Why So Jaded

Chapter 18

On the way back to civilization, Phillip was handed a device where an alert was shown into his inbox from The Agency before he grabbed a pair of headphones and plugged them in and pressed play.

"Hi Phill, if you're seeing this, it means I've died in the line of duty and probably did so trying to protect you." Violet said into the camera as Phillip's eyes once again grew glassy with tears as he looked from the video of Violet to her laid out on the stretcher as a team of medical personnel attended to her before he turned back to his screen.

"I know there were lots of things that we never got to say so I just wanted to give myself this opportunity to say them." VIolet continued before she scooted a notepad she seemed to have several things written on closer to herself as she was in her office at The Agency and he noticed that the date of this recording was only a few days ago, before they left for Tokyo.

"I'm actually really happy and grateful you found me and pulled me out of Hong Kong. I know in the beginning, I wished you hadn't but because you did, I got a second chance to reconnect with my family and most importantly, myself. You gave me a purpose and let me protect you when everything I had ever done before was destroy everything I touched, because I was lost in an ocean of hurt and doubt and I had tried to hide away from the world, trying to protect it from it's greatest danger- me. And you've been more than a boss to me, you've been a friend too, a friend with some amazing benefits but, despite everything, still a good one." She managed to say before she looked down at the pad.

"However the reason I'm doing this is so I can explain to you why it was never going to be more than friends. And those reasons are because you always denied what you were- which is a Super. Phillip, you are a Super with some really remarkable abilities, abilities I wish I had. And because of your own abilities that you refused to acknowledge let alone, disclose to me while using said abilities on me, meant I could never fully trust you and it also meant that because you never disclosed them to me, that that meant that there was even more still that you were never going to disclose to me which meant that there were always levels of secrecy between us and for me, our relationship was always just one big mind game, an exhausting one. And it's because you used your powers on me both with and without my consent and you projected this ideal of this super sexy assassin onto me, that you never really made an effort to get to know the real Violet. And you left me with little choice but to try to live up to this ideal of "Miss Parr" who was who you wanted me to be. And it's because I was always in Miss Parr mode- that the real me never got a chance to shine through. And who Miss Parr and who the real Violet is- are two different people. And you tried to buy me off and buy my love instead of earning it with trust and respect that is the reason I withheld myself from you. And it's the reason why we were never going to work out. But I hope that after my death, that you'll come to terms with who you really are as a person and what you really want and then go for that. I still wish you the best and happiness and success. But our paths were always meant to part ways after being together for a time. And the sooner you accept that, the better. Um, if Veronica survives me, she is my ideal replacement as your handler, if not I've also compiled another list of other candidates that might suit your needs. However I have released a video detailing your powers and abilities that will be shown to whoever takes my place so they know what they're dealing with should they decide to take the job because the cycle of deception has to stop somewhere and it needs to stop with me so please understand that this isn't punishment for being a Super, it's not about that at all, its about you denying the fact that you are one and using your powers to manipulate everyone around you without their knowledge and consent- that that's the problem." Violet insisted.

"But that being said, it was really fun while it lasted. Goodbye Mr. Sebastian and thank you- for everything." Violet said as she nodded to him and simply reached for the button and turned the feed off, leaving a sobered Phillip to just cry.

Meanwhile Jack hadn't wanted to watch his own video but watching the paramedics do everything in their power to save Violet and were having a hard time. He felt that maybe now was as good a time as any as he pulled out his phone and received the message sent to him via The Agency.

"Hi Jack, if you're seeing this, then that means I've died. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I'll never get to see you grow up or see all the wonderful amazing things you'll create and all the lives that you'll touch and improve. You are so special and amazing and I know the world is in for a surprise when you decide what to do with your life." Violet began to cry but her smile was still so proud, and so bright and adoring.

