Title: Descent part 1/2
Words: Part 1- 4,017 words; Part 2- 3,837
Spoilers/Warnings: Details for All Hell Breaks Loose pt 1 and all of Season 2 is fair game.
Summary: Ava's story; how she went from sweet and quirky to cold-hearted actress with murderous intent.
Notes: beta'd by papered. This fic took me about 6 months to complete and it's all written now! Part two will be posted tomorrow.
Feedback is Winchester Christmas love!
Disclaimer: don't own anything, unfortunately. I'm coming to terms with it.
It was dark; she'd woken up from her dirty, cold, and uncomfortable spot on the wooden floor. She heard movement - a shifting of cloth so quiet she was amazed she'd caught it. Not a big deal, though, she thought to herself, attempting to quell her panic. People shift around all the time. She squeezed her eyes shut again. Especially in creepy, abandoned towns with mysterious, violent deaths.
Her breath caught in her throat and she sat up slowly.
"So," a voice said from above her. "Decided to wake up before the deed was done, eh?" It was Stanley, the Canadian with the ability to move the ground you stood on. He had been friendly before. Kind of looking out for everyone. His hand lashed out and grasped her hair in a knot at the base of her skull, pulling her head back painfully and lowering his face towards hers. The smile he wore was the most chilling thing she'd ever seen. "Well, the last one was too silent, anyway. Scream, now," he murmured tauntingly. "Loud and clear."
Ohgodohgodohgodohgod. "You killed everyone," she managed to gasp out. The deaths. They'd all been so gruesome and dirty- with sand or soil. Duh, Ava, way to pay attention.
"That I did. You're the last one. Never thought anything of Stanley, did you? Doesn't matter now. I'll be the last man- or I guess, special child-" he laughed bitterly "standing. Now, little Ava, what did I say abou--
Before she fully realized what she was, the knife she'd been given by the precognitive martial artist, Suzette, was in the man's stomach. She held the hilt desperately, willing all her strength into twisting it deeper. Flooding her mind, panic made her breathing fast and shallow, causing her heart to pound. Her palms began to sweat and her arms weakened. Vision blurring, she—
She gasped and opened her eyes. It was dark; she'd woken up from her dirty, cold, and uncomfortable spot on the wooden floor. She heard movement, a shifting of cloth so quiet she was amazed she'd caught it.
"I don't really think that god's behind any of this," Stanley's voice came from above her. "In fact, I'm fairly sure there isn't a god." She heard him crouch, and cringed against the floor, willing the next moments not to happen.
He grabbed the hair at the base of her skull, knotting it and pulling her up. She let out a shrill yell as he hefted her into an awkward sitting position.
"It was you!" she gasped out, even though she already knew the answer. She was trying to grasp her knife the right way. It kept slipping. She didn't want to kill anyone. She wasn't a murderer. All she wanted was for people to live happily! Who needed special powers anyway?
She closed her eyes briefly and thought of lying warm and comfortable next to Brady. They were supposed to- no, going to- be married in a few months. Then they could move to Tahiti. Or Tibet. Somewhere far away from here that didn't have psycho people who went around killing strangers they met when they randomly appeared in the middle of nowhere with no idea how they got there.
"You're awfully quiet, Ava," Stanley hissed in her ear. "No more blabbering when you're so close to dea--
Again, she swears that it wasn't even a conscious decision. The knife was up and into his shoulder or chest (she wasn't really sure which) before she even had time to think of it. She grasped the knife with both hands, and pushed it as deeply as she could. But her position was awkward; she didn't have too much power behind it, and he released her with an angry howl, wrenching himself backwards. She fell backwards to the floor.
He laughed. "Ava, Ava, Ava."
She hauled herself up, eyes wide. She couldn't breath, she was shaking. She thought she was going to throw up.
