The Student Becomes The Master

Disclaimer : I don't own anything. No copyright infringement is intended. This is simply for your pleasure and mine.

Summary : Amanda got the shaft at the end of Saw III. Here's how I think it should have gone.

"NOOO!!"

The word flew from Jeff's lips as he tried to comprehend what he was seeing. It couldn't be real. Lynn wasn't… She hadn't just… It couldn't be real.

"Lynn?!"

He reached for her, his outstretched hand shaking uncontrollably. But try as he might, he couldn't make himself touch her.

"NO!"

His voice cracked as he sunk to his knees. "No!" His whole body shook. "Not you, Lynn." Tears blurred his vision as he continued to stare at his wife. "Not you too."

"Pretty cool, huh?"

It took the words a moment to penetrate his state of shock.

"I mean, look at her. Or should I say what's left of her."

In his disbelief over what happened he hadn't noticed the movement across the room. But now, as he glanced over his shoulder, Amanda climbed to her feet.

"To be honest with you, I wasn't even sure if it would work. Drawing something like that up on paper is one thing, actually seeing it in action is another." She grinned. "I have to say I'm pretty damned impressed with myself right now."

"You." Jeff's voice was little more than a whisper.

"Surprised to see me?"

"But you…" He frowned. "I…"

"What, killed me?" Amanda's grin became a full fledged smile. "Isn't it amazing what you can make people think they're seeing? I even fooled John." She wrinkled her nose as she looked at her hands. "Although I think I went a little overboard." She held out her hands for him to see. "What do you think?"

"I… I don't understand. You shot her…" Jeff's eyes were drawn back to Lynn. "And I…" He looked up at her again.

"Shot me, I know." Amanda sighed. "Do I really have to connect the dots for you?" She waited but he didn't reply. "Fine. I replaced the bullets in your gun with blanks. Then I placed these things called squibs on various parts of my body. When you pulled the trigger, a small explosion went off, making it look like you shot me. You could have gotten me in the gut or the chest," she gestured with her gore covered hands, "but I thought the neck would be more fun. Gave me a chance to test out my acting skills. I mean, a gut or chest wound can take you down pretty fast, but a neck wound… You can last a long time after one of those. But I still think I used a little too much blood."

He watched, mesmerized, as she walked to the table holding the instruments and picked up a towel.

"Johnny boy was a real control freak." She nodded toward the prostrate figure in the hospital bed. "That's why he snapped when they told him his cancer was inoperable. He couldn't handle not knowing what was going to happen." She started scrubbing at her hands with the towel. "Supposedly he came up with the whole Jigsaw thing to try and make people realize how fortunate they were to be alive. Personally I think that's bullshit. He did it to make people feel as powerless as he did." She frowned. "Christ, this shit is sticky." She looked around the room. "Duh. Maybe if I use some water it would come off easier."

She picked up the bottle Lynn had used earlier to wash her hands and tipped some of the liquid into her left palm. "That's more like it." She nodded as she went back to scrubbing, turning the towel in her hands a sickly shade of pink.

"Now where was I? Oh yeah, John." Amanda looked at her former mentor again. "Poor guy. He was really messed up. Brilliant, but messed up."

"And you're not?" The sound of his own voice startled Jeff.

Amanda chuckled. "Oh no, I'm more than willing to admit I'm messed up. Have been for as long as I can remember. But there's a difference between me and John. He was delusional enough to think he might actually make a difference in people's lives. And so did I at first. You see, I was you once."

She threw the soiled towel aside, picked up a clean one and started the whole process over again.

"I was a junkie. Getting a fix was the only thing that mattered in my life. Then one night I woke up tied to a chair with a bear trap strapped to my head. John had singled me out. My particular game was to dig the key to the trap out of the stomach of a man."

Jeff closed his eyes, not wanting to think of her or anyone else going through something like he had just been through.

"As you can see, I survived. The next thing I knew John was offering to take me under his wing." Amanda wondered toward the hospital bed as she talked. "He taught me a lot. He really did." Her tone was almost wistful. "But it didn't take me long to realize I wasn't like John. I didn't give a shit about offering people a second chance. I just like to kill."

His eyes snapped open. Had he actually been thinking of her as a fellow human?

"Not innocents, mind you." She shook her head. "No, I go for the scum. Drug dealers, rapists, molesters. There is a lot of filth in this world. And if I can make them feel even a fraction of the pain they cause other people, more power to me. Coming up with grisly ways to kill them is just an added bonus."

"You killed Lynn."

Amanda frowned at his barely audible outburst. "What?"

"You." Jeff growled the word. "You said you don't kill innocents, but you killed Lynn."

"Damn straight I did." Amanda glared at him. "She was no girl scout, Jeff. She was shacking up with another man while she was still wearing her wedding ring. While you were going out of your mind with grief for the loss of your son, she was hitting the sheets with someone else. She deserved everything she got. Besides, I didn't pick you."

"What?"

"You and Lynn, I didn't pick either of you. John did. Oh, I got to do the dirty work of getting you both here, but he chose you. If you think about it, I was just another player in his final game. Although I will admit I designed the collar Lynn was wearing. It was the first thing John let me make by myself." She smiled as she looked at Lynn. "And it was pretty damn impressive, if I do say so myself."

