Eight months later
Helen was busying herself doing the washing up for breakfast. She had already said goodbye to Bob when he left for work, and dropped Violet and Dash off at school, so now she was alone in the house to complete her chores and look after Jack Jack. The small portable TV by the side of the kitchen sink was still discussing the events with Xerek, who had died in a massive warehouse explosion.
The codes Syndrome had given her had worked and blocked the remote access signal to the neutron bomb, rendering Xerek's terrorist plan a failure.
Helen had done her best over the past few months trying to forget and erase from her memory what had happened to her; what she had put herself through to get the codes to stop Xerek. The first few weeks afterwards were filled with sleepless nights, curling in on herself in bed and allowing a few tears to sneak out from her eyes. She had had depression: wilting away, not eating properly, staring at nothing in particular, oblivious to her family who worried so much about her. She had hated her appearance in the mirror, hated seeing herself in her underwear after a shower. At first, the bruises between her legs and around her hips were noticeable, but she worked hard to prevent Bob and her children from seeing them. Then they began to fade, and instead of physical reminders, Helen was left with the trauma of seeing Syndrome on top of her whenever she closed her eyes.
The slightest touch from Bob made her jump, and their intimacy had suffered months of stagnation because of it. She had become extremely protective of Violet, knowing full well that there were men out there who would take full advantage of her innocence and naivety. Men like Syndrome. Helen grasped the plate she was holding so hard it nearly chipped.
Upon returning home, and finding the children asleep and Bob waiting for her, she had gone to the bathroom; thrown up and showered hard, scratching at her skin determined to remove any trace of Syndrome. Even now she could still feel the grasp of Syndrome on her hips and his breath against her neck. She had to choke down the tears once again.
Her biggest fear was Bob finding out what she had done. Helen swore to herself she would do anything to protect Bob and her family, and would submit herself to through her ordeal once again to keep her family safe, but she couldn't stand the idea of hurting Bob in this way: having him know that Syndrome took full advantage of her and that there was nothing she could do about it, otherwise Xerek would have succeeded and she would have failed. Then it would have been the innocent civilians of Europe who suffered. Helen would rather it be her alone who suffers, than have anyone else be a victim to another insane terrorist.
This was something Helen had to bear the brunt of herself, and though she was tired, she remained strong. She was determined to prevent her family from finding out, and was steadily returning to her old self again, with much effort.
She had finished her washing up, sighed with determination, and went into the living room with him to check on Jack Jack, who was watching children's educational cartoons. Helen noted how, now that he was much older at the age of three, he had more of a control over his powers, and understood how he shouldn't burst into flames or turn into steel when out in public or having a child's tantrum. Helen was proud of him. The discovery of Jack Jack's powers meant that the whole family suddenly understood how Syndrome had dropped their child and been sucked into a jet engine, although he survived (and they really couldn't figure out how he did that, and he never said a word when he was out of hospital and well enough to be interrogated).
She sat down on the floor with Jack Jack, and watched the cartoon with him, cuddling him protectively. She was determined that Syndrome would never again harm her family.
She was busying herself with Jack Jack when the mailman came and left their mail in their mailbox. Helen left Jack Jack with the book they were reading, and went to gather the mail. There were the usual bills and circulars and leaflets, a letter addressed to her from Dash's school and a large brown envelope addressed to Bob. Once inside again, she opened up the letter from Dash's school and sighed as she read that Dash had once again been disruptive in class. Since beginning a new middle school and being allowed to enter for sports so long as he didn't do anything to risk suspicion, Dash had become a show off, and a typical jock.
Helen was so distracted by the news of Dash's behaviour once again that she left all the other mail on the kitchen counter for Bob to deal with. She picked up Jack Jack and prepared herself to go to Dash's school to see the principal about her son's behaviour.
It was later in the evening, just after dinner, that Bob checked the mail. He passed over the bills, knowing they were the usual electric and water bills, put the leaflets and circulars in the trash and paused at the brown envelope addressed to him. Outwardly, there was nothing unusual about it: his name and address was printed on a sticker, and there were no other marks on it which indicated where the letter had come from.
He opened it and found inside a plain silver DVD in a clear plastic sleeve. He pulled it out and looked at it. On the DVD, written in a manner similar to that of a child's handwriting was three simple words: I love you.
Bob immediately dismissed it as perhaps a prank. The DVD more than likely contained a virus or a stupid episode of a stupid cartoon. He left the DVD on the dining room table and ignored it until later.
Violet and Dash had gone to bed, and Helen was putting away the last of the laundry which had been forgotten about as they were too busy discussing Dash's behaviour in school. Bob sat down in the living room and put the DVD into a DVD player, thought for a moment and then pressed play.
He sat back and expected to be proven right, that it was nothing more than a childish prank, and when the screen remained blank with flashes of static, he moved forward to turn it off. He stopped when the screen flickered and on came an image of two people in a bedroom. There was a woman wearing lingerie lying on the bed and a shirtless man standing to one side, before sitting on the bed.
