A/N: Written in first person. A one shot. I do not own any rights to The Magicians or their characters.
Just a take on the scene in 203.
It's not like I wasn't aware of what I was currently doing. No; being unaware would be dangerous. Being aware is dangerous. I reminded myself as I worked through the Rhinemann Ultra. Every fiber of my being was vibrating, a loud pounding began in my ears and warmth began to radiate through my fingertips as I focused on the magic, my magic, as it coursed through my frame like a running spring over chilled rocks, yes, chilled. The flow was warming me all over, warmth radiating from one part of my body to…down to every single cell.
"Alice, no!" His voice rang out in my ears and I couldn't bring myself to feel anything but determination in this moment, I had to block it out, block him out. But I couldn't, could I? I couldn't leave him hanging on by a thread while my magic and thoughts go a mile a second, words and strings flooding to the surface–I have to calm him.
"It's okay. I've got this, Quentin." And in all honesty, I do, I have this. I was made to do this, to defeat this monster that had no other means of an end other than me - that is...
Unless I fail.
Failure isn't an option.
No, failure won't do.
As my hands work their magic, I am working over the same thoughts I had while in the carriage with Quentin. If I fail, I'm a niffin. I will become the embodiment of magic and all power that is possible. She, the niffin me, will feel drawn to kill the one person I would fail at and in that way, I will win. We will win. If I do not fail and I am able to contain the magic within my frame, contain the spell, then I win, I save my friends. Either way, I save them. One way or the other, I live or I die. Is it worth it?
"They never fail who die in a great cause."― George Gordon Byron
In most instances, that line holds true. I read it somewhere, but right now I can't think, the flames are licking at my skin and I can't think, I can only do. My hands are working and I've begun to tune out everyone and everything around me, apart from the Beast, apart from Martin and my hands, my magic, my power. But that burning, the burning is ouch!
I push on. Even if the muscles in my hands and arms are becoming sore, tendons pulled taut, blood reaching a point where I think I have a fever. Of course, I have a fever. It's rushing through me. The warm water turning into lava, threatening to burn me alive but it's okay, I have it, I have this under complete control. This is what Alice Quinn is good at. This is what Alice Quinn was created for.
Quinns and their need to sacrifice themselves for another.
But I'll make this, I will be fine. I will be fine. I will be fine. I will-
I see red, eyes focused and mouth pulling back as I am practically hurling all of my self-power into this – my vision is shifting in a motion blur as I watch on, I can't see anything but him, the Beast and the magic in the air, and my thundering heart is trying but failing to get all of my attention. I stroke the flame, play with the fire like a moth and
Screaming is all I can do as the flame grows within me and I wonder if anyone can see it yet, see it as it scorches my insides and threatens to burn my empire down. When I glance down at my fingers, I can see the blue now, the essence of magic eating away at my flesh, at my digits and as my screaming hightens, so does my heartbeat in my ears and the warmth in my frame. I'm immobile. I can't do anything but react, react to something that I brought on myself and even if I am screaming, my mind is not only focusing on the excruciating pain as the flame engulfs me - but on the fact that I have saved my friends anyway. I have saved Quentin.
And one day; they will forgive me.