"Um. You're about to get a lot of paperwork in the mail. I want you to know that there is some money that will be made available immediately, I want you to use that money to have fun, when you're ready to have fun that is, go to Cedar Point or New York Fashion week or whatever, make your first real big collection if you want. I'm just sorry I won't be around to see it, or wear it but if you can, get in touch with my friend Vivian, she should come to my funeral, she'll happily be your model. Keep in touch with Barret, he'll be a good mentor for you, if Mom and Dad will get over his past, but definitely stick with Edna. I'm sure she's not done teaching you a thing or two. I love you so, so, so much and I'm already so proud of you. And I want you to know that it's ok to hurt, and grieve and feel everything. And I've done everything I can to keep you safe. But when you're ready, I want you to leave the nest, open your wings, and soar. You're going to be the greatest Parr yet. I love you Jack. I'm going to miss you like crazy." Violet offered before she blew one last kiss to the camera before she shut it off with a sad smile as Jack just sat between his parents and sobbed before he handed his phone to Dash.

"Violet left a message for you, sign in with The Agency." Helen told Dash as she consoled Jack before Dash took and signed in and saw the email with the video before he put in Jack's earbuds and listened.

"Hi Dash. If you're watching this- it means I've died and probably in the line of duty. I want to clear the air and say I'm sorry I've been a bitch to you but I also want to explain why I've been so hard on you since I've come back when I found out that you had two sons by Ashley and Amy but you weren't loyal to either one. And that's because my first mission five years ago. My target was Ivar Rathgood, I was 17, he was 24, my cover was an injured ballerina turned into a stripper in his club as a way to get close to him. I was too young, too eager, too naive to dive head first into that mission. But within months, I fell in love with him, I got pregnant with a little boy, his name was going to be Alexi, and even now I have dreams and nightmares I'm back in Moscow, carrying him. To me, Ivar was overjoyed and thrilled that I was pregnant and he appeared to do everything in his power to protect me. He always had me guarded, had all my food inspected and made sure that everything I ate was healthy and wouldn't hurt the baby. I craved blue raspberry slurpees like crazy. And I was going to say 'fuck you' to the Agency, quit and stay in Moscow forever. And then- Ivar replaced my prenatal vitamins with a Russian form of plan B, the problem was I was already 20 and a half weeks along. So I, of course, miscarried. When I went to the hospital and found out that plan B was in my system, the only thing that could be tampered with was my prenatal vitamins and I was…" Violet couldn't help but wrack a sob before she grabbed a tissue and dabbed at her eyes.

"I was gutted and beyond betrayed when Ivar killed his own child while it was still in my womb. I almost died because I just kept on hemorrhaging. When I told my guards my suspicions because they saw how happy I was to be pregnant and they saw how hard I worked to keep pregnant and saw how careful I was and saw that I did nothing to harm Alexi, they of course turned on Ivar, who denied vehemently that he did it. But there was no one else who had access to my prenatal vitamins because he would count them every day to make sure I was taking them. And that's why when I came home I bonded so strongly with Jack because Jack was only a toddler at the time and he was so close to what I had lost and because of the nature of the work, I couldn't tell anyone anything. And that's why when I came back this second time to see that you had two sons and that you weren't with either one's mother- it pissed me off because no child should have to pay for the sins of their parents. So, that's why Jr. and Dillon's trust fund is bigger than yours because what I've seen so far with SEB-SI is that you're really bad with money and I needed to ensure that at least Ashley and Jr. and Dillon and Amy would be taken care of if you decided to blow what little bit of trust fund I have saved for you." Violet insisted.

"I was just so angry and disappointed that you had the one thing I thought I always wanted and you didn't appreciate it, didn't protect it, didn't take care of it and I expected better from you. And I hope you take this opportunity to grow the fuck up. And mature and be a real man instead of a boy playing to the camera and the crowd and I hope you really learn how to take care of yourself and your family and even if you can't go back and rekindle things with Ashley or Amy, at least be a good dad to Jr. and Dillon and take charge of your life instead of always reacting to whatever happens to you and always complaining about the consequences of your own actions and having to pay for them. Also, look into the way your money is managed and realize when people are taking advantage of you and could be robbing you blind and you'd never know. And use what wealth I'm leaving you and actually build something with it instead of blowing it on your whims. But don't take my death as an excuse to YOLO your own life away and live as dangerously as I have. Use it as a reminder that even though life can be short- make your life count for something, mean something. I beg of you. I know you can do it. You can. Take care of Mom and Dad and Jack and Jr. and Dillon. And don't hold the past against people who have clearly changed, and by that I mean Barret. If anything you can learn a thing or two from him about how to be a real man and take care of yourself and be self sufficient. Get yourself into some therapy. Gain maturity and perspective and grow from this and know that I still love you and nothing you have done is unforgivable. Make us all proud of you." Violet insisted before she turned the camera off as Dash could do nothing but nod in agreement to that before he handed the phone back to Jack who in turn leaned across his mom and handed it to Barret.