The ground started shaking beneath her, and again, before she could think, she'd lunged at him with her knife. She watched as the knife plunged into his stomach, and then she squeezed her eyes shut. She started whimpering as she pushed deeper, and started twisting like Suzette had taught her.
Ava, you listen to me. I saw some weird shit happen just now. You know my precog ain't so far, so it'll be soon. So you listen, honey. This is what you do. You grasp the hilt nice and tight, and you push as hard as you can. When it's in, you twist, honey, you twist like your life depends on it. And it probably does. So you remember that. You TWIST!
Two hours later, they'd found Suzette dead, a tiny bit of soil smudged around her mouth.
Stanley shuddered before her. She felt her hands slipping in thick liquid. Sticky, warm and slowly drenching her hands. She started gagging.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I'm so so sorry. I'm sorry." The words left her mouth, over and over, and she didn't really know what she meant or who she was saying it to, but when Stanley finally fell to the floor, a dead weight- toppling her as well- she could stop saying the words between her gags and retches.
At some point, she must've fallen asleep, because a voice began talking to her, startling her. Her eyes snapped open and her breathing started up shallowly again. "Well now, what a surprise."
It was like a distant memory - the voice was so familiar somehow, and yet she knew she'd never heard it before. Wry, blatantly sarcastic, and more arrogant than she'd imagined possible in a human voice. She sat up, hearing a squelching noise as her clothes, skin and hair lifted out of the large pool of blood that had spread from Stanley's body. She gagged again.
The voice chuckled. "If I were to put my money on anyone, it would never have been sweet little Ava. Hiding beside dear old Brady." He was sitting in a chair next to the old wooden table. Leaning forward, elbows on his knees, watching her intently.
"Who are you?" she asked, staring at him wide-eyed, but there was a certain anger growing in her stomach. Of course, there was more fear than anger. Especially when she saw those yellow eyes...
He smiled. She shuddered. "Do you remember what special Sam said to you about powers? Chosen children? Yadda, yadda, blah, blah, and something about a war?"
"Sa... Sam was right?" her voice was barely a whisper, she felt like the floor had just dropped out from under her and she had no sane place left to stand. She could feel sobs rising in her chest. "I don't want this!"
"Oh, if only you had a choice. Well, I guess you do," the man, or whatever he was, continued slowly. His voice was so tormenting, full of mockery and sarcastic persuasion. "After all, Brady is already dead, so what else is there left for you to live for?"
Her vision tunnelled. Everything was black except for the spot where the yellow-eyed man- or something, whatever he was- sat. "Brady's dead?" Her heart broke. Her world shattered. She hated herself and this thing and Sam Winchester for ever making her leave her fiancé’s side, for ever pulling back the veil. Her limbs were dead weights and her eyes blurred with tears.
"Little Ava, supreme champion of challenge 23. My bet really was on Stanley, after all, he'd been victor for the past eight rounds." The man- thing?- stood and stepped towards her. She shoved herself backwards, slipping in the blood and falling to her elbows a couple of times before she crashed into something soft. She turned her head slightly to find Stanley's empty eyes staring at her and she muffled a scream. "Better get used to it, Ava. If you want to live, you'll be seeing many more bodies, just like this one."
She turned her eyes towards it again – for it must be an it, surely a human couldn’t be so twisted – tears pouring down her cheeks, wetting her blouse. She couldn't breath, she couldn't think. She was terrified beyond belief, sorrow working its way into every nook and cranny of her being. Every beat of her heart sent blood careening through her body, yet she felt colder and colder and weaker and weaker. "What do you want from me?" she moaned.
"I want a leader," he hissed. "So, let's get started, shall we?" He brought his hands together in a loud clap that made her jump and land once more against the lifeless body behind her. "Time to discuss these powers of yours..."
She'd killed the first one by accident, the second one out of self defence and the third- who she suspected was the first culprit- she had hunted down in hopes that he'd kill her, releasing her from the guilt and sorrow that followed her everywhere. But again, her survival instincts had taken over and she'd killed him too.
