SO. Some of us have seen the episode "Mind Games" and I was pressured into making a fic for it. I've done a good bit of thinking on it and I'm pretty sure I know where I want it to go now. Warning, though. It's probably going to be long.
Cause Scarecrow is the best villain ever. He and Breach and NoFace need to team up. But Breach is kind of good now, so... BUT STILL.
Thanks to Solora and half of the Playground for enabling me.
Providence had all of the information they had. It was safe to assume that much. Which meant the blow to their group had been incredibly severe. They needed a leg up somewhere. Anywhere.
They needed to know a lot of things about the new insides of Providence. The ones Black Knight put in after their little excursion through the HQ building. They had someone locked up who knew exactly what they needed at any given moment, but someone had to get it out of him first. He didn't seem too keen on playing ball.
Rex volunteered, of course, but both Six and the doctor shot him down on that idea. By the look on the boy's face, one could tell he wanted to take it offensively, but he didn't and just left it to them. Holiday volunteered next on the basis that she'll threaten him with another beating again. It was obvious she did not like their new guest and, from the clues that were given when she beat him the first time, Six was hesitant to ask what happened.
But he did know that he didn't want her to go in there either. They knew it would be better if they didn't go as a group or in pairs, so Six volunteered, explaining that everything the fool has dangling over his head is nothing. That he's aware of his faults and heard it all before.
They reluctantly agreed that Six should go in.
Holiday reminded him three times on the way to the cell block to under no circumstances open the chamber.
Just because he pissed you off doesn't mean that he can get under my skin.
Six locked down the doors behind him, glaring at the man trapped in his cage. If that was even what he actually looked like…
"Oh?" His voice echoed off of the plexiglass, "I'm getting visitors now?"
Six stayed neutral, approaching his chamber calmly and stopping outside of it to successfully glare down their prisoner. "We need Black Knight's new passcodes."
"And what makes you think I even know them?"
"Because you're smart," Six explained, "You go for the team that's not trying to kill you and you know Providence just as much as any other EVO out there. You want security, you want to make sure you never end up in those collars, and you're going to tell me everything single code you've seen."
"Sorry," Scarecrow rearranged his legs, sitting cross legged in the middle of the chamber, "Don't see anything in it for me. I'd hate to make your lives any easier."
"Still on that?" Six could understand hate and revenge and the frustration of getting it pulled away from you, but this has gone on too far in a world like this. It was getting ridiculous. Couldn't he save the revenge for after getting rid of Providence?
"Of course, I am." John stood, walking all of half a step until he was level with the glass and with Six. "I hate you," he said with a mocking sneer.
"I figured that already. Passcodes. Now."
"And here I thought you wanted to chat first."
"Do you know what it's like to starve, Scarecrow?" The best he had at the moment was to threaten deprivation of food. Anything to make this guy just shut up and say what he needs to.
"Yes," he smirked, "I do."
"Want to do it again?"
"I don't know. It was a lot of fun the first time around, but I think I've grown out of the good old days. Besides, if I die, you still lose." He cackled.
This was getting old quick, but fine. Six turned to leave with nothing to offer up as a reward except more food not wasted on people like that. It was still irritating.
"So," Scarecrow folded his arms over his head, leaning on the glass in front of him, "Rebecca, huh?"
John's sneer grew a little wider. "She is one pretty looking piece, I'll give her that. Wish I had more time to go just a little bit farther with her. With the disguise I had, just one kiss was too easy."
Six wheeled around… only to glare at a smirking image of himself from behind the glass. He refused to say anything. Refused to show it. But he couldn't make himself walk away just yet. His only reaction was a glare and deep frown.
The captive wasn't surprised by the silence, but intrigued that the other stayed. "Didn't like her much anyway," his own voice told him, "She was a bit too desperate for it, if you ask me. But then again, you're just as much of a joke as she is, so I guess it all works out." Another cloud circled around and a very different voice slipped through, before it cleared. "That makes you both worth it, right?"
Six turned back fully, grounding his teeth. "How do you know him?"
"Such outbursts, Six," the mirror image of Dos lectured, "is not becoming of you."
Scarecrow sneered, a very disturbing feature on this man's face. "Unlike you, I've been a mercenary for the last few years. Not my fault that I ran into some people. Not hard to put the names together, after all. Besides, I asked him and he has a very, very poor view of your life choices." He shook his head, in a tsk-tsk manner, with that stupid mocking smirk covering his new face.
Six had calmed again, or, rather, forced himself to calm. It wasn't going to help anything if he just got angry. "Lucky guess."
"Not just about luck."