Bon wondered who had sent him the DVD and why, when he suddenly noticed that the woman on the bed looked a lot like Helen. So much so, that he looked harder at the woman on screen and moved closer to the TV. The woman was staring at the ceiling, saying nothing, and she had on a Super mask, covering the top half of her face. Bob stared harder, trying to make out the details on the woman's face.
She had the same body as Helen, the same hair, and the same lips . . .
He turned his attention to the man on screen, noticing the burn scars, the ginger hair in a ponytail . . .
Syndrome. But then . . . it couldn't be! Could it?
Bob watched with a feeling of dread and sickness in his stomach as the man in the footage, Syndrome, climbed on top of the woman and began to unbuckle his pants.
Bob coughed with sickness as though he was choking. It couldn't be! It wasn't! Syndrome was pranking him, surely!
He turned his gaze from the screen and that was when he noticed Helen standing still in the doorway, his face full of horrors, her arms by her side. Her eyes looked watery, and she began to silently cry.
"Bob," she began, only to be cut off by him.
"Tell me that's not you, Helen," Bob stated, his voice low, his eyes fixed on Helen in the doorway.
"I . . ." Helen started but didn't finish, tears gently dripping down her face, her mouth wobbling.
"Helen," Bob began again, his voice dangerously low, "tell me that's not you on there."
"Bob," Helen had both her hands in front of her, gesturing at Bob to calm down, but he stood up, his back to the screen as the DVD continued and Helen saw her trauma once more, only this time it wasn't in her mind.
Bob didn't say anything. Instead, he ripped the DVD player from the wall, dropped it on the floor and stared at Helen. Then he walked calmly outside into the backyard. Helen stood where she was for a moment, her heart pounding in her chest, breaking into pieces. She wiped her eyes and then went outside to find Bob.
"It's not what you think," she said lamely, as she stood in the backyard behind Bob. His fists were clenched and he was looking straight ahead. He made no motion to indicate he heard her.
"Then tell me what it is."
"I . . . I didn't want to, Bob!"
"You didn't want to?" Bob's voice was like the calm before the storm, and Helen knew he was going to erupt soon, so she knew she needed to explain before he did something stupid.
"No, Bob. I -"
"It didn't look like he was FORCING YOU ON THE DVD!" Bob had turned around now to stare at Helen. He was angry and she was scared.
"I had NO CHOICE!" Helen replied, shaking with anger in return and fear of what her husband was feeling.
"NO CHOICE? NO CHOICE? No choice TO DO WHAT? TO CLIMB INTO BED WITH HIM?"
"I NEVER CLIMBED INTO BED WITH HIM!"
"No? I didn't see him pinning you down! Is this why you've been so out of it these past few months? MISSING YOUR TOYBOY?" Bob regretted it the moment he said it as he saw the look of betrayal on her face. She looked the way he felt.
"I DID IT FOR YOU!" She screamed back.
"For me? You climbed into bed with SYNDROME FOR ME?"
"YES! It was the only choice I had!" Helen's face was puffy and blotched with tears and her voice was congested from crying. "HE GAVE ME NO CHOICE!"
"YES YOU HAD A CHOICE! YOU COULD HAVE SAID NO!" Bob exploded. He felt as though his heart had been wrenched from his chest, knowing what Helen and Syndrome had done together. He could only see in rage and knew that later he'd regret everything he'd said in anger.
"You weren't there! It was the ONLY WAY! He wouldn't have given us the access codes otherwise!"
"Oh, OH, so THIS was what this was all about was it? Getting him to give up the codes? You couldn't beat them out of him so you slept with him instead!"
"DON'T BE STUPID! YOU KNOW WE CAN'T TOUCH HIM!" Helen screamed.
"IT'S SYNDROME! BUDDY PINE!" Bob yelled so loud Helen backed off a little. "It's not enough that he has to try and kill us AND OUR SON, but you have to go and let him do this to you as well!"
"YOU'RE NOT LETTING ME SPEAK!"
"No, you're not letting me speak, Helen!" Bob sighed. He knew he was handling it all wrong but he was too hurt to act any other way. "I told you I wasn't strong enough! That I couldn't lose you again! And then this! Helen . . . I don't know . . . I don't know how I can get over this."
"Bob, please," Helen spoke softly. "I . . ."
"This is not about you, Helen."
"Yes it is about me, Bob! You weren't there! You didn't go through it!" Helen was hysterical, "Oh God, Bob . . . I . . . Syndrome, he blackmailed me into it, I didn't want to . . ." Helen broke down even harder, so much so that Bob went over the comfort Helen. He held her tight in his arms and stroked her hair as she wept into his chest.
Bob had calmed down now. His shock of seeing Helen on screen with Syndrome paled when he saw how distraught his wife was in front of him. He knew he had grossly overreacted and made it worse for Helen, who clearly had been suffering for quite some months.
"It's okay, Helen . . . I'm sorry, I shouldn't have yelled at you like that," Bob said as he comforted his wife.
Helen was still hysterical, and through her sobs she managed to choke out, "Oh, Bob, what did I do? What did I do? I had no choice; he gave me no choice, Bob! I can still feel him grabbing at me, Bob! I love you so much, Bob, I'm so sorry . . ."
