Mercenary Politique Part 5

By Dora Furlong and Courtney Kraft

Psylocke had done the same with Tara, glancing up at her
occasionally, and trying not to make eye contact. After her question
Psy coughed on her tea. "Excuse me?"

Tara laughed a bit as Psylocke choked on her tea. It was unexpected from
such a simple question. Tara wondered why it would elicit such a drastic
emotion. Indeed the red Guard trainee had something on her mind. Chuckling
Tara handed the woman an extra napkin. 

Psylocke accepted it, wiped her mouth, and coughed a few times. 

"The question is straight forward," Tara stated, her voice warm and friendly,
"What do you want?" 

Psylocke stared at her with a puzzled look, as if Tara had asked her
a morbid question. "I'd like to know why your friend here hasn't
even introduced himself." 

Tara glanced at Topaz. He nodded, "It is generally not necessary for
me to introduce myself, for the most part it is unnecessary. Since
you have asked, I am Topaz, I am Ms. Alderson's protection.

Psylocke grinned slyly. "Pleasure to meet you." 

Topaz nodded once more, "Likewise."

Tara listened quietly to the brief exchange, then once it was over
smiled and pressed the question once more, "So what is that you
want Psylocke?" 

Psylocke's eyes narrowed. "Out of life or for desert?"

Tara chucked, "Why do you avoid the question? You know what I mean.
Is it that difficult for you?"

"Yes. To be perfectly frank. It is. And I don't think it's any of
your business to be asking such a question of a person you don't even

Tara listened very closely to how and what the Captain said and to
what she had not said, "Interesting that life is such a difficulty
for you..and yes you did invite this question by sharing your
innermost concerns and confusion with me...You have also already
shared that there is far more on your mind than a union between my
grandfather and the Princess Azarra."

Psylocke leaned back. "You're good."

Tara shrugged, "It's not about my being's about what you want." 

Psylocke dropped her slyness. "You're only the second person to ever
ask me that."

In a softer tone, "And who was the first?"

Psylocke looked away. "Probably no one you know."

Tara shrugged still looking at Psylocke directly, "Don't assume those
whom I know and those whom I do not, you might be surprised...try

Psylocke cursed internally, pausing for a moment, contemplating what
to say to satisfy the woman across from her without giving it away.

"Just...a guy. Friend of mine." 

Tara raised an eyebrow at yet another avoidance, "Just...a guy.
Friend." Psylocke recognized the underlying sense of question because
of *how* she said it.

Psylocke rested her head in one hand and glared at Tara, frustrated.
"Can we just drop this, please?"

Tara nodded, "If you shall answer what it is you want."

"I'm not sure what I want." Psylocke could feel the cold tingle of
depression crawling up her arms. "No one ever really asks me."

"Why does someone have to ask you? Is your identity, your...desires
and wishes wrapped up in someone else?"

"That always seems to be the problem. I'm always associated with
other people. It's like I don't have my own identity." Psylocke's
response was almost instantaneous.

Tara smiled supportively, "That I can understand..My life is not my
own either...but still there must surely be something you have
wanted...something you desire to grow to...a have yet to
simply find it." 

"I suppose so." 

Realizing that she may have to try another tact with the woman Tara
offered up another question, "So what did you tell this 'friend' of

Psylocke suddenly snaps back in her seat, as if coming back to
reality. "Can you just drop it, please?"

"Why?" Tara retorted, "You don't want to know yourself? Or do you LIKE
being identified by others?"

"It's not that," she said firmly. "I just don't wish to talk to you
about it."

Tara relaxed, "And why is that?"

"I just don't! Okay?"

Tara simply watched her.

"I don't even know you."

"What would you like to know?"

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