Title: Seven by Seven
Rating: M (For sexual content, violence, adult language, and manipulation)
Betas: At the Writer's Block and Jericho Pryce
Disclaimer: I own nothing. The owners own. This is for fun, not profit. I've made no money.
Summary: Seven virtues, seven sins, fourteen one-shots. They offer small glimpses into the lives of a very troubled girl and her charismatic master. (Slade/Terra, Slerra)
Author's Notes: A series of one-shots, updated every week or whenever. Slade has the virtues and Terra has the sins. Which sounds odd, but it works. Some are coated in smut, while others don't touch upon the sexual aspect of the pairing at all.
Charity - Being Generous Towards Others.
There had been many women. Many, many women. Perhaps not the lengthy list of a man with less refined taste, but it seemed worth at least a few sheets of notebook paper; not including the ones who were anonymous, of course. For a man such as he, with practically no remaining attachments and frequent travel, it suited him perfectly. To put it into crude terms: If he had an itch, he scratched it.
If those women were arranged in order of carnal satisfaction and expertise, Terra would not be at the top. In fact, she wouldn't even be on the first page, or the second for that matter. However, in a numbered listing according to his own pleasure, she would quite easily be fifth. Because what she lacked in knowledge or urge to experiment, she more than made up for by the circumstances surrounding her. He had been the first to touch her, the first everything, and it was a fantastic feeling knowing that she was marked by him so deeply. And, at the heart of it, she was simply Terra. Naïve, clumsy, powerful, skinny little Terra, who was giving it her all, each time he snapped his fingers...on the battlefield and off; he had nurtured in her an enthusiasm for pleasing him. The fun of this was that she generally had no earthly idea what she was doing in regards to their relations, so if he responded well to an action, Terra would fall back on it. If he taught her something, she would not hesitate to repeat it.
Generally. There were three acts that his apprentice shied away from and was not expected to perform. The first he had tried to initiate only once, placing her small hand exactly where he wanted it and chuckling internally at the blush covering her cheeks. Mere moments later, she removed it with an accompanying grimace and Slade did not press for its return. The second act he had mentioned briefly, in the heat of the moment, after she had been particularly brazen and free with her kisses along his face and neck. "Gross," was the word very plainly on the edge of those lips, that she wisely decided not to utter. He had not brought it up again. The third was a thought he occasionally entertained, but would actually never mention. It would be unnecessarily traumatizing for her to try comprehending participation in and she already disliked when his hands strayed near the area.
The girl was young and he was not about to force her in manners beyond the usual violence he was fostering within her. It could be considered a gift, of sorts.
His gifts to her were many. Had he not taken her in when she was living on the streets? Helped her to control her powers and trained her to fight? He fed her, clothed her, educated her in the art of battle. And he had given her a purpose, which was more than most people ever received during their life. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement that they had.
Of course, he nearly forgot this in that split-second after being awoken by her gasping sob.
Slade was not a deep sleeper, after decades of military life and hazardous situations, and was always alert. On guard, even in his own secure facility, in his own locked chambers, next to a powerful metahuman dedicated to him. But, as circumstances went, it was the most comfortable he got, which was why he was particularly annoyed by the sudden jolt of awareness the aforementioned metahuman caused. It wasn't unusual for Terra to cry, she was an extremely emotional adolescent, and he stayed motionless in the dark for a few moments, waiting for it to pass. Perhaps she would drift off and he could go back to sleep for another hour.
The seconds ticked by, her sniffling continued, and Slade felt the irritation at being awoken dissipating. Yet again, he was going to have to deal with her problems. But that was fine; he was a patient man when it was part of the larger picture. "What's wrong, Terra?" He asked, his voice low and edged with concern.
She moved closer to him beneath the covers, pressing her bony knees unintentionally into his side. "I had a nightmare," she whispered, voice thick from crying. "About the experiments."
He knew what she was talking about, as they had discussed it before. The tests, the injections, the immersions, the chemicals. It had been almost all she knew from an early age, the scientists attempting to create a royal line of geokinetics by using her and her brother as lab rats. They had been desperate, as a small country prone to invasion after invasion, for reliably loyal superheroes of their very own. It backfired on them tremendously of course, if the recent reports about Prince Brion were to be believed, but Terra was left with devastating memories and a power she had no comprehension of or control over.
Fixing the latter two had taken time, but the former would likely never occur.
"It's not happening, Terra," he replied calmly. "They can't touch you now."
She buried her wet face into his shoulder, continuing. "They were putting me in the tube again. And I kept trying to make the stone floor move, fly at them or shake, and nothing happened. Nothing happened. And I was trying to scream, but they put the mask on. I couldn't kick because of the shot they gave me, it made my arms and legs feel like cement..."
The absence of her voice as she stopped talking was like a vacuum in the darkness. There was no rustling, no breathing. He had an inkling as to why she went silent, which was confirmed when the warmth of her skin covered his left side completely and he heard her apologize. "I'm sorry," she said, the fingers of her left hand flexing nervously on his chest; he reached up with his right hand to hold it steady. "I...I just don't ever wanna go back there. It hurt so much, just thinking about it and seeing their faces again."
Tara Markov was a damaged girl and she had nothing in the world to hold onto but her master. Slade wrapped both arms around her thin body then, knowing that a display of affection was called for. It's what she craved and something only he planned to give her, should everything go as it should. After all, the horse needed to catch the carrot on the string every so often or it would stop moving. Then, as another gift, he imparted words into the vague blackness. Just for her.
"If you saw them again, you could kill them."
Quiet again. Slade couldn't see her face, but he could guess what it looked like after months of studying her as the wheels behind the baby blue eyes turned. When her whisper came again, the realization and sincerity behind it made him smile. Just a little.