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like a concrete fever

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Fume she is, fume she does; when Sasha's angry, the whole world feels the impact of her rage. She exhales a mist of tar and ash. The skyscrapers, with their eye-like lights and neon-tinged glows, swallow her toxicity.

Sasha swings her legs over the edge of the building, what's left of them when she's in one of these moods, and watches the idle smoke coil around the dense matter of her feet. It curls around as if it's sentient, separate from her will. But really, the mist is a part of her, just as she is a part of it.

She waves her tawny palm. A light breeze blows away the smoke. She adjusts the rose-gold watch on her wrist, a gift from someone who couldn't even call to cancel a date, dammit -- and her anger returns with viciousness.

Sasha grits her teeth.

A soft trickling of water later, there's a presence beside her, a body taking shape from the moisture in the air. Silence sits between them. But the city and the people and the world below go on with their beeping, whirring, talking.

"You're three hours late," Sasha snaps.

A pause. It's as if her companion is taking the time to drink in her distaste, her frustration. The air thrums with a slight movement, consistent, rhythmic, and Sasha's head begins to throb.

"I know." Charlotte speaks coolly, as if being this late to a date and having the nerve to still show up is the most natural thing in the world. She doesn't apologise; it's that absence grinding into Sasha's mind, creating tension in her arms and legs. "Lynch's store was robbed."

Sasha rolls her eyes. She catches the amused smile on Charlotte's lips and growls out her reply with a ferocity she hasn't felt in years.

"Becky's a big girl. We had a date."

"I know."

Charlotte slides her hand closer, inching her body towards Sasha, who sighs again, exasperated with the woman beside her, exasperated with herself for being so angry. But still, she can't deny her heart beats faster when Charlotte is around, and being this close to her, close enough to touch but not quite, sends a shiver of excitement along her arms.

She allows Charlotte to do it, to slip her hand onto Sasha's ring-studded fingers, intertwining their digits like they're headphone cords too tightly meshed to untangle. Charlotte squeezes.


"You're cute when you're mad."

Sasha shakes her head. It's as if with her mere presence, Charlotte's touch drains that temper from her head and replaces it with waves of calm.

"You're cute when you're not late."

Charlotte laughs, a sound that could melt a glacier. When she's not saving damsels in distress or store-owners who should've villain-proofed their businesses by now, she's almost angelic with her ethereal eyes and serene nature. Sasha's the spitfire, the one heroine who's uptight and tense even when she's not on the job. They're a strange kind of opposite, equals on each side of the spectrum of whatever it is they do. And if one of them decides they want a little more: a little more than the government's allowance, a little more notoriety, and chooses to commit the final sin of going rogue, well, the other one'll be there to pick up the pieces.

Sasha adjusts the hem of her dress, a glittering pink thing with a low neck she'd picked out for a classier date, and looks Charlotte over. She's gazing at the skyline with a surprising intensity. Her throat glistens with jewellery, thick silver bands and teardrop-blue gems.

"Let me make it up to you," she says, suddenly, turning to Sasha with that same impassioned look. She's squeezing Sasha's fingers too tightly. It hurts her, and with the rings cutting into Charlotte's fingers the damage could be worse on the other end.

"Okay, okay." Sasha struggles to release herself from the ice-like vise. Charlotte's earnestness melts into a languid smile. "Let's go on this date, already."

Charlotte rises to her feet, with all the intricate elegance of a waterfall in reverse, and extends her hand; Sasha fills the air between them with her anticipation, the remnants of her trepidation, but Charlotte doesn't notice. She links their arms and makes a sound of encouragement.

Sasha curls a hand into a fist, willing the winds with her command: the current sweeps under their feet as they melt into smoke. Free as the air itself, weightlessly, they rise together into the pink-bleeding-purple dusk and release the weights in their hearts.