|When Darkness Comes
Author: SylverSpyder PM
What happens when darkness comes and the team have lost the one thing they always thought they could rely on... each other. separated into a series of short chapters from characters perspectives, each set published in a different part.Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,098 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 04-25-12 - Published: 10-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7484426
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 1: Robin
Guilt. Robin had learned to live with it. Every night when he closed his eyes, he'd see his parents faces, eyes wide in shock, mouths screaming that should be smiling, fear etched into the lines of their faces as the rope broke beneath them. His mom's hand inches from his, ready to pull him out to his place by their sides. Hands grasping at nothing. Bodies falling. Shattering. He had cheated death, that day and every day since, but now, this time, he had a chance to close those inches that separated one he loved from survival. He had a chance, to make things right.
He let go of the anti-venom, the snake bite in his arm tingling as he watched the vial begin to fall in slow motion fifty stories to the unforgiving ground, and reached out his empty hand toward the semi-conscious Wally's. For a second, he felt Wally's calloused fingers slide through his, saw the fear and pain in Wally's delirious green eyes, then his hand caught, and Wally howled in agony as his descent halted. Robin held Wally up as the grappling line retracted, breathing hard, feeling the venom from Poison Ivy's pets slither through his veins, towards his heart. The edges of his vision were tunneling, turning gray as he hoisted them farther up, his best friend slumped limp over his shoulder, convulsing occasionally in the after effects of what he had been through. Robin knew he had it in him to cheat death one last time and hoisted Wally over the edge of the building, grunting with exhaustion. The muscles in his arms were shaking with agony. Then, he fell, losing his grip on the grappling hook and tumbling out into him, Wally shifted. Robin smiled as he blacked out, plummeting towards his death. He had finally had a chance for redemption.
Wally moaned as he landed on top of the building and returned brutally to consciousness. Where was he? His throat was hoarse and brought up terrible memories of that first mission with Artemis, in the pool, unable to breathe, water filling his lungs, M'gann's lips pressed to his, pounding painfully on his chest, forcing air into his lungs, his throat scratched and... There was a scream echoing inside and outside of his battered skull. A cry for help. Moving seemed impossible. It was as if he still had on the helmet of Dr. Fate. He turned his head towards the noise, throbbing in protest of the movement, finding himself looking down the edge of a skyscraper to see Robin in the air. Something bumped Wally's hand. Robin's grappling hook. Robin was tumbling helplessly toward the ground, free-falling.
Artemis fought the chains that held her in place as she watched Wally fall. Trying to rescue her. She screamed, the sound like an animal's growl coming through the gag in her mouth. Wally was falling... falling... They told her this would happen, her team would die if she did not...
She hadn't believed them. Hadn't wanted to. The idea was painful, more painful than the worst torture in hell. She screamed again, knowing that all of them were dying. Dying. She remembered the sound of her mom's cries when they took her. Her mom, trapped in the burning house without her wheelchair. Her only family, all dying. M'gann, so eager to take her as a sister, and Wally... Wally was special to her. And she was afraid of the feeling. Last time, a boy had ended up dead by her hand. A boy she loved. All to gain her father's favor, and he had paid her back with this.
Her tortured yells faded as she watched the horror movie of her team play out in front of her, the only sight in the darkness of the room. She was unable to tear her eyes away. She watched as Robin dropped the antivenom and knew, with finality, that another one of them had just chosen inevitable death. A while longer, and they'd all be gone, leaving her to her pain.
The tall figures of the Flash and Batman stood out in the graveyard. The open graves in front of them were slowly filling with dirt. The thump of shovels was loud in the silence.
Chapter 5: Kaldur
The hot sides of the metal container seemed to press in on Kaldur. He could hear M'gann screaming outside, but the only thing he could think of was the heat. Death must feel like this. Hell. Hell would be hot. Burning.
Kaldur stumbled, breathing through his mouth, gills moving uselessly in the dry air as his mouth dried in the rising temperatures. He couldn't even scream, scream to M'gann that he was sorry, that the worst was knowing that he had failed. He'd tried so hard, been through so much, and he had cost his team their lives. Artemis would never be rescued, and he was trapped. The fortune-teller had been right. He'd lose everything he loved, and it would be his fault. Failure and shame rushed through him, and he was reminded of Thula. Of loving her and Garth's smile as he took her way from him, of all the things he'd lost. His mother and his father. No! Don't think about them! They'd be ashamed. Ashamed of their son. They all would, even his King, who would never know how much Kaldur respected him. Sweat poured from Kaldur's brow as he broke down to the sound of M'gann screaming.
Chapter 6: M'gann
They were hurting M'gann. They were hurting her. She was in a box. Pain and mentally communicated images of fire that filled her mind made it hard to think. Every time she tried to shift, the box would shift, too, becoming filled around her with some new method of torture. Fire. Drowning. Burning. Stabbing. Whipping. Acid. Screaming.
For the first time in her life, M'gann needed rescuing, but beneath the fear of the pain and the flames was another fear, the fear that no one was coming. No one was left to come and no one cared. After all, it's not like there weren't plenty to take her place. Any of her many sisters could impersonate her and no one would notice the difference. Even Superboy, no matter how much she wished he would care, that he would notice, never would.
M'gann wished, wished that she were dead, but the pain continued. Soon there was nothing but the pain, and, for the first time, M'gann couldn't even imagine a future, a happy future with the team by her side, people to whom her life meant something. All that was and all that would be was the excruciating torture.
The man was smiling. Smiling at Superboy. Superby growled through the hologram of M'gann's cage, wanting to lunge forward, to do something, but he was powerless for in the man's hand was a remote and even the slightest pressure would mean death for M'gann, the only one who ever understood him, or one of their other teammates, the only people who had never given up on him, the people who had freed him and given him a chance to live. If the man held only Superboy's life, he wouldn't have hesitated. After all, he was not unique or special, he was just a clone, and not a very good one at that. Besides, his life was his to give. "You have a choice." The man's voice was misleadingly pleasant. Superboy hated that voice. Hated above all else. "If you save the girl, you will die. She is trapped within a cage of magically enhanced kryptonite, but..." he pointed behind him to the plasma screens filled with pictures of his other team mates, his family. "you will live long enough to see one of the others die in her place. Or..." the the voice paused as the man pressed a button and M'gann's face appeared, twisted in agony. "You can watch her die, and one of the others might live long enough to have a chance. Your choice..." And he laughed.
Artemis watched. She watched her team breaking all around her in a chorus of screams, moans, shouts, and crunching bones, remembering the words that led to this, her newest torment.
'Artemis, it seems breaking mommy wasn't enough for you, so we've provided some extra... incentive.'