Title: Uncontrollable Destiny
Fandom: V (2009)
Characters / Pairings: Joshua/Lisa. Anna. Marcus. Erica. Tyler. Father Jack. Mentions of Chad and Hobbes.
Rating: T / PG-13
Spoilers / Warnings: *minor character death* Spoilers through the whole 1st Season. No Spoilers for Season 2 - only speculation. Some violence/torture and a little language in later chapters, but nothing particularly graphic. My basic rule of thumb? If you've seen the show, this is probably going to be fine.
Summary: While Anna attempts to break Joshua, Lisa decides to do everything she can to save his life - even if it means losing her own in the process. Lisa/Joshua.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. No characters, no concepts, not even (on occasion) some of the dialogue. Oh, any grammatical, canon and spelling errors you may or nay not find...yeah, those are mine
Author's Note the First: So apparently the jury is split on whether or not Marcus is Fifth Column. I personally felt that unless there are a whole slew of Fifth Column members hiding out on the mother ships – since he revived Joshua in front of a pretty large audience – that he's still on Anna's side and Joshua is on his own. Besides…it works better for the story that way.
A (totally skip-able) Author's Note the Second: Oh, my. I cannot believe that I'm finally posting this. It was written immediately after the season 1 finale and it just kept going on and on like the-fic-that-never-ends. And then like the great author that I am...I forgot about it until trailers for season two started popping up. So I went back and looked at it, decided I actually quite liked it, and determined to have all six parts finished, edited and posted by the season two premiere.
I think I might be insane.
But I digress. You came here for fic. So here it is:
PART I: No Looking Back
Grief, Lisa learned, was doubtlessly the hardest of all human emotions to control.
Even as she stood in her mother's vacated chambers, the thick emotion pressed down against her chest, tight and horrible. One small tear managed to escape and the tiny droplet caught on her first finger as she wiped the moisture away quickly, lest her mother return sooner than expected.
The soft, white glow of Anna's bliss curled around her, strong and peaceful, but it could not – no, it would not - touch her if she continued to resist it. The temptation to simply close her eyes and vanish back into the numbness, the uncomplicated peace and belonging that came with absolute surrender, was overwhelming, and it nearly undid her as she stood silently next to the massive window. Below her, Central Park was tinted a hue of red that was simultaneously glorious and terrible, gorgeous and haunting. Above her, the sky held a slightly darker shade, bloody and beautiful against the twinkling stars and cloud-shadowed moon.
Sleep, Lisa had already decided, would likely not come this night. The mothership was a bustle of activity. So many plans, detailed and sensitive, had been thrown into chaos by her mother's momentary foray into the world of emotions. So many plans now needed to be altered, so many timelines needed to be sped up or changed.
Heavenly numbness filled the room, and Lisa could hear the soothing tone of her mother's voice. "No looming fate…" The V's needed her peace, they needed their fears assuaged tonight of all nights. Tonight, when the blood red sky smoldered above and the fires of rioting earthlings burned below.
Lisa found no such peace. She would allow herself no such peace.
She'd chosen what side she was on, and nothing, not hell nor high-water, would tear her away from that conviction.
The glow of bliss slowly faded away. When Anna at last returned to her chambers, it was to find Lisa and Marcus both standing at rapt attention. Marcus, at least, wore a firm frown on his lips. To say that he practically radiated displeasure was an understatement.
For quite a while, Anna and Marcus discussed numerous affairs – none of which had anything to do with Lisa. She was just about to wonder if perhaps she should leave the room, when she heard her mother ask, "And Joshua? You were able to revive him?"
Lisa's eyes snapped to Marcus. Her heartbeat sped up. Was it possible?
"That is correct," Marcus affirmed. A short nod accompanied his words. "He was badly injured, but he should be ready for interrogation in a few days. Perhaps less."
"Excellent," Anna turned to Lisa with a serene, almost eerie smile on her face. "I want Lisa to handle his interrogation."
If it was at all physically possible for Marcus to look surprised, Lisa was certain he would have. As it was, the very fact that it took him a full five seconds to formulate a response to Anna's directive spoke volumes. "My queen…" he hesitated and Anna's eyes narrowed. "Are you certain that is a wise course of action?"
"Joshua has known Lisa her whole life. They grew up together. If he is indeed feeling human emotion, it may be that she can use that connection to her advantage. Besides, she has been doing an excellent job with Tyler."
"Fooling a human teenager and deceiving one of us are two very different things," Marcus said politely.
"I want to do it," Lisa interrupted, feeling sorely underrepresented in the conversation. "I can do it. It will be harder than Tyler but…I can make Joshua believe that I have feelings for him too." She looked her mother in the eye. "I can do this, Mother."
Anna smirked at Marcus, as if to say, 'There, I told you so'. "I have no doubt, Lisa, that you will not fail me. Make him believe that you are a secret supporter of the Fifth Column. Ask him who the other members are so they can help you plan his escape."