Ava woke up suddenly, but kept her eyes squeezed shut. Maybe these past fifteen weeks have all been a horrible nightmare. Maybe I was in a coma. She took a deep breath. The now-familiar scent of rotting wood, wet dirt and green grass filled her nostrils. Her fantasy came crashing down.
"No coma, then." She forced herself to stand. She didn't know how she'd made it through these past rounds.
When she had awoken in her shed for the second one, she'd tried to reason with the four new special children, tell them her story, prepare them and maybe collectively, they could all get out. But they'd turned on her, ostracized her and one had literally thrown rocks at her. The first one had died that night; Ava never really found out who had done it, but the survivors had come after her.
She could never bring herself to use the word murder.
The Yellow-Eyed Thing had visited her that night, told her he was proud. When he left, she gagged and dry-retched for what seemed like several hours. Then, everything went black.
The third time she awoke in the shed, she realized she was in clean clothes. The blood, dirt, grass stains, wood splinters - everything was gone. Rather than being discovered however, and ‘saved’ from her erstwhile prison, she conspired to slip away and fake her own death. That way, she could be left in peace while they killed each other. First, though, she had to get out of her hated shed. She started to scream.
When she was let out, it was the first time she played dumb and afraid. When their backs were turned, she'd silently made her way up a set of stairs into an abandoned top floor of some house. She'd sat in a corner, and waited for two days; each time one died, she had a splitting head ache, and a horrifying vision to match.
Then It came again. "This is no way to win the competition, little Ava," his mocking tones had informed her pleasantly. "You have to get in the game to score the points." She'd thrown an articulate "screw you" his way before squeezing her eyes shut again. But then the creaking on the stairs indicated she'd been found out.
That time, it wasn't an accident. It wasn't even self defence. She'd stood next to the door frame, and when the special child had reached the top of the stairs, she'd rounded the corner and shoved the girl over the edge.
She told herself a range of excuses: she could sense the girl's murderous intentions; she thought it was the Yellow-Eyed Thing; she was momentarily insane. But she knew the real reason - her panic had taken over and she had, for one moment, believed that It wanted her to succeed because It cared. That round's puke-session had been interspersed with "you're an idiot, Ava" as well as the usual series of apologies. It worried her that it was all becoming routine. That she was even beginning to grow numb.
The fourth round passed by without her notice. She'd decided to block everything out; she didn't care anymore. She didn't want to die but she didn't want to live if it meant killing other people to do it. She shut herself down. Didn't watch, didn't see, didn't feel. But suddenly, there was a strange popping sound and she did see. Surrounding her were three bodies, her hands not covered in blood, but her clothes spattered by it. Her arms hung limply by her side, she stared straight ahead, unwilling to move or look any further.
"Look what you can do without even trying," It said from behind her. Yellow-Eyed Thing slowly circled until he was in front of her, smiling benignly. "You leave your mind for a moment, and-" he snapped "- your abilities take control. Suddenly you have play things." A girl appeared beside It; she couldn't have been more than twelve years old, her blond hair messy and in a weird pony tail. Her clothes seemed to be from another era. But Ava only really registered one thing- her youth and innocence. I have to protect her.
"Oh my God, you have to get away from here," Ava said urgently, wakening instantly from her deadened state. Children shouldn't see things like this, shouldn't be near things like this! "Get out! RUN!" she screamed. All the desperation, terror and all-consuming aching of the past month finally tore out of her. She took a step forward, her arms extended, intending to push the girl away from Him: the thing of pure evil.
The girl didn't make any motion to move, or any indication that she’d even heard Ava's screams. Yellow-Eyed Thing flicked his head, and Ava was thrown back into one of the walls of a building.
She suddenly realized her head felt like it was about to explode. Her temples seemed to be sending a dagger back and forth between them, slicing cuts in her skull with each pass.
