A/U: This is one seriously fucked up fic. And that's coming from ME. Well worth the "M" rating, one of the darkest things I've written. Hell, this is one of the darker stories I've read and I've got a thing for darkfic.
Strangely enough this chapter entails H/C, my second most favorite subgenre of fanfiction.
This chapter details the aftermath of Chapter One.
You have been warned.
It is dark outside- sometime in the long hours before dawn, I believe. "Who the hell calls at this hour?" I grumble to no one in particular, rolling off the bed. I take a moment to adorn the golden silk nightshirt that is always left hanging on the handsome antique oak dresser next to my bed.
My fingers deftly button the two sides together in a well practiced motion. As an afterthought I don the quivet robe as well. I walk from the master bedchamber down the marble staircase that leads to the entrance hall of my mansion. Though it is not as grand as my castle in Wisconsin was, it serves its purpose.
The grand entrance looms before me, and again the bell rings out it's foreboding tune. I can't help the faint sense of dread that settles in my stomach, as strange as it sounds. My employees know not to disturb me on my few nights of greatly deserved rest, which means this house call is either political (unlikely- I have the whole town wrapped around my little finger. Nothing happens here unless I say so.) or personal. The second option is even more disturbing.
I open the door to find "Daniel?"
He looks up at me with dull blue eyes, and I know- whatever has happened to force (he would willing seek my presence in no other situation) him here was a terrible ordeal.
He collapses into my arms. "Help me... Vlad..."
"Daniel? DANIEL?" Good lord, is he naked? And more importantly why?
"Please... don'wanna die..." he slurs, falling forward. I catch him easily and carry him into my home.
Though a distance I traverse every day the walk from the door to my private study seems the longest I've ever taken.
I set him down on an expensive couch (I'll deal with that later, it's not like I can't afford it) before kneeling to assess the situation.
If I hadn't been surprised before, I certainly was now. To say trauma of this magnitude was horrific was crude understatement. I know that no normal human could survive these wounds, indeed, most ghosts would cease to exist with this kind of injury.
"Daniel? Daniel, listen to me!" I speak in gentle but stern tones "I need you to change for me. I cannot treat the injuries sufficiently in this form." He looks at me in horror for which I can only shake my head sadly. "Come here, dear boy. I'll help you onto the table."
He nodded gingerly and before he could protest I lifted him from the couch, gently resting him on the table. "C-can I have... a blanket, or something?" He asks softly, shivering.
I nod, humoring him. I'll still see everything. (I've seen everything) I have no choice, I am the only one equipped to handle a situation such as this. If supplying something as simple as a bed sheet will save him from some humiliation, so be it.
I return a short while later with a large linen for him to cover himself. He wraps it around his body, laying back on the cold metallic surface. It takes some time, but he closes his eyes and pulls forth the energy to transform. The rings that accompany his change are dull rather than the burning flash I am used to. I can see his bare shoulders under the covering (what on earth happened to his suit?), indistinct ooze of various fluids now stemming from deep cuts into his pale and now ghostly flesh.
Walking slowly like one would approach a wounded animal I moved towards him. I watch as he shrinks into himself, pulling the sheet closer to his form to hide from my searching gaze.
"Good gracious Daniel, what happened to you?" I ask though I feared I already knew.
His gaze meets mine for a brief moment before looking away. "Vivisected."
Hastily I rip the sheet from his grip causing him to painfully assume fetal position. He cries out in pain and pulls his legs to his chest where I am reminded once again of his nakedness.
Yellow-green tinted bruises paint his body. Even his... coffee cakes, even his genitals are bruised. A few sticky drops of ectoplasm laced semen stick to his skin and I know he has been assaulted in the most vile way possible.
"I am so sorry, little badger..." I whisper, knowing I acted too quickly. I acted in shock and without thinking. This is a delicate situation, and must be treated as such. Coaxing him from this defensive stance I carefully place the sheet over his lower half, and onto the only uninjured place on his body- his back.
