Best Medicine

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. R/R if you like me when I'm mad.

I used to laugh a lot. It surprises me when I allow myself to think about life before these concrete walls, before the drugs and tests and the pain. I used to laugh. Pietro said I had a nice laugh, a pretty laugh. It was like music, like the song of a bird. Laughter can be a lot of things. It can be beautiful and ugly at the same time. Nobody hears me laugh anymore. I giggle from time to time, sometimes out of madness and the sheer absurdity of it all. Sometimes I giggle after they stop the electro-shock because the electricity still tickles me long after they're done. But I never really laugh anymore.

People say laughter is the best medicine. If I can't laugh, does that mean I'm diseased? The truth is that sometimes laughter is not the medicine. Sometimes, laughter is the virus that makes you sick in the first place. I used to laugh when I was little. It was an innocent laugh for an innocent little girl. You were right, Pietro, it was a pretty laugh. A pretty, innocent laugh for a pretty, innocent girl. People always adore the laughter of children. People always love seeing happy kids.

I can hear laughter now. It is not the laughter of an innocent girl that echoes down the corridors of my mind. It is your laughter, dear Father, and your laughter, loving Brother, that haunts me. Laughter can be the best medicine but just like everything else, it can get twisted and mutilated. We laugh at what is ugly. We laugh at what is rejected. We taunt and ridicule and mock what is no longer desirable. Laughter can be a virus. Your laughter has infected me. I can hear the haughty condescension in it, the tone telling me that I am not like you. I am the subspecies of human that you take so much pleasure in mocking. I am the trained animal in a cage, doing tricks for pennies while you gawk and laugh at my humiliation. I'm the clown with the garish and ridiculous makeup of anguish on who is so laughably stupid in her suffering that she can never have any real feelings. No, that which we laugh at can never have feelings that matter.

You laugh at me and it haunts me. In my waking hours, in my sleep, in all states in between, the sound of your laughter echoes in my mind. You laugh because I'm beneath you. You laugh because you take so much delight in tormenting me. You laugh because I was never good enough for you no matter how hard I tried. I could never be your daughter. I could never be your sister. I was unworthy of those titles and you laugh at the thought that some unworthy, wretched, disgusting girl such as I could ever have your blood flowing through her malformed and damned veins. You laugh because you want to escape me, to put yourself on a higher level than me and wash yourself clean of the filth I heap on you just by being associated with you.

I laugh too, Father. I laugh at the thought that you are somehow better than me while clearly displaying you are so much worse. I laugh at the look you will have on your face as I rip you limb from limb. I will laugh at your funeral, Father. I will laugh at your grave. When they sentence me to death for your murder, I will laugh then too. Who will be the clown then? Who will be the circus sideshow freak in a cage then? Will my laughter sound so wonderful, Pietro, when I peel the diseased flesh from your rotting corpse? Will it sound like music when I snap you in half and then laugh at the look frozen forever on your face? Yes, I think it will. But it will not be laughter of bird songs that rings through the air as I cackle over your broken body like the witch you want desperately to paint me as. It will be laughter of funeral music, of dirges and requiems for men who will never be mourned. It will be the sweetest medicine of all when I laugh at you, dearest father and darling brother. I will finally wash myself clean of your filth and I will finally purge myself of this cancerous virus you infected me with when you stole my future away from me by leaving me to rot here. I will make you stop laughing at me. I'll take those shrieks of demented pleasure and turn them into howls of unbearable torment. Who will be laughing then, Father? Who will be laughing when my hands are stained with your blood?