"Violet left you something in your interface at The Agency." Jack told Barret who took the phone, signed off from Dash's interface and logged back into his own before he saw the new email and message and put the earbuds into his own ears to see what message Violet had left him.

"Hi Barret. If you're seeing this then I'm sorry I couldn't get us both free but hopefully by the time you see this, your own freedom from that fucking gilded cage is in the works." Violet said and despite everything, Barret cracked a grin and huffed a laugh through his own tears.

"I have you to thank the most for everything. Thanks to you, I have been reintroduced to the real me. And it's because of your insistence, that you wanted to get to know the real Violet that I got to get to know her too and come back to her instead of always being "Miss Parr" or "Invisigirl". I spent the last five years burying her under layers and layers of lies to the point that even I didn't know who the real me was and I was just lost in the never ending lists of objectives and directives and missions. Then everything changed when you came back into my life and I was forced to go to the beginning of my Super career and really go through it and reflect on it and see where and how I lost myself in order to reclaim myself. I'm sorry I didn't get to tell you more sooner, but I couldn't risk your safety over my own clear conscience and thankfully you never pressed or pushed or prodded and you just let me unfurl on my own which helped the most. You made me feel safe and secure and because of your own history, it helped me feel less guilty over my own sins and made me feel like less of a monster, less of a weapon of mass destruction let loose on the world and less of a danger to everyone around me and you helped me feel like a person, a normal human being instead of always being a Super which I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated and loved and adored. You made me feel like my past was a million miles away by just loving me, the whole me, even the parts of me I thought were unlovable when low and behold, you had similar parts of you that you thought were unlovable and sins that were unforgivable. It's why we worked together, and worked so wonderfully because we were the same in that respect. And if you could come back from your own edge and not lose yourself to your past, that gave me the hope to try to not let that happen to me either. Because neither of us were lost causes." Violet professed and Barret could see the glassiness in her eyes that she took a tissue and tried to dab away.

"And as much I really wanted to walk away from everything and ride off into the sunset with you, life...life obviously had other plans and I'm just sorry that my path with you ends here. Just...do me a favor, don't try to find another me or another Tali or whatever, you deserve better honestly. Find the one who can love you no matter what, who can look at you and see Bartholomew Pine and no one else and who can give you the unconditional love you deserve, the kind of love you've always given me that I've tried to give back. And maybe don't build another island fortress, cut off from the rest of the world. You deserve to have family and friends and support and you've done the lone wolf thing long enough. Settle down with someone nice, have a family. I'm just sorry that it won't be with me. But what's that saying? A candle lit at both ends burns twice as brightly but for only half as long? I just hope my death won't be nearly as traumatic for you as losing Tali was. But, before I sign off, I want you to know that every time I told you that I loved you- I meant it and it was the honest truth. I only hope that my actions said it too, the way all of yours did. I love you Bartholomew Pine, I really do." Violet said, tears streaking down her face as she blew a kiss to the camera and shut off the recording as Barret felt like his heart was imploding as he sobbed into his hands. He never thought he would be lucky to have Tali in the first place, and he really didn't think he was lucky enough to have Violet too and to know that his last moments with her were spent with him thinking it was all a lie hurt the most of all. He never should have believed anything on that tablet. He should have known it was a trick, a trap, a diversion. He never should have doubted her because she clearly, honestly did love him and made that abundantly clear by her actions and he was going to do everything in his power to make sure she was going to survive this. He was going to invent a way to help her, heal her because he didn't want anyone else but Violet. It was Violet or no one for him. He handed the phone back and went back to where the paramedics were trying to get Violet restablilized as the jet flew to the closest and best hospital.

"Sir, you should go back to your seat." One of the medics urged.