"You seem to be misunderstanding something: now you're on your way up! The Next Top Model, American Idol, Survivor." He swaggered slowly towards her, snaking a deliberate way through the lifeless bodies that still laid in a grotesque ring. "That little girl, not so innocent," he kind of hissed the last word; as though innocence left a dirty taste in his mouth.
Ava thought she would be sick. Again.
"She's at your beck and call. That ridiculously painful head ache you feel? Because you controlled her, ordering her to tear apart each of those bodies." He came to stop before her, a foot or so away, and gestured behind him. "They realized that you were controlling it, and tried to stop you." He tilted his head from side to side, a slight grin playing at his lips. "Well, she couldn't let anything happen to her master, now could she?"
Round Seven brought with it a special child who had actual control over her abilities. And this one was dangerous. Michelle had come into the competition looking to kill. She'd moved like a lioness, attacking the weakest of the newcomers, working slowly through the group. Her ability seemed to originate from one similar to Sam's- visions relating to the Yellow-Eyed Guy- but her's had a longer timeline. She'd seen this competition coming and had prepared for it.
That meant she could summon things.
When it was only Ava left, Michelle had a little chat with her. Ava was lying on the floor with her arms and legs tied behind her, like a piece of meat. Michelle had grabbed a chair, and turned it around, straddling it and resting her elbows nonchalantly on the back. "You're a bit of an idiot, Ava," she'd said pleasantly, forcing a demon to circle Ava's tied body slowly. "You know, the reason I left you until last is because He told me that you'd been here the longest." She scoffed. "Can't really say I understand how that happened."
Tears streamed down her face. "It was an accident." Ava shook her head, the confessions slipping out of her mouth. "I didn't mean to kill them all. It was an accident. An accident." She could hardly breathe for the sobs ripping from her chest.
"Now that?" Michelle had said, throwing a listless hand in her direction. "I can believe. You could have been honing your abilities, finding little slaves to do your bidding. Like this one." She'd indicated the demon circling Ava. It hissed. Michelle cocked her head and stared at Ava with a frustrated curiousity. "How many did you kill, anyway?"
Ava's only response was to start sobbing even harder. She was so tired. There was an ache that started at her heart and streamed through her veins to reach every part of her body. She just wanted it to be over. "Why won't you just kill me?"
Michelle kicked Ava's foot. "I want to know how the hell you lasted this long. You're pathetic! Lying in front of me, weeping like a little girl. You did nothing here to gain your position. How long have you been here?"
Ava shut her eyes. She'd never been one to really like extremely antagonistic people. Mostly, though, she had liked everyone. People were pretty awesome, in their own ways. The quirkier, the better. Her fiancé had just been quiet and caring. Attentive. She'd liked that. Now he was dead. All she had left was herself, and whatever life she could make if she got out of this...
Brady would want her to live. He'd always cared for her. She squeezed her eyes shut, and ignored the other woman's questions. But the questions kept coming. She tried to focus on seeing that girl, the blond, messy one. She focused on bringing that thing to her- she refused to call it a demon- and getting it to help her.
It did come, she heard Michelle's demon's corresponding hiss of unwelcome. But when Ava opened her eyes, squinting immediately against the sharp pain that the light brought to her now-pounding head, she saw the girl just standing there.
"Oho! So you have been practicing." Michelle stood and turned to the demon. Her demon growled and hissed and seemed to be fighting against Michelle's control to get at Ava's. Still, the girl just stood. Michelle started laughing. "Don't actually want to direct it though, do you?" She laughed again. "Oh, Ava, only half way there." Michelle turned and crouched in front of Ava's face. "If you want to win the battle, you have to get your hands dirty."
"My hands have been dirtied," a voice that sounded like her own said. "I was just waiting for you to turn around." Blood hit her face as her demon ripped through Michelle's back. There was a garbled scream before Michelle's demon vanished. Michelle fell heavily to the floor, and Ava pretended she hadn't seen anything. She didn't want to know what she'd done. Not really what she'd done. What that demon had done, under her command.
