug into the sink, leaning closer to Mirage, who didn't move an inch. Slowly Violet tilted her head and grazed her lips over Mirage's, keeping their gazes locked. Then she leaned back, looking at Mirage with only an expression of curiosity on her face. Mirage let out a slow breath.
"Violet, it would be illegal", was the only thing she said. Violet lifted an eyebrow, took the dishcloth and walked to the table to clean away the hot chocolate she had managed to spill.
The sarcastic expression was still on her face when she returned to the sink to rinse the dishcloth.
"Yeah, just like that would've stopped you before", she said with a voice dripping with sarcasm and turned her face towards the older woman. "You were a villain. You broke the law more than once, you did, even if it was vicariously."
"Do you think I'm proud of it?" Mirage asked with a bitter voice, a hurt expression on her face. Violet immediately regretted what she had said. And even then she continued pushing.
"Then why did you do it?"
"Violet, I was bitter. I'm still. And it's no reason, but I merely did my work. I had working hours, I was paid to get the supers to the island, shake their hands and forget the fact that I never shook them again. Of course there was some exceptions, but eventually they were erased, too. But not you", she said, turning to look at Violet from the window where she had wandered while speaking.
"Yeah", the teenager said suspiciously. "There's power in the lot. Especially if they manage to work together."
There was a long silence between them.
"What made you bitter, so bitter that you had to help to erase us?" Violet demanded.
"Violet... It's not you, it's us", Mirage said.
"I am a super too", said her voice from the other side of a room. Violet turned her head to see where the voice came from, only to see Mirage.
"Mirage", she muttered, and turned her head when she heard Mirage's voice right from her side.
"But I'm not powerful. I'm not durable. I'm like the next person. My only power is to create mirages", the mirage said. Violet reached out her hand and noticed it went through the mirage's body.
"They are not corporeal. They're just optical illusions. That can speak. But only with my voice." The mirage beside Violet dissolved and she turned to face Mirage. "I can't even maintain them for long, neither many at a time. Or big mirages."
"That doesn't explain why", Violet noted.
"I was weak. I was overlooked by other supers. I was different from non-supers. I belonged nowhere. I never even existed", she said bitterly, abruptly turning her gaze to Violet. Violet looked at Mirage. The older woman was so haunted, haunted by memories she didn't want to remember, memories of weakness and cruelty, memories of good moments stolen.
"I wanted to make them see me. To remember me, make me exist again. Maybe I was weak to help you."
"You were strong", Violet said sternly. "You made a decision, didn't you? To try to do the right thing even if it cost your existence, that's true strength", she continued, with a childish sureness in her own words.
Mirage uttered a dry laugh. "Something like that I've been trying to tell myself", she said. "I don't know, though, I think that I'm starting to feel that I don't need to be known or remembered. Not by all." She looked out of the window, to the bright blue sky.
Violet walked to her side.
"I want to know you."