Title: Spin Me Some Sad Story
Rating: PG-13 (for mentions of dark subject matter)
Word Count: approximately 2,680.
Characters/Pairings: Bella. (Some Dean.) GEN.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or its characters.
Warning: This is unbeta-ed. But it should be a-okay to read considering English is my first language and all... Nevertheless, even though I reread it, if someone notices a mistake (typo or other), let me know and I'll fix it.
Summary: Basically, Bella back-story. "Abby thinks about the gentle taps she'd once receive on swings and the pushes that now land her against the bedpost. / Abby stops thinking and listens to the girl with glimmering ruby eyes."
A/N: Spoilers through 4x10. Very belated Christmas gift to jemmalynette (Jemma) on LJ, who asked for a Bella fic.
Abby's mother dies when Abby's ten years old. It's a suicide and it is Abby who finds the body (lifeless eyes, gaping mouth, and frozen skin) by the bathroom sink, next to an uncapped and empty bottle of morphine.
Always a reserved man, Abby's father keeps to himself after the death of his wife. But Abby sees everything that he keeps hidden.
Through slightly open doors (a single emerald eye peering through her father's study or on bended knees, an ear pressed up against a mahogany entrance), Abby sees her father sit motionless in his study's chair, tightly clasping a glass filled with scotch and ice (refills come frequently until the bottle is finished, and sometimes even after as he searches for a new substance to quench the bitterness inside of him) and she hears him speak of her mother's death to his sister as a disgrace to the family name (and Abby silently swears it's the hours spent on the floor in such an uncomfortable position that's bringing tears to her eyes).
Abby's father remarries a few days before her twelfth birthday. As her birthday wish, Abby had wanted to wish for her mother back, or, at least for a kitten to lick away her tears; now all she wished for, a short time later, was an escape, for her stepmother had kept her father occupied for only about six months.
Six short months before Abby's body decided to betray her, changing into something that she had not asked for, but, at the same time, pleased her father in a way that she did not wish to please him.
But the cries that were uttered behind locked doors remained silent in the outside world.
It never really felt like a push.
Abby loved the swings when she was a child (she constantly begs to go higher; higher until she thinks she's felt the leaves of the trees brush her face; higher until she thinks she's touched the clouds; higher until she thinks she's bigger than the world around her, until she thinks she's tasted something like power.)
Her mother would push her on the swings, but she could never describe it as a push; it was more like a gentle pat (it brings an instantaneous warmth to her shoulders against the cool autumn air and Abby sighs in contentment.)
At age fourteen, the swings are no longer a comfort to her. The force she exerts on the swing is potent, but she cannot reach the sky. It is a futile attempt, she realizes; she is powerless, in so many ways.
A stranger with red eyes appears beside her with tempting promises. The girl's clothes are somber (black like night sky that Abby gazes at, hoping that her father won't ask for her that night), her face is pasty (off-white like the wedding dress of Abby's neglectful stepmother), and the red eyes appear to resemble the shimmering lights on the Christmas trees of her youth.
Abby thinks about the crimson coffin her mother was buried in (slowly, it's lowered into the hard ground and Abby wants so desperately to run over and drag her mother out of the coffin; to save the woman from suffocation she had no doubt already felt in the final years of her life); burgundy vests her father straightens out before leaving the bedroom (she's retreated into the corner and her wet eyes are shut tightly against her huddled knees, but she still hears her father say: You'd best not come out in this condition if you know what's good for you.)
Abby thinks about the gentle taps she'd once receive on swings and the pushes that now land her against the bedpost.
Abby stops thinking and listens to the girl with glimmering ruby eyes.
Only a fortnight after the car accident (Oh, how tragic, distant relatives around her declare. Only fourteen and already an orphan. Abby hears: It's a miracle that the girl survived with hardly a scratch on her! Under her pretense of grief, Abby chuckles. It was far from a miracle; God, after all, has never been very good to her.), her aunt gains custody of Abby.
Much like her brother, Abby's aunt is aloof and uninterested in her growing niece. (My late brother's daughter, she tersely explains to curious acquaintances, in a tone that is understood as indifferent, but can easily be perceived as callous.)
Her uncle-by-law, however, is different; atypical from the family Abby has known thus far. He had spent many years in several different countries for his career; he had seen the urban and rural areas of America, the pastures of France, the ancient undergrounds of Egypt, the palaces of India, the beaches of Italy.
Eager for an audience, her uncle tells her of all his travels. He shows her photographs and videos (Abby sees wide grins in them and feels angry that she can't remember the last time she's seen something like that in reality). He buys her a cat (and she listens intently on their importance in ancient Egypt).
