TITLE: Jaded
AUTHOR: Queen Kakia, KakiaGuerin@aol.com
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. The characters' are Jason Katims', and the song is Aerosmith's, and the quote at the end is either Aerosmith's or the genius' who directed the video.

You got your mama's style
But you're yesterday's child to me
So jaded
You think that's where it's at
But is that where it's suposed to be
You're gettin' it all over me
X - rated

"Don't you dare talk to me like that!" Nasedo snapped, his face slightly distorted by anger. It was a funny thing, anger. It showed up in the worst places and made people get angry when they had no right to. When they were speaking to someone above them. Anger was a display of indignance and arrogance. Yep, anger was definitely an emotion this world could do with out. Objectively speaking, of course.

"But I'm your queen," she reminded him. She knew what the answer would be; it was his answer every time. But what else could she say? And maybe she was right and he was just lying to make her listen to him.

"You're the queen of nothing without Zan," he told her, a look of disdain in his eyes. "And if you would stop being so uncooperative, we may find Zan someday. And you could have your power that you so desperately seek." He was cold and accusing, but she didn't understand why. The way she'd turned out wasn't her fault.

"I'm not as evil as you think I am," she said bitterly. "I have feelings, too." Which was a lie, and they both knew it. He'd stamped all emotion out of her when she'd come out of the pod. She was...jaded.

My my baby blue
Yeah I've been thinking 'bout you
My my baby blue
Yeah you're so jaded
And I'm the one that jaded you

Nasedo laughed, a low, cruel laugh. Mocking her. Mocking everything about her, because she was nothing. "You have no feelings." He ran a finger through her blond curls, breaking a knot. She almost cried out in pain, but stood still without flinching, like she was supposed to. Zan would have been so proud. "Feelings are for humans. And you, Ava, my sweet, are far from human."

"My name is Tess." She knew she looked laughable, a little girl of nine years standing next to an older man, a stubborn scowl on her face. "Stop calling me Ava. That's not my name."

He sighed sadly, and ran his finger through her hair again. This time, she slapped his hand away. Expecting to be scolded for her insolence, but, to add to her fear, he didn't react. "Poor, lonely Tess. Don't worry. We will find the rest of the Royal Four one day. Then you will finally be happy."

In all it's misery
It will always be what I love
And hated
And maybe take a ride to the other side
We're thinking of
We'll slip into the velvet glove
And be jaded

Happy. She let out a little hollow laugh. She would never be happy. How could she be happy if she had no emotions? "Don't lie." It was his fault, of course. His fault that she was a living husk, walking out the door every morning with a smile on her face and a witty comeback prepared to every comment thrown her way, but not feeling anything on the inside. He had beaten everything out of her long ago, until there was nothing but a body and a beating heart.

Sometimes she wasn't even sure of the beating heart.

My my baby blue
Yeah I'm thinking 'bout you
My my baby blue
Yeah I'm so jaded
And baby I'm afraid of you

She wanted to cry, but she didn't know how. She wanted to run at Nasedo and hit him until he bled, but that would have meant she cared. And he wouldn't bleed anyway. She wanted to yell at him, but she'd never raised her voice in her life, and she feared that her larynx would break if she tried now. She wanted to collapse and fall, but she'd held herself up her whole life and would be damned if she faltered now.

So she stood there, blank-faced, just looking at him. Stoically. And hated every moment of it.

Your thinking's so complicated
I've had it all up to here
But it's so overrated
Love and hate it
Wouldn't trade it
Love me jaded

In a gesture that might have broken her heart if it hadn't already been broken, he sat down on the chair in the living room and pulled her into his lap. This was the appropriate time to cry, she knew. And she tried, she really did. But either because she wasn't sad or because she wasn't experienced, nothing happened.

He stroked her hair gently, not teasing like all the other times. It felt nice...and safe. She had never felt safe before. What was he doing? Was he trying to be a father? But he wasn't...he couldn't repeat it enough--he wasn't her father, and she wasn't his daughter. He was merely her caretaker. Like she was a piece of property. Which was how she actually felt most of the time.

There ain't no baby please
When I'm shooting the breeze with her
When everything you see is a blur
And ecstasy's what you prefer

"What do you want, Tess?" he asked softly. Like he was Santa Claus or something. She'd never believed in Santa Claus, of course. They'd celebrated Christmas--after all, they weren't Christian. They'd never celebrated any holidays, for that matter. But there he was, offering to be her Santa Claus. "What do you want?" he repeated.

"To feel."

My my baby blue
(blue blue blue blue yeah)
Yeah I'm talking 'bout you
My my baby blue
(blue blue blue blue yeah)
Yeah I've been thinking 'bout you
My my baby blue
Yeah you're so jaded (Jaded)
Jaded (Jaded)
You're so jaded
'Cause I'm the one that jaded you