Jeff felt bile rising in his throat. "You're disgusting."

"Now, now, Jeff. Like I said, I'm not the one who chose you. And unfortunately we'll never know why John did. If I had to hazard a guess I would say he was trying to gain some kind of salvation at the end by keeping both of you alive. But what do I know?"

"Bitch."

"Is that any way to talk to the woman who can lead you to your daughter?"

Jeff looked up at her, hope shining in his eyes. He got a grin for his troubles.

"I was going to pretend to be dead and slip out while you tore the place apart looking for her. But then I asked myself where the fun would be in that."

"Fun? Fun?!!" He spat the words. "My wife and son are dead! My daughter is all I have left! Tell me where she is!!"

"She's safe enough for now."

"For now? What's that supposed to mean?!"

"You heard John… She only has a limited amount of oxygen." Amanda shrugged. "And you still haven't played the game he mentioned."

"That does it." Jeff finally stood, his face a twisted mask of anger. "Take me to her, or I'll kill you."

"Oh." Amanda's eyes got big and she threw her hands in the air. "Now I'm scared." Her voice dripped with sarcasm. "In case you hadn't noticed, Jeff, you're not in control around here. I am."

"Not when I have this." Jeff dashed across the room, skidding to a halt next to the gun she had used to shoot Lynn. He brought it up, leveling it at her chest.

"Wow, I must be slipping. I didn't see that move coming."

"If you don't take me to my daughter right now, I'll kill you."

"No you won't." Amanda shook her head. "Because if you did, you would never find her."

Jeff clinched his jaw. "Damn it!!" He forced himself to keep control. She was right, he couldn't kill her. He had already made that mistake once tonight when he slit John's throat with the power saw. But that didn't mean he couldn't hurt her. He pointed the gun at her leg and pulled the trigger.

"Uh oh." Amanda shook her head as the click of the gun echoed between them. "Did I forget to mention it only had one bullet in it? The one I put in your wife's back."

"NO!!" Jeff growled the word as tried to fire the gun again and again and again.

"See, leaving bullets in the clip would make me sloppy, Jeff. And if there's one thing I learned from John, it's that you can't afford to be sloppy. Creative yes, sloppy no."

"Fuck you!"

"The way I see it there's only one person fucked here, and it's not me." Amanda gave him a pitying look. "Poor Jeff. Did you actually believe that making it through John's little house of horrors would be the end? The moral to your story was supposed to be an end to your need for vengeance. No matter what happened you were supposed to realize that sometimes you just have to take what life throws at you and deal with it. Live or die you were supposed to leave here a changed man. And you came this close to doing it." She held the index finger and thumb of her right hand so that they were almost touching. "But you failed. You killed John even though he very plainly told you you couldn't and Lynn was screaming at you to stop because she knew what would happen if you did. And then you were willing to put a bullet in me even thought I'm the only one that knows where your daughter is. I give your major points for that, by the way. I didn't think you'd pull the trigger. But you did."

Amanda pursed her lips. "And I'm afraid you're going to have to pay." She pulled another gun out of a hiding place on the table where she had been washing her hands.

Jeff flinched as she aimed the gun at him. "No." Tears filled his eyes again. "Please. All I want is my little girl."

"But you don't deserve her, Jeff." Amanda's gun hand was steady as a rock. "I saw you with that pistol at your house. Do you know what could have happened if you left it lying around? Not to mention what you did here tonight. You let those people die. The bitch that kept her mouth shut, the judge that let your son's murderer off easy and the bastard who killed your child. They deserved what they got, but you didn't exactly jump at the chance to keep them alive, did you? And do you wanna know why? Because people don't change. You've always been an angry man, Jeff. And you always will be. Your little girl doesn't need to be around that."

"You're…" The sound of the gun being fired stopped Jeff mid-thought. He had the chance to look down at the hole in his chest before his knees gave way and he sagged to the floor.

"See, I told you chest wounds take you down fast." Amanda leaned over him as he gasped. "But don't worry, Jeff. I'll raise your little girl as if she were my own. She'll never want or need for anything. And when the time comes, she'll be just as good at this sort of thing as me. I am John's legacy and she'll be mine."

He managed to roll his eyes up to her in fear before his last breath rattled out of his lungs.

"And that, John," she turned back toward the hospital bed, "is how you're supposed to do it." She walked over to him, caressing his arm as she looked down at his serene face. "I owe you everything. I want you to know that. Without you I wouldn't have known what I was supposed to do with my life. And don't you worry, people will fear the Jigsaw for years to come. But not for the same reasons they feared you. With you there was always the slightest chance they might make it out alive. With me there will only be pain and suffering and that sweetest of releases… Death."

"You were right, John. I was walking toward a precipice." A single tear slid down her cheek. "Too bad you underestimated me so much you didn't realize I had fallen off of it before you came along." She kissed his cold brow. "I loved you."

Amanda lingered at his side a moment longer before straightening up. "Goodbye, John." She took in the chaos of the room as she walked out. "I guess it's true what they say. The student really can become the master."