And on the nights where Abby and her aunt get into particularly brutal arguments, he calls her Bella mia, says it's Italian for "my beautiful one"; she stops shaking with rage then.
Of all the stories her uncle has told her, it is one of the few that Abby has never forgotten. Not because she had necessarily believed him, but because it would serve her well.
At eighteen, Abby leaves her aunt, who had divorced her uncle one and half years before (and stories of past travels were buried in the very same exotic sands, while seemingly genuine promises of keeping in touch with young Abby drifted away in the wind as the distance between them grew).
With the inheritance she had been left, she does some traveling of her own. The escape is an easy one and she never looks back.
In Spain, she encounters an Irish study abroad student, an anthropology major who talks to her about the occults found in various cultures. She bites her lip as to not to mention what may have happened five years ago (five is half of ten years, she reminds herself, and shudders without realizing). The boy, concerned, places his hand on her arm and Abby flinches away.
The unexpected jerk makes her spill coffee on herself. The boy fumbles to help her with napkins, but she gets up from her seat and runs.
She tells herself that it was the exceptionally hot coffee making contact with her sensitive skin that caused her to jump, not remembering that the spilt coffee that came only milliseconds later.
In a German hotel facing the Frankfurt Cathedral, Abby sees her first specter (ashen and gaunt; doleful and agitated – unblinking eyes watch her the steeple, but thrashing arms and relentless legs result in broken lamps and frightful spooks as the visitor hovers over Abby's sleeping form at night).
She is alarmed by the sight of a real ghost, but she is not surprised.
After all, Abby's met monsters with beating hearts. Why should there be an exception for those without them?
She's in Greece when she realizes that her trips are becoming quite expensive. Her inheritance money has been dwindling rapidly and she has no income to support it once it is all gone.
In little time, Abby becomes a waitress in a bar. The tips are generous and salary is decent, but it only takes a month for her to realize that she is not meant for menial work like this.
During closing time, a drunken man flirts with her (Abby fights every instinct inside of her not to physically hurt him; an outlet for destruction done years ago) and as she helps him up to leave, she grabs his wallet out of his back-pocket.
As she leads him out the door, he asks for her name.
Bella, she replies, with a sinful smile playing upon her lips, and cunningly pilfers his gold watch.
Bella meets her first hunter in Boston.
She is scouting out a wealthy family and their home, pretending to be a door-to-door cosmetics retailer, when a man in his late thirties rings the doorbell and claims to be a detective who'd like to ask a few questions about the teenagers who had been vanishing in the area.
But unlike Ms. Kelley, the owner of the home who welcomes the man inside, Bella knows that private investigators do not usually wear anti-demon-possession amulets.
Later that night, Bella pickpockets the man's trunk while he is in a diner. She finds much more than she expected: rocksalt shotguns, pistols, machetes, crossbows, and more than she could name. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees something glistening under the moonlit sky. It looks valuable (Bella thinks of the American dollar, the crisp green paper, as green as the pastures her uncle once spoke of – freedom everywhere, like oxygen – in the open fields, as green as envy and power, as green as the very eyes that stare at the radiant item that beseeches her) and Bella snatches it, securing it in her jacket pocket.
She glances over the trunk's possessions once more and before shutting it closed, she grabs the pistol. Although small, it feels heavy in her palm. Like a burden (like a guilt). But she shrugs the feeling off and takes it with her.
Just in case.
The debt's been paid off, and she's already facing the door, hand on the knob, when she hears Dean continue: y'know, I'm gettin' the feelin' that as beautiful as that body is and as sexy as those lips of yours are, on the inside, you're uglier than I could ever imagine.
She chuckles, quietly, and slightly turns her head. Dean's arms are crossed against his chest (stone on the outside, but ceramic on the inside, she suspects), his head is somewhat cocked, and his eyes are staring straight at her.
You're probably right, Dean Winchester.
Her heels against the wooden floor of the Erie Motel's hallway are loud and distinct, but she still picks the locked door with a quiet ease and perfection.
And then Bella shoots. Without thought, without hesitation, but with certainty (she shoots each brother more than once. She can't afford to fail now).
But she has. They're just dolls (not unlike the ones from her childhood, idly watching her while her sanity crumbles).
In the midst of her bewilderment, the phone rings.
You don't understand, she utters, immediately. And she knows she's right. They don't. It infuriates her; how they think they have her figured out, when they don't know a damn thing about her.
(You make me sick, Dean says, hours ago, glaring at her with murderous and terrifying eyes.