Lisa managed to nod despite the tightness in her throat.
As it turned out, Joshua was not completely ready for any form of interrogation for at least three days. This was fortunate for Lisa, who spent the majority of those three days 'hanging out' with Tyler and explaining to Erica that Joshua wasn't quite as dead as she had believed after all. Erica was relieved, and although Lisa didn't tell her that she had been assigned by Anna to bring Joshua back over to their side, it still felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of her very small shoulders.
Tyler, however, was a concern. He was still falling rather easily into her mother's clutches, while Lisa often wished that she had an excuse to spend more time with his mother. Something about Erica Evens set her at ease, even when nothing else in the world was going right. On the third night, Erica invited her to stay for dinner. Father Jack – Lisa didn't completely understand the title, since she had met Tyler's father, and the man was far too young to be Erica's father, although the woman consistently addressed him as such – stopped by and joined them. Never had Lisa enjoyed herself more, despite the nagging reminder that she would see Joshua the next day and it would almost assuredly not be a good meeting.
Anna had insisted that one of her specialists work on Joshua before Lisa began to sway him back to their side. Even though the words 'specialist' and 'work' were spoken carelessly, Lisa translated them to their actual meanings: tormentor and torture, respectively. Lisa forced herself to watch. She couldn't bring herself to look away, even when Joshua's cries grew louder and his body twisted in pain. Lisa was grateful that though the interrogation room was monitored, the observation room wasn't scrutinized at all. There were moments, few and far between, that Lisa was hard-pressed to keep an abject lack of emotion from displaying on her face.
As it happened, when Lisa finally was ushered into the small, dark room where her friend was being kept, the former doctor was bloody, bruised, and looked like Erica had shot him a few minutes ago – rather than a few days. Lisa had been able to gather up the courage to ask her mother to turn off the monitoring devices, and Anna had carelessly granted the request, so although Lisa knew that she had a certain amount of freedom, she also knew that her mother would be suspicious if she came back empty handed after every visit.
She'd changed from her Peace Ambassador's uniform into a plain, formfitting silver dress that fell to her ankles and something about the attire made her look less like an innocent girl, and more like the daughter of a brutal dictator. Naturally, that was the intent.
"Leave," she commanded Anna's specialists immediately, a sharp wave of her hand carrying the instruction to a further level of authority. The two V's exited the room without question or comment. Almost subconsciously, Lisa glanced upwards. The domed ceiling loomed above her.
Human nervousness nearly undid her, but she tightened her hands into fists and focused on the task set before her. Joshua lay on a silver table in the center of the room, eyes closed, and expression pained. Blood had stopped flowing, but bruises had collected along his chest – ugly, black and red abrasions that made Lisa wish she had access to more medical supplies. Sadly, her mother was far too drunk on vengeance to even think of any form of leniency and had refused Lisa's request to gain Joshua's trust by easing his discomfort.
Apprehensively, Lisa reached out to touch him, even though she was almost loath to bring him back into consciousness. "Joshua."
He said something, but it was indecipherable. Lisa carefully lifted a thin tube of liquid and pressed it to his lips. Joshua coughed as he attempted to swallow, but the next time he spoke she could understand her name. "My mother sent me to tend to you," she murmured, pressing a cool compress to a particularly nasty gash on his forehead. There were plenty of chemical torture methods that didn't leave evidence behind, but for whatever reason – perhaps it was the result of those nasty human emotions – Anna had decided to stick to a more traditional method.
"She doesn't know?" Joshua asked softly. "About you?"
"She doesn't know." Lisa confirmed.
"Good," He kept his eyes closed. "She won't ever know."
"You can't stay quiet forever," Lisa argued softly. "Everybody breaks."
"I know," Joshua's eyes snapped open and he started to sit up. Lisa pressed her palm to his chest to keep him from rising, but even in his mutilated state he still could overpower her. She watched him scan their surroundings, eyes lingering on a tray of silver instruments used in his torture. "You have to kill me."
Lisa's eyes widened of their own accord, and she took an involuntary step backwards. "No."
"Lisa," he grimaced. "If you don't…I'll break eventually, you said so yourself. If I do, then they'll know about you." He stretched out a bloodstained hand towards her. "They can't know about you, do you hear me? I will suffer anything, anything – even death by your hand – to keep that from happening." He almost looked as if he was about to touch her, his fingers hovered over her cheek, but he let his arm fall back to his side. Still, earnest devotion burned in his eyes.
And with that, Lisa lost the last remnant of whatever control she still possessed. Every carefully guarded emotion of the last few days spilled free and manifested in real, shimmery tears that streamed down her cheeks. She inhaled several shuddering breathes and pressed trembling fingers over her lips to keep the sobs rising inside her chest at bay.
Joshua sighed and almost smiled at her reaction. Actually it ended up looking more like a grimace than a smile. "I'm sorry," he whispered gently, softening a bit. "It hurts. I know."