"I'm Bartholomew Pine, I'm the one who designed the supersuit she's wearing. Just tell me what you need to save her and I'll do everything in my power to make sure the suit helps you. It has an AI with every medical database downloaded and it already knows Violet's complicated medical history. Just tell me what you need." Barret pleaded as the other medics looked at each other and knew they were already out of their depth.

"Ok, here's what we need…" They began as Barret got shoulder to shoulder with them and worked with them and the suit to keep Violet alive the whole flight.

Violet awoke in a dark hospital room, machine's beeping at her as own body was strangely dulled in her senses, she thought she would be in so much more pain than she was, or at least wake up in hell. But upon opening her eyes she saw Jack laying over her, asleep, clutching her hand. The poor kid looked like hell before she turned her head to see Barret in a similar state as everyone else in her family were in various chairs and couches all crammed into the room around her as she tested her hands and the moment her hands flexed around Jack and Barret's hands did they both jerk awake and sat straight up, and their little noises of surprise sparked everyone else to jerk awake too as Violet slowly blinked her eyes open.

"She's waking up!" Jack announced as everyone quickly gathered all around her bed.

"Hey Sweetheart." Helen cooed to her daughter as she came over and gently pet her daughter's head, covered in bandages as she cried tears of relief that her daughter had pulled through.

"Mom?" Violet asked. Not thinking that she'd ever see her mom again.

"Violet, I'm so proud of you, I love you so much. I'm so happy and relieved you're alive." Helen urged as she bent over Violet and kissed her forehead as her Dad came around the other side and hugged her as best he could, his own tears wetting her face and head and shoulder.

"We were so scared, when we got an alert on our phones that you…" Her dad tried to say but choked on his own emotion.

"Thankfully your suit, Veronica's suit and Dash's suit all had homing beacons on them, so between the three suits signals, we knew right where to go to get you. But when your own suit signal was lost and we got those videos you sent to us, we were so scared you had died...thankfully Dash didn't give up and was able to jump start you with enough static electricity to light up a town." Helen informed her daughter.

"We're so sorry we couldn't get to you sooner, but we took the fastest jet we could get our hands on and once we got to you we flew right back here and you've been in a coma for about four days." Bob informed her.

"What about Larissa? Larissa...Larissa Rathgood, she's the one that sabotaged everything. She...she's been hiding...as Leslie Jenkins." Violet said remembering those last moments in the plane before the explosions.

"We can't find her. We don't even know if she survived the crash. But after the accident and thanks to the videos and the account you gave us, we were able to find out exactly how she's been able to corrupt not just things at SEB but at The Agency, right now there's a standing kill order out for her worldwide. Barret even found a way to find all her piggy backs and found everything she's ever touched. Turns out she's been the snake in the grass for years, using your own blackout order to parade around as you, but because she was a super and a mimic super at that. It was so hard to see her, much less know she was there. But your own intuition saw her and caught her." Helen urged Violet.

"My head itches." Violet complained.

"Well you've had three brain surgeries. But we are just so happy you pulled through so well. Right now the doctors are trying to save your mobility because that much pressure in your brain and in your spinal cord did damage some spinal nerves. But right now the prognosis is you'll have a decent chance at making some progress and recovering to a degree." Helen gently broke it to her.

"So...What does that mean?" Violet asked.

"It means you'll be in a wheelchair, at least for a while" Barret softly informed her.

"Well, those were the chances, but...did everyone make it? Is everyone else ok?" Violet asked as everyone smiled sadly at her. Ever the hero.

"Yeah, most of us had to have at least one skin graft because of that powder that Les..I mean Larissa armed into that plane, it was meant to destroy everything it touched and we were meant to hit the water, and bleed out and get eaten by the sharks or something but thanks to you, all of us made it, well, except for Larissa, which more and more, it's looking like that's what happened to her. But everyone else is safe. Thanks to you Violet." Barret reassured her as he squeezed her hand.

"Why were you an ass to me?" Violet asked and Barret couldn't help it, he barked a laugh.

"Lapse in judgement, Larissa spliced video feeds and altered all kinds of things to make it look like you were going to kill us all and not lose a wink of sleep and she did it while you were out drinking with Vers and Viv. But we figured it out pretty quick that it was all her, pulling strings behind the scenes and framing you and everyone else around her." Barret answered.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Violet asked.