Still, Bella's not that scared little girl anymore. Maybe Abby escaped, eventually, but the damage done was ultimately irreparable. Abby died years ago. And no man will ever weaken her again with words or otherwise.
So Bella glares back at Dean, with an equal fervor and truth in her eyes, and replies: Likewise.)
And so she doesn't know why she continues to plead now (Dean, listen, I need help. I know I don't deserve it- and the cries come quickly, painfully). In spite of the room's soundless clock, Bella hears a tick-tock in her head. (It's overwhelmingly shrill. And sharp. And her cries grow louder to drown the resonance.)
No matter how loudly she weeps, though, Dean can't (won't? shouldn't? Does it matter? Either way, Bella ends up dead, sliced and diced by ravenous hellhounds) help her.
Even so, Bella divulges all the information she has. She throws it away like a burden that's been weighing on her; she spews it out like it has a bad taste in her mouth. The faintly puzzled voice on the other end of the call demands: This can't help you, Bella. Not now. Why are you telling me this?
She breathes a short breath (one of her last): Because just maybe you can kill the bitch.
It's always about revenge. The opportunities for escape always come too little, too late. But revenge? There is no wrong time for that.
The dial tone intensely rings in her ear. The phone receiver brushes against her soft hair before she sets it back in place.
And the clock switches to 12:00 (or should it be "strikes?" And the clock strikes 12:00 and Cinderella loses it all. Bella almost finds it ludicrous how she is fleetingly wishing for the more appropriate grandfather clock from a fairytale, now of all times. If she had the choice, she'd rather have the fairy godmother.)
She stares out the open window and feels the night breeze on her face.
Her heart beats slowly and her breathing becomes shallow, yet her eyes grow wide. She is enthralled with the sounds of the outside world. Each growl, each howl – she knows they're coming for her.
The hellhounds are teasing her now. She hears them, clearly, but they seem distant. They wish to agitate her, worry her, jolt her.
But Bella doesn't scare easily, not anymore. A trance holds her and she thinks: Not anymore. Not afraid. Not me. Not Bella. (Not Bella. No, not Bella.)
A sudden talon sinks into her abdomen and the trance is broken.
There is a certain kind of creativity and sick humor that pervades Hell. She needs to admit that much, at least.
Bella is chained, naked wrists strung tightly to the long suspenders of the swing. They are inventive in the swing's use; whether submerging her bare body into a blazing fire or swinging her into a wall of daggers (dripping with black blood, like the car seats after the accident; the one that she had never regretted; the one that had landed her here), they are certainly inventive.
(Some things don't change and Bella still begs to go higher.)
Aren't you going to offer me the chance to escape?, she inquires of Alastair through pained breaths. Torture someone else?
Alastair holds the swing and sways it slightly. And what fun would that be for me?
Bella knows what he means. After all, how can you mentally rupture someone who's always been broken?
After what seems to be about a decade, Bella hears talk of a new captive. Through bleeding eyes, she sees Dean.
Guess he didn't kill the bitch, then.
Dean's distressed screams seem to come from afar, but they sound nearby (not to mention, fierce and shrill).
When they sever him (like cutting a piece of pie, deeply and precisely), he calls for his brother (Sam!, he screams, like it's a prayer, rather than a silly name). (How foolish, Bella thinks. Still expecting someone to save him. For Bella knows, there is no such chance for rescue. There never is.) And when they give him the opportunity to switch (to save himself the only way Bella knows how), Dean spits sticky blood at Alastair.
Except for one day, when he doesn't.
Bella is taken from her swing toward the rack. (The skin of her Achilles' heels is falling away and her feet are quickly becoming splintered through and through as they drag her. Funny. For an incorporeal body, she sure does feel a lot of pain.)
And as Dean is tying her to the rack (rope fastened so securely that she can feel the burning sensation immediately), Bella whispers: I'll see you in Hell? Isn't that what you said to me, Dean? I suppose you were right.
But Bella gets no response. She's not even sure he recognizes her. He just continues putting her up on the rack. And as the torture begins, Bella almost wants to guffaw at the face of hypocrisy.
She looks at him and sees him perfectly; cold and downcast eyes, tightly-wound lips, strong, eager hands for torment.
And this – this is the hero they all commend?
Though broken sobs writhe through her body, Bella tries to laugh.
She does not succeed.
She never really did…
+ Title shamelessly stolen from 22-20's Shoot Your Gun, which actually seems like a very apt Bella song; someone's gotta do a vid to this!
+ Please feel free to leave some feedback, whether it's complimentary or constructively critical.
+ Enjoy, everyone!