Hey, guys. Don't worry, I'll still be working on "On Erik's Wings", but I got inspired this morning after watching Ghost Rider a second time. This is my first one, so I can't make any promises. Blackheart/OC.

Rise From The Ashes

By Sybl

Chapter 1

Since he came into this world, there was always something about the demon that was tragically beautiful. He, of course, couldn't see it. He had more "important" things on his mind. He'd often wondered what would be different if all of his self-absorbed plans had actually succeeded. What would come of it then? At this point, it was debatable whether he was even fit to rule the realm of the damned. Blackheart often took solace from one thing, however. He was born to cause trouble. "Born to raise Hell" as Johnny Blaze had often said, both in the literal sense and the metaphorical sense. But this time, he knew he'd gone too far.

"There's a price for everything," his father had said casually, "and the bigger it is, the bigger the price. Believe it or not, everyone and everything has a weakness. Even you."

After weeks of torture, Mephisto knew that nothing down here could possibly get to his son's overinflated ego. As long as Blackheart believed he was right, he could endure the punishments and not learn anything from them. He was running out of ideas to crack his son's invincible shell of stubbornness.

And, at last, he came up with a plan. Having sifted through Blackheart's memories as he'd drained the souls out of his son's body, he remembered the encounter of the Ghost Rider. Blackheart had just sneered at the pennance stare saying "I have no soul to burn".

Hmmm.

Even if it was an evil soul, it was still a soul. All things that contained souls were afraid of something, even if it was only failure. All souls had things that gave them joy. All souls had things that made them sad.

Most importantly, all souls felt pain. Physical pain meant nothing to Blackheart because he'd never been afraid. To him, pain was just a part of existing. Maybe if something truly got under his skin, he would learn that though Hell was the root of all evil, there still must be a balance to maintain. Blackheart would never make a good ruler if he didn't understand that.

After he'd finally gotten this idea, Mephisto limped over to the pit he'd tossed his own son into. The flames parted as the tap of his cane on the stone floor signaled his presence. In the center was Blackheart. He lay on his side, his face swollen and battered. There probably wasn't an inch on the young man's human form that didn't have bruises or blood. Yet, he still retained his arrogance.

"What's next on your list?" he sneered. Mephisto's face didn't betray any emotions as he hauled his injured son out of the fire. The souls that had been beating up on him retreated back into the flames.

"Still feel like staying on earth for a while?"

His tone was dripping with sarcasm. Blackheart hid his puzzlement well, but said nothing as he was dragged down the hallway. He stumbled a little, but refused to acknowledge that he was seriously hurting.

Blackheart was shoved down into a chair and strapped down. Mephisto disappeared for a moment. When he came back, he held what looked like a black orb in his hand. Whatever it was, it didn't seem solid. It was more like a solid black mist compressed into a ball. Even though black was the 

dominant color, he could make out different colors that would occasionally flit through the swirling cloud and give off a weak glow.

"Today, you are no longer my problem," Mephisto said. He walked up to his son (who still hadn't stopped smirking) and pushed the misty black thing against his chest. It absorbed right in and disappeared. The only thing that Blackheart noticed was that he felt an odd fluttering feeling in his chest. Then, with his other hand, Mephisto pressed down on his son's head and withdrew a cloud of black mist. This one had no color to it at all.

"So you took my powers. Big deal. I can get them back, you know," Blackheart laughed.

"There's a little more to it than that," Mephisto said calmly, "you have a soul now."

Right at that second, Blackheart felt as though he'd been struck by lightning. The alien pounding of a heart that did not beat until now almost made him sick. He felt dizzy and lightheaded and the world began to spin, tilt, and blur. Suddenly, the screaming he constantly heard was painfully loud against his ears. He tried in vain to clamp his hands over them, but in vain because his wrists were strapped to the chair. Suddenly, he felt the urge to run.

"Not so easy, is it? Have fun on earth!"

Blackheart disappeared in a swirl of flames and felt as though his whole body was being incinerated. By the time he woke, he was laying facedown in the middle of a desert.

He sat up, wishing the world would stop spinning so fast. Eventually, it did. Several uncomfortable sensations began to make themselves known. The sand seemed abnormally hot and it stung his pale skin when he touched it. His mouth was dry and his stomach was hurting terribly. He could feel his heart crashing against his ribcage like a frightened bird in its cage.

How was he supposed to get out of here? For the first time since he'd been in existence, Blackheart knew that something was horribly wrong. He felt so small in the baking sunlight.

So…

This was what fear felt like. Seeing no other choice, he began to stagger through the sand towards the blacktop paved road that might lead him out of here.