"Because I was afraid, I shouldn't have been, but I was." Barret confessed. "But I learned my lesson, next time anything doesn't add up, I'll just ask." Barret reassured her.

"What about Phillip?" Violet asked.

"Uh, he's actually in some really hot water right now. Because of your videos giving really clear, solid evidence that he's actually a Super himself, once he was healed, The Agency took him in for questioning, aka interrogating and right about now I think he's being tested to see exactly what powers he has and what kind of abilities he has. But the good news is, you're officially retired and Phillip's parents, his mother especially made sure that SEB paid out your contract for saving her son while releasing you from any further obligations towards SEB or Phillip. Despite your best intentions to give back everything, because you're still alive, Barret and Phillip have both agreed to let you keep everything you had as of a week ago. Your apartment has been sweeped and everything Larissa ever touched has gone over again and all the surveillance and counter surveillance she installed has been uninstalled and The Agency, as an early retirement present also paid out the rest of what you were promised as well in your contract with them. But you still have all your investments and stocks and all that, although your office was cleaned out as was your saferoom. It's all in your apartment in boxes. Vivian, Veronica, Nelson, Pike, Leland and Soche all took care of it themselves." Helen reassured her daughter.

"What about you?" Violet asked Barret.

"Well, thanks your videos and proof, my own contract with SEB has been satisfied for now and is being settled and renegotiated as we speak, out of court of course and all of my stuff is still being moved out of SEB and into another place and I am no longer an employee of SEB, although I am a partner and an associate still, but you did it, we all made it out alive, thanks to you, no more gilded cages." Barret answered before he picked up her hand and kissed the back of it sweetly.

"And honestly, if it wasn't for Barret's suit, you would have been a goner, so we're all grateful to him for designing you the perfect suit for your last mission." Helen insisted as everyone nodded their agreement to that.

"Finally you find a decent one hun." Bob said as he clasped Barret's shoulder and gave it a good squeeze which got Violet to grin tiredly but happily.

From there, it was a blur of doctors, nurses, medicines, tests and diagnosis for a couple weeks while Violet recovered. But Violet was remarkably accepting and just so happy not to be dead.

"So where did you end up moving to?" Violet asked Barret as he wheeled her around the hospital to the hospital's little garden so she could get some fresh air after she had been discharged from the ICU and put into a regular hospital room, although it was one of the hospital's VIP rooms, Phillip and his family made sure of it.

"This little apartment, it's in Skyway, it's right across the hall from you, didn't know if you'd be cool with me moving in or not." Barret answered as he put her next to a bench and sat down himself.

"I'm gonna need you to go ahead and move in with me because you're the only one who has gone through something like this before and managed to make a full recovery. I'm going to need a lot of help." Violet pleaded.

"You got it." Barret readily agreed before he kissed the back of her hand again sweetly then made the phone call to Nelson who officially had resigned from Phillip's security detail and had gotten immediately hired by Barret as his own handler/assistant along with Soche, Leland and Pike before he requested that all of his things be brought over to Violet's apartment by them which they were happy to do, along with his friends.

"So I had an idea." Barret suggested when he got off the phone.

"And that would be?" Violet asked as she drank down her coffee.

"I think you should get a service dog. Because that's what I did and how I got through my own ordeal. Granted Bugs died just a couple of years ago and I miss him something awful. But having him really helped me." Barret suggested as he took a sip of his own coffee.

"I thank that would be really nice actually." Violet agreed.

"Then there's this one other thing I'd like to do when you're up for it." Barret added.

"And what would that be?" Violet asked.

"I want to marry you." Barret insisted.

"Well isn't that a coincidence, I want to marry you too." Violet beamed.

"But I would prefer to try at least be able to walk down the aisle to you and I want my hair to at least try to regrow because they whacked a good chunk of it off with my surgeries. The doctors said the suit helped so much that my chances of gaining my full mobility are at 60% which is really good odds, you know, considering. But if you could give me like six months to a year or so, and if I can, I can, if I can't and if I get to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, then that's what will happen. I'm sure Jack will design a wedding dress for me and the wheelchair." Violet proposed.

"Deal." Barret grinned.