In Angel's line of work, a lot of men have said, "Come with me, baby. We'll see the world together." The only world they wanna see is the one she shows them on stage, so she dances for the money, goes home, and has enough for the rent, the lights, and her dignity.
When Charles and Erik come along, they stretch out on the bed and offer her the same line. "You're special," they tell her, but they mean it in a different way.
The rest of the boys — Hank, Alex, Darwin, Sean — they all stare, too, except they're the same kind of special Angel is, so she doesn't mind so much.
Raven, though …
"You keep staring," Angel says when it's just the two of them and nothing else to do.
Raven's a young girl, and the mystery isn't that deep. All it takes for Angel to solve it is to stretch her arms over her head and follow Raven's line of sight. Angel tracks it to the scar on her forearm and laughs.
"It was a jackass with a broken beer bottle."
The rest is easy to tell when there's years between then and now.
Raven looks away and then looks back. "My stepfather …" Angel nods, holds her hand, and listens. "He didn't hurt me."
Angel knows, though, that not all hurts are the same. She lets Raven touch her scar and says, "The world's got it out for us, baby."
Raven's the first person to say, "Then screw the world," the words as easy as the kiss that follows.
Neither one lasts very long, but Angel knows, too, that hideaways never do.
When Shaw comes along, she's angry enough to say yes, too scared that no doesn't seem like an option.
She's looking at Raven when she says, "We don't belong here, and that's nothing to be ashamed of."
Raven stays, Angel goes, and Darwin dies. When they reach the submarine, and Shaw tells her all of his plans for the future, she realizes children of the atom is the same thing as a come on, baby. He just wrapped them in sweeter words.
Erik does, too, when he rallies them together, calls them, "Brothers and sisters." There's a lot more pain behind his eyes, a place where no one can hide their scars, and Raven looks older when she walks across the beach, shedding the blonde hair and blue eyes.
"You're staring," Angel says when it's just the two of them and Erik in his room, trying to figure out what to do.
Raven's fingers trail over Angel's wing, and Angel laughs, soft and bitter, the skin still tender from her fall.
"It was a jackass on a boat," she says.
"Charles wouldn't …" But Raven doesn't look so sure anymore.
Angel drops her hand to Raven's, holds on and squeezes, wondering if it's too late for her to go back. "The world's got it out for us, baby."
Raven looks up and smiles, so fierce and proud, more settled in her skin. "Then screw the world."
Angel laughs, flaps her wings, winces, but they are who they are now — two girls against the world, sharing a fight and a kiss.