It was the green-clad ninja's turn to smirk. "You obviously don't know Dos that well."
"Didn't need to. He wasn't my target. But I got to know all of you pretty well." He changed again, back to Six's form once more. "I don't understand it. Why do you stay? Why do you fight? You know it's all for naught. You know when it comes down to it, all of you are going to burn. Do you just do this to entertain their fantasy world?"
Six didn't turn to leave that time. He was still on edge from the way this guy talked, even though he knew his words were practically poison. Listening to him wouldn't-
"It's because you want to," Scarecrow answered for him. "You want to live in that fantasy world. You want to believe that it'll all work. You want to do something good for a change, even if it'll cost these people's lives, but what does it matter? You barely know them anyway."
His stoic expression melted away into anger, but he still didn't speak. He wasn't ready to leave and he didn't trust himself to talk. Six knew he was leaving himself vulnerable to these mind games, but he knew it wouldn't matter in the long run. He already knew himself and accepted it. It was good people, like Rex and Holiday that would suffer from his words. That didn't mean he was readily sacrificing them, though.
And Johnny knew it. "But that's not it. You barely know them, but you still care. You don't even remember why, but you still care." His chuckles echoed through the room. "You know they remember. You know that they care more about you than you ever could about them, or that they would ever see. You know you're not worth it, but you just can't let go… And the way you act," Scarecrow shook his head again, "It's as if you think they'll be loyal. Never leave, no matter what you do. It's like you think you can do no wrong in their eyes."
"I'm no saint," Six finally retorted back, "And they know that. I keep expecting them to get wise. Not my fault they haven't yet."
"You expect it," John nodded, "but you fear it and refuse to think on it for more than a minute."
Six's brow furrowed and Scarecrow couldn't help the chuckle rumble through his chest at that sight. It was laughable. Sixth deadliest in the world, right here, all of his weaknesses strewn out in front of him. He idly wondered how much money just the information alone could get him.
"I'm mean, really?" John cocked his head to the side, almost in a coy fashion, "Do you expect her to wait around on you forever?" The clenched fist was a pleasing sight, so he continued on, leaning off of the glass. "Yes, she's a helpless romantic, but she's not an idiot either, or so I've heard. One of these days, she's going to remember that you're still a mercenary. Someone who kills people for money. Do you have any idea how much she's sacrificed to make sure people she hates get to live more comfortably than her?"
There was no reaction, but the tension was getting strained and he loved it. It was so easy to tear people apart when there was hopeless love involved. He took the chance to phase through another cloud, coming back as the topic of their conversation—Holiday herself.
"Even if you did change," he continued on, taking advantage of the silence, "what do you have to offer her? A home? A steady income? Security? Happiness? A last name? You have nothing. All you have is people trying to gun you down and who are very willing to take anyone you care about first." Six was grounding his teeth, about ready to snarl at this thing, and Johnny just smirked some more. "It'll never work. Besides, you don't deserve her and you know it."
The cloud flowed around him again, coming out as Caesar Salazar, accent and all. "Maybe she deserves someone smarter," he asked with open arms, in mock of inviting suggestions, "Someone who can keep up with her mentality. Someone who she wouldn't look down on or water down information for. Someone who will know what she's studying with just a glance and not have to stay for the lecture and be baffled. Someone who can actually help."
Six started approaching the chamber again, but Scarecrow wasn't done. He changed again, appearing as someone else he figured Six knew well. The low growl was enough to confirm his suspicions. "I know you thought about this one," Callan's own smirk mocked back, "Maybe she doesn't need brains at all. Maybe she just needs someone who'll let her cry on their shoulder. Hold her when she needs it. Not treat her like a doctor with nice legs, but like the rare, beautiful woman she is. Someone who'll smile with her, laugh with her, promise to grow old with her."
The approach stopped outside of the chamber, only a few inches left between them, divided by glass and air. Six snarled and Callan's façade smirked. A silence went out between them as Scarecrow debated his next words and Six silently dared him to continue. What to use? What to use? So many weapons.
His sneer grew. "But I can be anyone she wants me to be." The cloud encircled the chamber and Six heard his own quiet voice bounce back before he even seen the shades. "All I had to do was walk in, take her by the arms, plant one down, and walk away. I barely even had to act." The other man was close to shaking with anger, and Scarecrow took the opportunity to step a little closer. "I'll bet you anything, that before this is over, she'll come in here willing to bargain for more." The other hissed, bristling. "You should have seen her. She was so. damn. happy."
Six's fist violently connected with the control lock and the chamber opened, as a katana swished from its sheath. "You're going to tell me the goddamn passcodes," he snarled.