"Ava, Ava, Ava," the Yellow-Eyed Guy said. He sounded as though he was relishing every syllable, as though her name brought him exorbitant amounts of pleasure. "I honestly didn't think you had that in you. What a pleasant surprise you're turning out to be." The bonds that had tied her vanished, and her muscles tingled painfully as blood flowed back into them.
She struggled into a sitting position, no longer fearing him. Much. "I don't know how that happened." She even dared to glare at him. "What have you done to me?" She attempted to ease the ache in her limbs by rubbing frantically at them.
He threw his hands into the air, tilting his head slightly. "Me? I've done nothing." He used both hands to point at her. "You? You've killed..." he trailed off and started counting off on his fingers. When he reached ten, he threw his hands into the air again, though this time in a sign of defeat. "More than I can count."
She lost her bravado and the tears came to her eyes again. "When I get out of this," she wailed. "I'll find Sam, and then we'll find you. And --
"And you'll what?" he'd interrupted. His face no longer displaying that creepily affectionate persona from earlier. He seemed almost angry. "You and Sam and his big brother Dean will hunt me down? I'd like to see you try." His words were harsh, with a mocking edge, as though she'd hit some soft spot. But suddenly his face cleared and when he spoke again, his tones were cheery. "But don't you worry, Ava, m'dear! Little Sammy Winchester will be coming here soon enough!"
And now here she was. At 'round' fifteen. She wasn't really one for too much introspection - she'd always been more impulsive than anything - but she knew that if she let down her walls for even a moment, the guilt would crash down and destroy her. Completely.
So she didn't think of those she'd killed in previous rounds, and she didn't consider the ones that were up and coming. She didn't wonder what the hell it meant if she could control a demon at will, nor that when the last special child did finally die, she'd be the only one left with Him. She didn't even think about him, or about the darkness that she could feel inching it's way up inside her. No, no. She didn't feel that either. She clung to the walls she'd so carefully built.
She sighed, and debated briefly her plan of action instead. The last few rounds had gone past her in a blur , and she'd stopped paying attention to the individual special children who found themselves lost and afraid here. Ignored their panicked pleas as they realized it was she who had summoned the thing that was tormenting them. She just hid behind her walls.
This time, she felt a strange energy coursing through her. "Maybe it's hysteria," she murmured to herself as she stood and positioned herself behind the shed door. "Maybe I've finally snapped. Crazy Ava, always waking up in a shed." She giggled deliriously. "Oh God."
She pounded on the door, opened her mouth and screamed as loudly as she could. It would take a few minutes, it always did. They'd likely discover each other first, and then be startled and scared by her screams. That wasn't really her problem though - she had to get out somehow.
"Hang on!" Someone shouted through the door. She had even stopped registering gender. No point connecting on any level. They were going to die soon anyway. "Me and this other girl, we're just going to find something to get you out with."
She stopped screaming, and forced herself to cry a bit. "Okay," she choked out. She distantly thought that it should distress her, how easily she was able to act now. She forced herself to stop thinking.
A moment later she heard the tell-tale smashing of a large rock hitting the old rusted padlock. She wondered how many other special kids had ended up cooped in this shed. She wondered how many more rounds she'd have to go through before she was free. She stopped wondering.
Finally the lock smashed open and the door was opened. She saw 'human'; she didn't think about if the person before her was male, female, attractive, fit, innocent, hardened, or anything. She plastered fear and naivety on her face, stumbled out the door and threw a terrified look back over her shoulder to the shed. "What's happening?" she squeaked.
"We don't know. Are you all right?"
"Aside from waking up in a shed in the middle of… where are we? Who are you?!" The questions, the tones she used, the words she used to respond to them; she was so used to all of it. It was all just routine.
The person chuckled uncomfortably. "My name's Brady."
- end part 1 - link to part 2 -
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