A/N: Welcome to The One Who Got Away - This story takes place in the canon time between Brainstorm and Infection. It is a sequel of sorts to my older story "As I Lay Dying". I think it should be mostly understandable without having read the other story, and if some bits are confusing at the beginning, most stuff will eventually be explained along the way. Look for updates on MWF.

She brooded. She raged. Siren despaired.

Her world cowered within the mists of her gloom. She withheld even the sunlight from it; not a single ray had touched the surface since he left.

Life there suffered and her villagers' pleas grew frantic. There was some small distraction in that. She amused herself for a time by playing with them as she used to, but the play tasted dry, stale. Vexed, she refused to lift the mists and the villagers began to perish, one by one. Such was her temper that she even let them die. It was what they prayed for, after all. They had not earned death, but sustaining them had lost its enjoyment. They no longer pleased her.

The last mortal to please her had escaped. To further her humiliation, the man had even escaped the death he'd earned. The distant, slight vibration of his life tantalized her from the mortal plane. It was torture, that: feeling him live, unable to go to him, remembering her play with him.

With a whimper of relief, the last mortal presence on her world faded away. A fit of hopeless fury consumed her and she scoured the planet's surface with fire and ice until it lay barren within a toxic blanket of steam. Only the portal continued to hum, bridging its plane and her own, undisturbed. Yet, it would bring no more prey.

She sank into stupor, reliving the man's suffering, the beauty of his agony at her hands. But reminiscence lost its flavor with chewing, and the spice was soon sucked out of the past until there was nothing left but a ferocious hunger for more. Only a memory of the memory's savor remained. The man would not come here again. And she could not leave to find him. She cast her mind to the Others nearby.

Or could she?

Siren realized with a fool's jolt that the Others' vigilance had weakened. Only her own timidity had kept her from realizing the fact. If she were careful, she would be able to leave. A single beam of sunlight pierced the thick, noxious gas of her world's devastated atmosphere as hope kindled. It was snuffed out a thought later: They would find her, eventually. She brooded, yet hope seemed a strange, persistent companion. Another thought took shape.

They would find her, but not right away. She would have some time. On a mortal scale, it would seem lifetimes. It would be time enough for the play she was beginning to crave like a starving lioness. More than enough. When they did find her, the Others were too cowardly to sentence her to mortal death. They would merely punish her and renew their vigilance.

For one last spin of her world, she hesitated, but the hunger had been named and the thought of one more chance to play with the man grew into a thrill that she had not felt since she dallied with him that very first time. It consumed her. He would be worth the punishment.

She dared not use the portal, so she cloaked herself in deceit and left her world to traverse the paths of linear space towards her prey. The long journey only heightened her anticipation. She would find him. He would please her again.

And this time, he would not escape. She had a new game to play.