The Language Barrier

Jonathan can't stop looking at the spot on the stairs where Katrina's body fell. There's not blood there, surprisingly – Warren's glass bottle didn't even break skin. The others aren't doing this; Andrew's eyes keep fluttering away skittishly, and Warren just doesn't seem to care.

Jonathan feels a little sick.

He never meant for it to go this far – none of them did, not even Warren. He thinks, anyway. They were supervillains, but they weren't, like... evil.

Okay, yes, they were, that was the whole point. But this is different.

The bad thing is, he's not sure the others would have felt bad if she hadn't died. He's not sure he would have felt bad if she hadn't snapped out of it, told them exactly what she thought, then died

As is, he can't get the constant loop of her words out of his head: This isn't a game, you freaks! It's rape!

It's that one word, seeming to big and empty and meaningful all at the same time; bouncing around his head like a ping-pong ball, making him dizzy. And he gets motion sickness.

He wants to believe it's not true, that she was overreacting. That doesn't work, so he goes for another tactic – he tries to convince himself they wouldn't have gone through with it (or at least he wouldn't have gone through with it); they would have realized the ramifications at the last moment, backed out, and had a good, long think. He wants to believe her wide-eyed drone state would have been too creepy.

That doesn't work either – he hadn't cared about how blank she was when they had her dressed up in that French maid uniform, and he can't honestly say he would have started caring without having it spelled out to him.

And after spelling it out to him, she died (they killed her), which doesn't really seem like a fair trade.

So instead, her words keep running through his head – raperaperape – faster and faster, until they starting morphing; they don't even sound like English anymore.

They sound like Swedish.

He's going to be sick.

He doesn't think about that incident much; he doesn't even remember that incident very well, but... now he can't escape the thoughts on those twins, and not even the fun sexy times he recruited them for in the first place.

No, now Inga's furious screams are ricocheting around his head like Katrina's, but unlike Katrina's, he doesn't understand what they mean.

No. No, he can't think that – the twins weren't like Katrina. They weren't his sex slaves – like they all said Katrina was meant to be, long before they specifically picked her out – he actually bothered with them as people, got to know them. Ilsa used to go on and on about the classical music that she loved, and it bored him to hell and back, but he let her, because it was what she liked. Part of her personality, which she was keeping, unlike Katrina. Hell, he even stayed faithful to those two, even if the spell had women throwing themselves at him left right and center. Give a guy some credit.

But that didn't change the end of it – when they packed up and moved out, Ilsa almost crying and Inga's eyes stony. Ilsa actually flinched when Inga tapped her on the shoulder, and that was what prompted her screaming at him, even when he couldn't understand a word of it – turned out they never actually spoke English, that was just the spell making things easier.

He hadn't understood her, so he hadn't thought about it – he had more than enough things to feel guilty about, and didn't pay particular attention to them.

Now, he feels... sleazy. He can't exactly say he invited them in so he'd have people to play Monopoly with. He remembers the things he did with them, the things he watched them do to each other... is was kind of a cliche, but they knew they turned him on, so they were fine with being together. Sisters.

He's definitely going to be sick.

He can't think they would have done any of it if it wasn't for that spell; if he was still just little loser Jonathan Levison. Maybe that makes them shallow, but that's not the point. That spell was manipulative and awful generally, he realized that two years ago, but they...

Inga's furious Swedish yelling echoes with Katrina's two words: It's rape. It's rape.

No. He can't think it – no-one else would think it. The twins weren't like Katrina; even if having they were a bit of a porn movie cliche, it wasn't like he was robbing them of their identities – they were the same people they always were, but with an attraction to him and a newfound ability to speak English. That consent counted, right? It had to.

He is so screwed. He's going to hell.

He keeps staring at the spot where Katrina collapsed, unsettled by how untouched it looks. Everything looks unmarked unless you go looking for the damage. He kind of wishes that there was some blood there, or at least that Andrew would stop avoiding his eyes – this is really freaking him out.

For a second, he considers if he should call Inga and Ilsa. Apologize. It doesn't take him long to choose against that one, for logical reasons if nothing else: they don't actually speak English, so they'd have no idea what he was saying. He doesn't know if they even remember what happened (people are good at forgetting weird stuff). He has no idea what he'd actually say, what to apologize for. It'd probably seem suspicious. His mom and his friends would probably kill him for running up the phone bill with an international call like that.

Besides, it's not like he did anything that bad to them, right?