dedication: to MaCall, my partner in both crime and misandry.
notes: I had some feelings and then some thoughts while I was doing a re-watch oops bc like women have to protect women? it's so? important? and then I just got to thinking about how Queen Bee is so power-mad and I wondered why and then… well. then, something truly twisted happened.
TRIGGER WARNINGS, YO: MENTIONS OF RAPE AND ABUSE OF WOMEN, THOUGH NOTHING EXPLICIT
title: gaping wide and hungry
summary: Men, she thinks. Useless. — Queen Bee.
Men, she thinks. Useless.
Bee examines her nails under the kerosene-umber lamp, mouth twisted distastefully. She's going to have to do something about them—the paint is chipping, and it's ugly against the flawlessness of her skin. She doesn't deign to call one of the servants to fix it for her.
There's no need for that.
The bath is already steaming when she drops herself into it, orange-blossom and rosewater thick in her nose cut sharply with something metallic as she uncaps the vial of polish-remover. The black paint rubs away with cotton and alcohol.
Bee looks at her nails, naked and human again, and sighs.
Time is not moving fast enough.
The world outside is a dangerous place for those of her gender; Bee knew that as a child, the youngest daughter of the Bialyan emperor's favourite concubine. Her claim to the throne is tenuous at best, she knows—but she has no brothers left. They all drowned in the ocean, just like their father did the first—and last—time he laid a hand on her.
She would not have it any other way.
Men, she thinks again. Useless.
She stays for a long time in the bath, soaking up the heat. She meets with The Light tomorrow, at high noon. It's funny, she muses, that they think she's on their side.
It's funny, she muses, that they think at all.
Vandal Savage is a cruel man. She's seen what he's done to the girl's he's taken to bed; she's seen how they come out shaking, with hollowed-out eyes and white knuckles, when they come out at all. They others are little better: Luthor with his mechanical Mercy, Brain as his predilections for surgery, Manta's sharp teeth, al Ghul's… everything. She knows what happens behind closed doors. She always has.
Bee is not an idiot.
(Men like to think she is, though. It's always their loss.)
The Light has its base in Mongolia. It's not far, not really. She can get there in a day, if she so wishes; right now, however, she does not. Instead Bee drifts:
—her mother, eyes golden and smoky, full of laughter and life. songs from the old days, before Bialya was an empire, and the feelings of hands running through her hair. habibi her mother had smiled, one day the world will know you as it's queen, just as it should she'd hummed until sleep had overtaken her. the night was a safe thing in her mother's arms, until—
Bee sits up, gasping for breath.
The water's gone tepid around her; she hasn't realized she's fallen asleep until she's woken up. Dreams are for fools, Bee tells herself brutally, and water-wrinkled skin is hideous in its own right.
She rises from the bath, shivering.
"Your Majesty?" the voice outside the door is husky as it is soft; female. Bee relaxes a fraction. "Are you alright?"
"Yes," she says. "I'm fine. Leave me."
She waits until the servant leaves. Her hearing is very good, and she sighs when the door to the outer sanctum loses with a click. It's not until after she's regained her breath that she reaches for the sheer robe that hangs from a peg on the wall—it covers absolutely nothing, but its presence calms her some, regardless. Bee slides it over her shoulders, gossamer silk whispering sweetly as she moves.
Bialya is a beautiful country. It values beauty and honestly and truth. It values music, and family. It values its rulers, whether its rulers are good or not. It values companionship, safety, and science above all things. Yes, her country is a beautiful country.
But without a doubt, it will be more beautiful when she finally accomplishes what she's been working towards her entire life:
The eradication of the Y chromosome.
Bee wraps her arms around herself, and smiles.
She drags her fingers across Vandal Savage's face, three days later. The Light is supposed to be equal, but this is not so: Savage built The Light, and he does hold the most sway no matter what any of the others say.
"You are—truly lovely, Bee," he murmurs, voice haunted, horrid, hunted. He touches her like she's fire, taunting in her beauty, dangerous in her execution. Bee allows it because he hungers for her.
They all hunger for her.
Men, she scoffs. Useless.
"I know," Bee laughs, soft and husky as the servant girl outside her door, seventy-two hours previous. "It's a shame there's no one else like me in the world."
"Yes," he hums into her throat. "A shame."
"Vandal, darling," she says, slow and sweet as honey. "Would you do something for me?"
"Anything," he says.
And just like that.
He's under her thrall.
It's a simple plan, really.
The Y chromosome is a very unstable gene. It mutates easily, given the chance; it is weak, hinting at colour-blindness and hemophilia, and that's not all.
She need's Luthor's money, Vandal's cruelty, Manta's knowledge of poisons, and Brain's scientific know-how. Three of these are easy to procure: men are always men, no matter how intelligent they think they are. They will always fall, as soon as she touches them.
Brain would throw a wrench in her plan, but he is not truly important; there are always other scientists. He is dispensable, and she will be sure, when the time comes, that he knows it. Klarion presents a problem only in theory—the Lord of Chaos is as genderless as a newborn. Also, she has no doubt that the child will delight in such an extravagant destruction of humanity.
al Ghul, is, of course, her most pressing problem.
But he'll fall, just as easy as the rest.
Bee looks at herself in the mirror; thinks of her sisters beat black and blue when they spoke out of turn; thinks of the girls on street corners with their glinting eyes and their tears like diamonds; thinks of the cut throats, the violations, the abuse that is never addressed nor ever taken to justice. She thinks of the dark corners, the grasping hands, the ugliness of men and their hunger.
She thinks of her mother, and her mother's golden eyes going dark as the man who claimed to love her beat her to death.
She thinks of the country's horror, a week later, when he was found in his room after choking on his own ego. A snakebite, the papers had said.
Bee knows better.
In the mirror, all she sees is a beautiful woman. A beautiful woman with a beautiful smile, who holds the world in her cupped palms. After all, it is her duty, as a woman, to protect other women.
Bee she smiles herself into lightness, and begins.