"Shh, Helen, it's okay, we're going to be okay, we can survive this, I promise you," Bob picked up his wife in bridal form and carried her inside the house into their bedroom and lay her down on the bed. She curled up into foetal position and Bob lay down beside her, still holding her.
"I love you, Bob, so much," Helen mumbled through her tears which were being calm down.
"I love you, too, Helen." Bob replied.
"What are we going to do?"
There was a pause as Bob thought of his answer. "We're going to get through this, Helen. We can get through this." Bob replied calmly, knowing that it wasn't his wife who was to blame, but rather it was Syndrome.
Bob frowned at the thought of Syndrome. How was it possible that he was still tormenting them? He had killed dozens of Supers, tortured them, held them prisoner, tried to kidnap their youngest son, destroyed their home and then bribed the courts to gain his freedom. Clearly he would always remain a threat to his family and to society as a whole.
Bob came to one simple conclusion as he lay holding his wife. Syndrome must be stopped.
No sooner than Bob had thought it, an iron curtain of sudden realisation and determination closed down in his mind. He felt all his anger and hatred towards Syndrome disappear, along with the hurt for his wife. Bob felt calm.
He knew what he had to do.
One week later
Bob stood as Mr Incredible outside the mansion of Syndrome. As he stood, he wondered whether this was how Helen stood before she went in. He was doing this for her, he reasoned. This wasn't about petty revenge. This was about making things right.
He took a few steps towards one of the windows on the ground floor, one that didn't have a light on, and smashed it, not caring about noise or security alarms. No alarm went off, and Bob was left puzzled about this. Syndrome was an electronics genius, so why didn't he have a rigorous alarm system in his own home?
Bob paused for a moment. He had got the right home, hadn't he? He looked around the room he was in. There were no signs of who might be living there. He went further in, not knowing his way and relying instead on instinct to guide him. He assumed he was near the middle of the mansion, and no sooner than he made this assumption, he walked into an extremely large kitchen.
There were yellow pill bottles on the kitchen counter. He picked one up and read the label. He was definitely in the right home.
He knew Syndrome must have some sort of CCTV covering the house, even if he didn't have a security system. Bob didn't care. He wandered through some more rooms, before coming to a staircase leading down.
He went down them and once at the bottom found himself facing a large glass wall. Behind the wall was Syndrome's workstation. Bob looked around, trying to find the ginger haired maniac and smiled triumphantly when he saw him.
Syndrome was leaning over in his chair, his face was on the desk and he was clearly asleep. Next to him, Bob could see another yellow pill bottle and he knew they must be sleeping pills.
It was show time.
Bob took a deep breath, braced himself and then ripped the door away from its hinges. The sound of the door being smashed woke Syndrome with a start and he looked around quickly before finding the source of the noise.
Syndrome stared at Bob as Bob walked through the now ruined doorway. Unconsciously, Syndrome took a few steps back, his hands out in a sign of mock surrender.
"Hello, Syndrome," was all Bob said to greet him. "Thank you for that DVD you sent us."
Syndrome, his brain not registering what he was saying until he said it, replied back, "You had to be there," with a smirk.
"Oh, no, Buddy," Bob replied as he advanced on Syndrome. Syndrome gritted his teeth at Bob's use of his hated real name. "That DVD is our evidence, it's our defence."
"What do you mean?" Syndrome replied. He was slowly moving to the right, closer to where he was keeping some of his electronic weapons.
"You raped Elastigirl."
"That's a lie!" Syndrome spat. "She agreed to it! It was a deal! YOU," Syndrome pointed at Bob accusingly, "shouldn't have your wife running around doing your work!"
"I'd be careful, Buddy. Blackmailing a woman into giving her consent isn't true consent. You blackmailed Elastigirl, she never truly consented to it." Bob was proud of himself for remaining calm for so long. He knew Helen would be proud of him, and he was enjoying goading Syndrome.
"You're a rapist, Buddy," the gap between Bob and Syndrome was narrowing and he could see how trapped Syndrome felt. "And you're not going to be able to buy your way out of this one."
"You've got nothing on me." Syndrome was slowly beginning to lose control. His actions were becoming more sporadic and Bob could see sweat beginning to form on his forehead.
"You're not so tough without any of your weapons, Buddy," Bob smiled, "And from the looks of it, you haven't been taking your medicine, either. You were so close to the end of your house arrest as well."
Syndrome had moved so far to the right that he could see, in one of the open drawers, a very basic gun. It would have to do.
"Heh, I think, heh, next time," Syndrome began and Bob knew for sure that Syndrome had been skipping his medicine, "you should send your daughter around." With that, he grabbed the gun from the drawer and fired at Bob.
I had to cut it off here, I'm sorry. Otherwise it would have been twice as long. But there will be lots of violence in the next chapter!
Please note: I'm not American so I don't know much about the American school system. Dash is supposed to be twelve years old during this story, so I Google'd what school he should be in. If he's not supposed to be in a middle school, please tell me so I can correct it.