"We can get you out," she cried, shoving away from him and pacing back and forth. "Fifth Column on the ground can hide you; Erica's already said that—"
"It will not do any good; it will only expose you." Joshua argued, spotting a syringe on the table among the other instruments. "I think that syringe is filled with a compound that slowly decomposes the nervous system, if I were to receive an abnormally large dosage—"
"No!" It was Lisa's turn to interrupt. She had no idea where this passion inside was coming from, but the cry was instinctive and flew from her lips before she had time to contemplate speaking. It was as if a hurricane churned inside her, a dreadful, violent storm that stomped out all thoughts of logic, all care for her own well-being. "I won't let you. We'll get you out some other way. My mother turned Ryan. Maybe there's some way we can make her believe I turned you."
"Lisa." There was something about the way he said her name this time, as if her frantic words were a last ditch effort in futility. "There is enough in that syringe to make it look as if I overdosed. No suspicion would be cast on you."
"And what would happen to me if I were to accidentally kill you? Do you really believe that my mother would simply brush it off as an accident?"
"You're not a medic, Lisa; it would be easy for you to make a simple mistake."
"Just," hesitation hung in her voice, and Lisa blinked in surprise at the uncertainty she felt. "Just…give me time. A day. That's all I'm asking. Give me one day, 24 hours, and after that I…" Her voice wavered, and she looked down, unsure about the rampant emotions flooding her senses. "I will do what you want. I give you my word."
Joshua nodded. "That is acceptable."
So numerous were the emotions that muddled Lisa's thoughts, that she was uncertain whether she felt relief, joy, or sadness at his agreement. When Joshua looked at her again, she saw that all the fiery determination had vanished and been replaced with some emotion that she couldn't quite describe, all she knew was that it was similar to the look Erica constantly gave Tyler when he talked about the Live-Aboard Program.
There was something about the expression that unnerved her, but at that moment, Marcus' familiar voice rang through the ship's communications system, informing her in a direct, no-nonsense fashion that she was needed in her mother's conference chambers - immediately.
Lisa opened her mouth to say something to Joshua, but then thought better of it. Instead, she brushed her fingers against the back of his hand before she turned and exited the room.
A surprise visit from Tyler was the reason behind the request for her presence, and a sharp look from Anna told Lisa that if she wanted to stay on the High Commander's good side, she'd better go along with whatever Tyler wanted.
Truthfully, if Lisa had been given the chance to take some time to think things through better, she might have realized why Joshua agreed to her plan so easily. However, Tyler was such a sudden distraction and pretending to be happy and in-love with him while her thoughts kept drifting back towards someone else, who was doubtlessly in a great deal of pain, kept her busy trying to keep her focus on Tyler – and only Tyler.
Therefore, when a very young Assistant Medic knocked on her door in the middle of the night, telling her that her mother had requested her presence, Lisa was at a loss to explain why – until she was ushered into a small medical room. Immediately, she realized that she had left Joshua – in his cell, yes, but otherwise unmonitored and unrestrained – in such haste that she had given little thought to the fact that a syringe full of a potentially lethal compound was still easily accessible.
Lisa stood in stunned, horrified silence as she watched the posse of Medics scurrying around, trying to resuscitate her friend. Marcus, looking as stiff and unfeeling as ever, marched around the medical team and forcibly grabbed her arm, spinning her around and dragging her into the adjoining observation room.
Anna seemed positively livid, and Lisa noted that her hands were at her side – her fingers were clenched into fists.
"Marcus, leave." The High Commander ordered firmly, not even bothering to acknowledge his presence by turning towards him.
"But, My Queen—" Marcus began to protest, but Anna cut him off. "Now."
The moment Marcus was gone, Anna turned on her daughter with a fiery anger. "How could you be so foolish?" she screamed, lashing out viciously and striking Lisa across the cheek. Lisa's flesh burned, but she didn't fall. Instead, she stood her ground, clenching her jaw and looking her mother right in the eyes. "It was unintentional; it will not happen again."
Anna still looked angry, but she seemed somewhat appeased by her daughter's words.
"Will…" Lisa hesitated for a second, a deadly hesitation that could have cost her life had Anna not been otherwise distracted. "Will he recover?"
"My Medics are hopeful that will be the outcome." Anna's temper seemed to have cooled slightly and she walked steadily towards the window overlooking the Medical Bay. "He believes that you are Fifth Column?"
"Yes." Lisa answered. "I told him that I started feeling human emotion after spending time with Tyler. I told him that I didn't want anything bad to happen to him. I told him if he told me the names of his fellow Fifth Column members, I would contact them, and we could figure out a way to get him off of the mothership."
"And?" Anna questioned.
"I believe he wants to believe me." Lisa answered.
Anna appeared pensive. "Logic is interfering. We need to take away logic."
"How?" The question escaped before Lisa could stop it.
Slowly, Anna turned to face her. "We prove it to him."