SPIFFY DISCLAIMER THINGIE!
Ah don't own Mon-El, Shadow Lass, nor any of the other members of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Ah WISH!:):) DC Comics own them, not Ah! This is a fanfic for entertainment purposes only and NOT intended to infringe on copyrights held by DC Comics or anyone else! Ah'm not making one thin dime heah, folks! WAAHHHHH!
Rated G for absolute purity of content! No sex, no drugs, and not even a little Rock and Roll! phui!:):)
Thanks go to Christian for Posting the challenge on the LegionList that sparked this fic:):) And to rith for encouragement and advice! Bless ya'll both:):)
NOTE: This fic is set in the early days of the "Conspiracy" story line in the Legion of Super-Heroes title. Ably written by Paul Levitz. After the death of the Pocket Universe Superboy, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Duo Damsel, and Mon-El took it upon themselves to conspire to bring The Time Trapper to justice for that crime. They kept their plans very sub-rosa and this resulted in some friction in the LSH. This sort of thing was an example of that friction.
He caught her arching hand in midair and held it there in a painful grip. She was not foolish enough to struggle but for an instant's try at twisting away from him. Her hand went numb and, wisely, she subsided.
"Shadows take you Lar Gand!" she hissed between her tightly gritted teeth.
He smiled, then. A small, unpleasant thing that barely stretched the full lips beneath his veiled and hooded eyes.
"What makes you think they haven't, Shady?" Mon-El hissed. "What makes you think they haven't?"
Shadow Lass lay her free hand softly on his smooth cheek. "Because I know you, lover. I think I may be one of the only ones who does. And you're stronger than that; I know you are."
He let her hand fall away from his too tight grasp and turned away from her so that she could not see his eyes. In shame, she wondered? Most likely, she knew. He hated it when his temper got the best of him. When he succumbed to the twin demons of anger and rage that blazed within him. He couldn't afford to loose them. Not now. Not ever. But she scarcely needed to see to know the pain burning in those dark azure depths.
"You risk a lot on my 'strength', Shady," he whispered.
From behind, she twined her arms around his chest, then over his broad shoulders. She lay her cerulean cheek against the royal blue of the uniform covering his muscular back and her color darkened in response. Or, perhaps, it was simply his nearness, even in such distressing circumstance, that brought the blood storming to the edge of her flesh.
"I always did, lover," she answered him, "I always did."
She had fought for him. Fought hard. The Elders baldly charged her that she must call off this "unsuitable liaison". And, just as baldly, she had angrily refused. She was the Champion of Talok! they raged at her. Bad enough that she spent all her time away from the Motherworld, gadding about the galaxy with gailiki, 'pale ones'; foreigners. Her duty commanded that she not only defend the planet, but marry and produce an heir of her body. A Talokian heir. The Mallor line must continue. The Ancestors demanded it! Ancestors be cursed! she spat. You're right, Elders, she'd informed them ... I am the Champion. But, more, I'm Tasmia Mallor, too. I have a right to decide the disposition of my body; to judge with whom I share myself. My body ... and my heart. You'd not deny that to the commonest rilyah herder! Keritalyn, good Elders. I claim keritalyn.
After that the hurried conference had simply exploded with wrath and ire, shooting off in a thousand different, aimless directions at once. With their shouted demands still ringing in her seemingly deaf ears, she'd stalked off, leaving them to play their games and issue their meaningless decrees. She fully expected to be replaced as Talok's Champion, soon. So be it. Yes, it stung. More than she would ever allow herself to say. But, after all, it wasn't the first time they'd betrayed her, now was it? Definitely not. Her initial mission with the Legion still rankled deeply. She'd never quite forgiven her countrymen for succumbing so easily to Tharok and his Fatal Five. And then denying her the opportunity to follow her great heritage and free them. Cowards.
But to replace her there remained only her young cousin Grev. Inexperienced he might be, but brave and intelligent. He'd be a fine Champion. Talok would be safe in his soon to be capable hands.
And that was all that really mattered, in the end, wasn't it?
Keritalyn ...soulmates ...
One soul in two bodies.
Most ancient and respected of Talokian unions. Unbreakable. Lasting beyond forever. The light at the heart of darkness.
But now the two parts of her soul were drifting apart. Could she survive that? Could Lar? Could any being? Something was painfully, horribly wrong. Oh, it was easy enough to find the beginning of the thing, wasn't it? She was never likely to forget the sight of the kneeling, weeping Lar, clutching the body of Superboy, whispering the name that only he was allowed to speak.
Her obsidian eyes stung at the aching memory, but she refused to cry. She would not. For days afterward she held him trembling in her arms as he, much like she herself did now, would not let himself cry. When the storm of grief had passed (it never entirely abated, she knew) came the anger. The killing, consuming rage. More than once she came home to the sight of broken, mangled furniture. Fist sized holes in the metal walls of their shared quarters.
And he stopped talking.
He almost seemed to avoid her, now. As if he feared her love and compassion might lessen his wrath. He cherished it, nurtured it, fed its greedy hunger with small pieces of his spirit that disappeared down the monster's insatiable gullet, gobbled and chewed, never to be seen again. To die as he was dying . Slowly. Choked with fury and despair.
Her hands threatened to knot themselves into spasmodic fists. She felt so helpless. She was not used to this spreading feeling of despair and the inability to act. It was foreign to her nature. But, with more and more frequency, lately, it had come upon her, rending with its sharp claws. She loathed it. Fought it with all the iron determination of her prodigious will.
In her arms she felt him stir, and when he looked up his blue upon blue eyes were clearer, not quite so haunted and grief-stricken.
But no less determined she saw with a sinking heart.
He lifted her chin and stared down into her jet colored eyes. "Shady, m'love, I want you to remember something for me," he murmured. "I want you to remember that, no matter what happens, I love you. I'll always love you. Promise me that you'll never forget that."
As if trying to protect him from harm, she clung to him so tightly that she could scarcely bear the pressure; it snatched the breath from her lungs and the words from her lips for a moment.
"No," she finally said, and her voice was a strangled echo, a ... a shadow ... of its usual vibrant contralto. She winced to hear it. "I could never forget that ..."
Lightly, he kissed the flowing glory of her mane of night dark hair.
For an instant, she felt the brush of his full lips upon her own --so soft -- so brief --
And then he was gone.
And she was left alone with her thoughts, her fears ... and the pale smoldering ashes of her dying hopes.