Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: X-Men/New Mutants
Challenge/Prompt: [Bad username: FemmeSlash100100]: Alphabet Soup: Jugular/prompt_in_a_box: Uh oh./1_million_words: New Year - New Characters! (Amara)
Word Count: 1,125
Date Written: 11 January 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
She wakes to find her partner bathed in the golden rays of the rising sun. It's nothing unusual to catch Amara watching the sunrise -- she truly is a daughter of the Sun --, but there's something different about her this morning. Her body is tense, held rigid with worry, and just seeing her sitting there in the sun's rays of pink and gold, even with her back turned to her, makes Rachel think, Uh oh. Ray leans up on her elbows, still watching her and catches sight of a small piece of fabric held in Amara's left hand. "'Mara?"
"Why didn't you tell me?" the blonde asks without turning to face her.
Ray rubs the sleep from her eyes and slips from her bed. "Tell you what, babe?"
"Tell me about this." Amara holds up the fabric, and Rachel freezes as she catches sight of a collar she'd thought long gone. "Tell me you didn't want to wear it. Tell me why."
"We . . . didn't exactly have time."
"You could have told me. I could have found you a different costume."
"They probably all had collars on them."
"You could have cast an illusion."
"Which they would have seen through."
"We didn't know that at the time."
"No -- "
"And I didn't know about . . . about what they did to you . . . "
Rachel sits beside her, sees the tears flowing down her face, and reaches out to hold her gently. "I know you didn't. I never blamed you. I wasn't angry with you."
"But I am angry!" she cries, throwing the maid's collar onto the floor. "I am angry at me for asking you to wear that thing after what they did, after what you suffered, and I'm so angry at them!"
"That's in a future that doesn't happen in this world," Rachel says, folding Amara into her arms. We don't have to worry about it here. We're safe here. I'm safe. And I'm with you. And I don't want to think about that place."
"I think about it. I think about it every time I hold you while you sleep! I felt your pain when you shared your secret with me. I felt your pain, Rachel, and -- Oh, God! How could anybody do that to a person?!"
"Because," Rachel answers calmly, having mulled over the same questions in her own head so many times, "they were heartless bastards. We mutants were no more than animals to them -- "
"I wouldn't do that to an animal!"
Rachel strokes Amara's long, blonde hair. "I know you wouldn't, baby, but, look, I don't want you to dwell on this. I don't want you to dwell on them. The more you think about them, the more I think about them too, and I don't want to. I want to forget them."
"How can you forget -- "
"I can't," she speaks truthfully, "but every time you lay your hands on me, those bad memories are pushed further aside. I think of you. I think of the happy times we've shared and of the lives we've saved together. I think of the family I have now, that we have now. And when you kiss me, sweetheart, all I can do is think of you and the pleasure you bring me."
"Yes, really," Rachel insists, catching her hand and squeezing it gently. "They destroyed my past, but what was my past could have been the future for many. It could have been, but it doesn't have to be. And just because they destroyed my past doesn't mean we can't enjoy the present, just like because they were in the future doesn't mean that that future has to happen here or anywhere ever."
Amara nods. "I'll never stop fighting," she vows quietly, "for that future not to happen."
"I know you won't, and neither will I, and it's because of people like us, because of people like our family, that I have hope that what happened in my past never really happens. But can we not talk about this? Can we not think about it? I don't want my past to destroy our present."
"It won't destroy it," Amara vows, hugging Rachel, "because I'm not going to stop loving you now or ever. But . . . " She gently traces Rachel's throat. Rachel arches into her touch as Amara's the pads of Amara's fingers dance as softly over Rachel's jugular as a butterfly's wings. "Does that bother you?"
"No. Not when you're doing it." Her green eyes cast a glance at the black collar discarded on the floor. "To be honest, the collar did freak me out at first, but we didn't have time to talk about it. Every moment counted. We were after Selene, if you remember."
"Like I could forget," Amara mutters. "So you really didn't mind it?"
"Not really." Rachel shakes her head. "It kind of freaked me out a little at first. I had sworn I would never wear a collar again. But after we got dressed and that butler almost caught us, I didn't think any more about it."
"Truly." Rachel nods. "In fact, with that ridiculous orgy they had going on, as soon as I could get away from the butler, I burst out laughing. I was still laughing when Selene found me, and you know what happened after that."
"Yeah." Amara follows Rachel's gaze to the collar. "I'm glad it didn't bother you, but I promise never to ask you to wear another one again."
"It's okay," she says, shaking her head and looking back up at her. "They really don't bother me. I'm my own woman now, and nobody can take that from me again."
"I won't let them," Amara promises. She'd like to talk about Rachel's past some more. She has so many questions, but she knows her girlfriend doesn't need to dwell on that time of her life. "So you really forget all about your memories when I'm kissing you?"
Rachel grins. "Baby, I forget about everything else when you're kissing me."
Amara smiles back. "Then what are we waiting for?" she asks and presses her lips to hers. Every kiss grows in passion as it tells Rachel and Amara both of their love for each other, but every kiss also carries them further away from their conversation, from the collar on the floor which Amara kicks under the bed as they make their way back to it, and from Rachel's horrible past which both girls have sworn never to let happen -- Rachel for all those she's hurt and Amara, quite simply, for the woman she loves and with whom she hopes to share a long, bright future that is every bit as happy as their pasts are sad.