Rated for gore and general disturbia.
Really, it's been an exhausting week. Everything is blurring together, the carved rock wall on either side of her, the faint smell of salt. It's all waxing together in a wash of numb awareness. She doesn't even think about her actions at this point, allowing her memories guide her to the familiar door set into the rock. Her room is decorated with Martian odds and ends, but everything is neat and tidy. Megan's amber eyes mist over further as she moves toward the circular bed. The sheets feel cool beneath her as she throws herself on top the folded blankets and throw pillows. Slowly, her form shifts, melting and elongating into graceful curves and powerful limbs. Her green skin pales into a stark bone white, her eyes darkening into a deep shade of crimson. A tail curls around the joints of her knees, her clawed toes flexing, shredding the blankets beneath her ever so slightly. With a sigh, a feminine sigh that sounds horribly disproportionate to fanged mouth it sourced, Miss Martian settles into her bed. The base is empty. Nothing is to fear. No one can see her as she is. A White Martian. A shiver runs down her spine, reverberating down to the tip of her tail.
Beside her bed, there is a stand. The lamp sitting there is extra ordinary. A rounded glass vase of white and a folded, white fabric shade. But right now, as the Martian aims for sleep, the light it casts is irritating, even when she closes her blood red eyes. Not bothering to open her eye, she casts her telekinesis toward the lamp. She senses the stand and the lamp, shuffling her forearms closer to her chest in an attempt to get more comfortable. But she also senses a box. Her glowing red eyes flicker open, curious despite the sleepiness dulling her senses. The curosity eggs her own, and wards away her tiredness and aching limbs. The mission today had not been kind. She craved sleep. But curosity taunted her, and she stirred slightly, flicking her tongue absently against the roof of her mouth.
A box. A simple, silver prism. There are black etchings along the seam of the lid. But besides that, it is simple and just as ordinary as her lamp. But, she muses, she never owned such a box. Reaching out with sharp fingers, she summons it. It lifts from its spot then wobbles toward her. Wobbles, because she is still tired, despite her curosity. The box lands in her outstretched hand. It is slightly heaver than if it were merely a box. Miss Martian assumes there is something within. Curiousity. Sliding a clawed finger into the seam of the lid, careful not to scrape the swirled engravings with her talons, M'gann lifts the lid.
Inside, there is nothing awe inspiring. Bare machinery glints coldly at her. A tiny motor. Metal strings. Miniature gears. It does not make sense to one who lived with biological machinery all her days. This type of mechanics would makes sense to Robin or Kid Flash, both were smart in this type of thing. She would have disgarded the box entirely, had something not happened the instant she lifted its delicate lid. On the flip side of the lid, there was a tiny mirror. The machinery moved.
Music fills the air. Soft, tantalizing music that twinkled and tinkled. It trickles into her ears and moved sluggishly down her spine, slowly filling her veins with an odd impulse. She isn't sure what that impulse is. It isn't clear. It's muddy and vague. Fear throbs lowly in the back of her mind. She should shut the ordinary silver box with its ordinary mirror and its ordinary music. Something brushes her subconscious. Dark and devouring. But she believes it is merely her tiredness and listens on.
The music was soft. Now it is strengthening, twining with itself, volume growing. It's tempo was an even pace, slow and sure like a heartbeat. Now it is quickening, a pulse and a shot of adrenaline. Her own heart matches the beat. The tip of her tail twitching as she stares down at the box. Sleep is a far thought.
A reflection of herself stares back at her from the mirror on the flip side of the lid. M'gann stares and stares. Reflection M'gann stares and glares back. M'gann flinches, but does not look away, watching her reflection's eyes narrow minutely as if jealous or irritated with the real her. Confusion prickles at the base of her skull, and she leans closer, scooting the box closer to her snout to examine the object. More specifically the mirror. Amid the pulsating music, music that makes her want to stand and stamp her feet into the rock beneath, M'gann leans in. Reflection M'gann also leans in, lips drawing up into a faint, predatory smile. Reflection M'gann is angular and slightly distorted and her eyes seem to pulse with blood's glow in time with the music. Music. Always the music. M'gann runs her tongue over her sharp teeth, Reflection M'gann following suit, something dark passing over her expression.
M'gann's eyes blurred again, the music thrumming, twinkling and sparkling to a pitch that borders hurt. Her eyes squeezed shut. She willed the box away, but it seems as though the sinister music is physical now, surrounding her, pressing in, closing off her ears and airway. Her limbs feel thick and heavy. Maybe sleep is coming now. But she knows it is not that simple. That ordinary silver box with its ordinary mirror and its ordinary music has sparked a shadow within her soul. She feels it deep down. The shadow is reflected in that ordinary mirror. Reflection M'gann is baring her fangs in victory, savoring a dark, twisted something. M'gann can no longer move away or move things with her mind. Moving is no longer an option. She is pinned, as neat as any butterfly in her own body.
Her fingers flex, but it is not her. They drum against the silver box's side, then slide lovingly to the corner of the lid. She looks at herself in the ordinary mirror and M'gann can feel herself smiling at her reflection. Her reflection's mouth is open, eyes wide. Horrified. Trapped.