The "Y" incision starts at each shoulder, swiftly cutting through flesh meeting at his sternum and leading down to where it disappears at his groin.
The flaps of skin are held in place only by gravity.
He nods, eyelids closing as I hover above the incision site. As gently as I can I lift the skin from his form. The dissection is text book perfect, each side of the tissue cut cleanly displaying the underlying tissue. In muted horror I notice various things missing, his spleen, a rib, a kidney... I can see his heart beating sluggishly as the break in his sternum expands accommodating the oxygen filling his lungs.
I've seen enough to be able to treat him sufficiently (perhaps more than necessary if only to quench my own morbid curiosity) "Do you want anything..?" I ask. "I am afraid that this will be... painful otherwise." (Frankly I am surprised he has survived this long, the amount of pain he must be in.)
His pupils dilate hysterically. "No!" He shouts an octave higher than usual. "No. " He repeats again, voice level. "I-I don't want to feel helpless. Not- not after what happened."
My expression softens in understanding. "Would a local anesthetic be more acceptable?" He thinks, looking up at me in uncertainty. "You will still be in full control."
Almost fearfully he nods giving me the go-ahead.
I return with a small vial of lidoplasm, an ecto-active anesthetic. He dully focuses on the needle as I approach and I cannot cull the small encouraging smile that graces my features.
With a glow of ghostly energy I cauterize the end of each artery and vein. Were there much of anything else to bleed out he would be surely dead. "Your ectoplasm core is almost non-exsistant. I'm going to sew you back up with some of my own plasma, as well as giving you a transfusion. You are beyond lucky little badger, that I am a universal doner else you would not survive the night." I tell him and he nods softly.
Carefully manipulating ectoplasm into a thick thread I begin the reconstruction by tying back together his sternum. "As it is, this will take weeks to heal, even with your accelerated healing rate... who could have done this to you little one?" I question absently not expecting an answer.
So quietly I can nae hear it, he answers with the words that though I knew, I feared. "Fentons." He whispers, not meeting my gaze.
Anger bubbles within me. The fool. I never would have thought Jack capable of this sort of depravity, but even for all my hatred I had misjudged him. Despite all his wrong doings against me, I never would have pegged him as someone who would do... this. As if following my line of thought Daniel shakes his head. "It... it wasn't..." he speaks softly, tears welling. Whatever was left of my heart fell from my chest.
Maddie. Madeline did this. In a sick sort of way it made sense. Madeline was nothing if not dedicated. I loved her once (some part of me even now still wants to) but the evidence before me is irrefutable and kills any feelings I may have had. The Maddie I knew and loved was not the same person who did this. The Maddie I once knew was dead.
With a swift precision born from years of ectoplasmic manipulation I close the cuts over his repaired ribcage, piercing tissue and suturing muscle into a recognizable form. It was far from the perfect fit that I would have liked as the sides did not match as they should- almost as if... samples had been taken.
Behind me one of the beakers filled with my ectoplasm ready to transfuse explodes. Inhaling deeply I command the ectoplasm back into its inert and harmless form, directing it into another container. Finally the layers of skin are stitched together. I exhale loudly, removing the mask from my face.
"Let's get you cleaned up."
Taking a step back from the table he catches my gaze pleadingly. "Don't- don't go." he chokes. Understanding dawns on me and I use some of the last of my energy to send a duplicate to retrieve some warm water. Far more gently than I would have thought myself capable I wipe away the fluids from his body. He tenses noticeably as I near his nether regions. "I'm not going to hurt you little one..."
A few tears stray down his face and I can tell he is trying desperately not to cry.
Taking the robe I wore earlier I wrap him in it's exquisitely soft folds, gently gathering him in my lap. He turns and buries his face in my chest letting go. Before long his sobbing soaks my nightshirt but I do not mind. Instead I simply rock him back and forth whispering words of comfort to the broken boy in my arms.