Scarecrow's smirk grew.
The little red light flashed and Holiday turned on the monitor. "Did you get anything?"
"Yeah," Six answered on the other side. "Wasn't hard. Can I get out of here now?"
"Password," was all she said…
Six looked at her in confusion.
Holiday's brow furrowed…
"I… Uh… Right. Password. I-"
He was interrupted by Holiday screaming into the microphone. "I told you not to let him out!"
The Six on screen was suddenly tackled down by another Six, who looked up at Holiday. "Calm down! He's going back in."
"Why'd you let him out in the first place? If he didn't talk, then we'll figure it out anyway!"
"I'm kind of busy, Doctor!" he clipped back, a knee in the other's back and holding his arm straight behind him, "Can we talk later?"
She groaned in agitation before cutting off the connection.
"Cute," Scarecrow complimented on the ground, "You two always so full of affection when you talk?"
"Shut up!" Six pushed his face back into the concrete.
Scarecrow chuckled, letting Six's copied voice bounce off of the walls.
"Are you going to tell me or do I have to beat it out of you?" Six had known that this creep got under both of Rex and Holiday's skins, but he didn't think he, too, was so see through… It kind of stung.
"Come on, Six," Scarecrow changed back into Holiday, "You wouldn't hit a girl, would you?"
"Try me," he growled.
"Oh, I already am. You're as weak as the others," he breathed against the Earth, "You're even weaker now than you were before you lost your memories. You're unsure. Of everything. And the things you are sure of is looked down upon by the only people that matter."
"Shut up!" But he didn't move to make him, not while he looked like her. It screamed nightmare fuel.
He just chuckled again, this time in her voice. "You'll never be him, Six. You'll never be strong. You'll never be sure. Even if you do get her, you'll always wonder if that faraway look in her eyes would still be there if she were with someone that was worth it."
Six rose quickly, pulling up John by the arms and basically throwing him back behind the shield, before punching the controls again.
"What? No passcodes," Scarecrow laughed, watching him walk away before turning back into himself. "You'll never be him, Six," he called after him, "You'll never be the man she wants. Never again!"
Six hit the receiver to the other side. "Let me out." Wait. That's right. Password. "Samurai."
The doors opened, Scarecrow's chuckles still bouncing off the walls in his skull.
"Did you- Six?"
The man walked past her as if on a mission. One of those bad kinds he used to do. So, obviously, she followed after him.
"What happened? Did you get it?"
"Why should I tell you?"
… Well, that caught her off guard. "What?"
"You wouldn't tell me. I don't see why I should tell you."
"Tell you what?" she asked again, getting a little annoyed with the new attitude… and a little worried. "What happened?"
Six stopped, turning to face her with all of his new found anger. "Why don't you tell me what happened?"
She stopped, almost running into him from him stopping so abruptly, and looked at him confused again. "What are you talking about?"
"What happened between you and Scarecrow?" he asked her, voice raising a couple of levels. "What happened when you thought it was me and really him? What happened?"
"I-…" Her eyes glanced away, worriedly, before looking back to him. "It was nothing, Six. Really."
"Nothing! Really. I-"
She was quickly cut off by his sudden approach, her back suddenly making contact with the wall behind her and noticing that… he wasn't stopping… and he didn't stop until his angry face was inches from her worried one. "Nothing," he said again, quietly, angrily, husky, "It was nothing."
"Really. It- I- It was Scarecrow, Six. Whatever he told you, that doesn't-"
His lips had suddenly and harshly pressed against hers, forcing his tongue to roam in the first chance he got. He wasn't letting this get away. He was not going to let this end there. It was just the horrid and sick words of someone from the outside, looking in. He had no idea how he felt. He had no idea how she felt.
Her hands suddenly had a grip on the back of his neck, pressing him closer, while his own found her ribs, pushing her back against the wall again, as if threatening to go ahead and pick her up.
Apparently, her mind caught up to her and, despite how much stronger he was, she pushed him off. He had been a hair away from going back until she finally, softly spoke up. "No."
His breath came out in pants, noting how she refused to look at him. "Rebecca, I-"
"Six. It-… No." She maneuvered around him, getting out of the corner he placed her in and basically running away without ever looking up at him.
He watched her leave… hearing the damn chuckle bounce around his head again…
I would say in typical "Lina Trinch" fashion that there'll be a follow up, but there won't be. The main reason being that I have NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL IS GOING TO HAPPEN. I'm waiting for MoA to answer that for us.
So, let's all hold hands and wait together. No. Stop crying. Stop it. They'll make it. Really. STOP CRYING.
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