Kaldur'ahm is tired as well. Atlanteans are dense and durable. But they still feel pain and ache and bruise. Today, he is feeling all three deep within him. The mission was not kind. It would be simple, nearing effortless, to take the teleporter to Atlantis and rest there. Yet Tula and Garth are there. He loves them, but also loathes them. For what they have done. He does not like going to Atlantis, so instead, he will stay the night in the mountain's base. Superboy is spending the night at Wally's, but M'gann is still here. Kaldur had been meaning to talk with Martain. Her concentration seems fractured and he wonders if, perhaps, she trusts him enough to tell her what is troubling her. Kaldur would do his best to aid her in whatever bothered her.
His bare feet pad softly against the hard floor. His path is sure, but wavers slightly off the side before he corrects his course again. As he journeys farther down the hallway, a soft sound, a quavering note hits the shell of his ear. Aqualad shudders. He is not without his own sense of intuition. Atlantis is not without its underlying superstitions. What he just heard, it stirs unease within him. But all he heard was a single note. So perhaps he imagined it. Perhaps the unease was a product of lack of sleep. Still, he moves with more alertness in his motions as he brushes the alien's door with his calloused fingertips.
"M'gann?" he utters, a hand touching the keypad beside the door.
The reflection she sees has her eyes widened in fear, head shaking back and forth. The Martian's legs curl beneath her body, lifting her from the bed. But it isn't her. It isn't her. She can feel a smirk flit across her lips. A presence that is not hers takes her limbs captive, forcing them through motions that weren't hers. The Martian shrank into a more familiar, humaniod shape as she approached the door, her hand moving itself to reach toward the door.
It slides open, Kaldur's concerned, slightly guarded face immediately looking her over.
She feels flicker of annoyance color her eyes and feels a smile curver her lips. "Hello, Kaldur." Her voice sounds pleasant, though there is a deceitful edge of tiredness in her voice. False tiredness. There is foriegn strength in her limbs. Strength that is not hers. M'gann desperately tries to signal the Atlantean. Her limbs are not hers though. They do not move at her command.
"Are you alright? I thought I heard..." he trails off, looking sheepish, then composing himself. He waits for her answer, silver eyes warm. Smiling.
M'gann sobs, but no one can here.
"Have you seen me?" her voice asks brightly. Far too brightly. Kaldur should notice! He should see that her voice is far too bright for someone as tired as she was. He was so kind and good. He did not deserve this.
His brow furrows, confusion swirling in his silvered gaze. Pausing, expecting some further explanation for her puzzling words, the Atlantean examines her.
M'gann begs him to notice it is not her. This isn't her!
He answers. "I am looking at you now, am I not?" he still sounds confused. Yet there is something suspicious in his tone now. Something hard and searching and M'gann is infused with hope. He will notice! she thinks.
But then, she feels her herself shifting.
M'gann can change her form. Kaldur is aware.
That's why, when her skin bleached to white and her eyes deepened to red, he did not flinch. He didn't want to offend her by shying away from her ability. He wanted the team to be comfortable with one another, himself included. So he did not take a step back. Though he wanted to.
He should have.
Within seconds, her true form had been exposed. M'gann felt violated and angry, but her expression, on the other hand, had warps into a triumphant snarl. Her claws whip out, burying themselves into the warmth of Kaldur's stomach. Lifting him off his feet, her head tilts, her eyes sparkling with glee. Even with her fingers burrowing and squirming within his still living flesh, Kaldur remains composed, his eyes gazing at her with a steely kind of hatred that made M'gann want to hide her face in her hands and let the sobs rattle her frame.
"Such a handsome boy. Commanding," her voice hissed. M'gann realizes that those words are taken from a conversation that she and Artemis had. They had talked about Kaldur and Wally and dating. She wants to be talking about boys instead watching dark blood dribbling from the side of Kaldur's mouth.
The smell of salt air mixes with iron. Her clawed finger trails down his cheekbone, leaving a hair thin line of red that beads and begins oozing down his face. He is gripping onto her wrist, trying to pry her talons out from within his lower intestines, but the Atlantean is draining, slowly. He drains from his stomach, down his front, down his legs to pool on the floor.
"Wh- why?" he asks. His voice is no longer strong and assured. It is weak. Infinitely tired. Accepting.
Her mouth gives no answer, only a cruel smile. Her hand clenches into a fist. She feels something burst within her grasp and Kaldur- sweet, confident, caring Kaldur- cries out, his hands going slack, his face twisting into a tortured expression of raw emotion, eyes thrown wide toward the heavens. Then something closes behind his eyes and his chin falls forward against his chest.
The claws remove themselves from Kaldur's mangled insides, carelessly wiping themselves clean on his tunic. M'gann cannot process. But her body moves without her consent, continuing to follow a plan she is not aware of. Sinking her talons gingerly into the corpse of an Atlantean, her arms drag him into her room, leaving behind a smear of crimson. With a heave, her forearms toss the body into the stand with the lamp. The light shakes and then crashes to the floor.
In darkness, her body stands, panting slightly, hyperaware after the thrill of the kill. M'gann shrieks inside, alarmed. Was this the end? How did she fight this? How could sh- A sound caught her attention.
The steady drip-drop of blood is the only sound physically. It's his corpse, bleeding out beside her bed. It's the only sound. But it is not the sound that catches her attention.
Within M'gann's mind, music begins to pound in her skull, a tinkling, twinkling sinister tune.
This is why I don't stay up late. Honestly. I freak myself out sometimes.
I might continue this. For now, it stays a one-shot.
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