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Descent part 2/2

Title: Descent 2/2
Author: kepp0xy 
Rating: pg-13, gen
Words: part 1 4,017; part 2 3,837
Spoilers/Warnings: Details for All Hell Breaks Loose pt 1 and all of Season 2 is fair game.
Characters: Ava, Yellow-Eyed Demon

Summary: Ava's story; kind of a character study. What happened between her appearance in Hunted and the complete turn around of her personality in All Hell Breaks Loose pt 1.

Notes: beta'd by papered , much thanks, Liz! ♥ Part one is here.
Feedback is Winchester Christmas love.

Disclaimer: don't own 'em, wish I did. Coming to terms.



The person chuckled uncomfortably.  "My name's Brady."

Everything stopped: her heart, her mind.  

Her lungs even refused to fill.  The world seemed to become too silent and too loud at the same time.  Her vision blurred, it cleared and it blurred again.  "I'm sorry?" She didn't have to fake the strangled tenor of her voice this time.

The person began to take form.  It was a man.  He stepped forward.  "Hey?  Hello?  I said my name's Brady."  He touched her arm.  "Are you okay?"

She yanked her arm out of his touch.  She stared at him as he became clearer and clearer.  He had the same dark hair as her Brady, the same straight smile, his eyes twinkled the same way.  He held himself similarly- kind of awkward, but mostly confident.  His feet were too large, his fingers too long, his eyes four shades too dark and slanted.  He was a Brady, a friendly looking one at that.  But he wasn't her Brady.

She shook her head and smiled with embarrassment.  "Sorry.  I'm Ava."

He smiled tentatively.  Same smile... "Are you sure you're all right?  You kind of went space-case on me there."

"Yeah," she muttered.  "Yeah!" she repeated with more enthusiasm.  "You just remind me of someone I used to know."

"Well," he said, grinning.  "I hope that's a good thing."  He turned to indicate two guys and a girl standing behind him.  "This is Sandy, David and Frederick."

"Seriously dude.  Call me, Dave."

Ava smiled weakly. 

She tried to force all of them into the anonymity she'd used to protect her sanity previously.  But none of them would slip back into nameless, genderless blurs.  This Brady guy had ruined it.  She kept trying for the rest of the day but she just couldn't make any of them anonymous!  Instead, she quickly learned that Sandy enjoyed old, black-and-white, silent films.  She had a particular love of Charlie Chaplin.  Dave liked calamari and all the sushi he could get his hands on.  Frederick planned on travelling around Canada next year, he was German, and no, he didn't know why Canada.

Brady was the main problem.  He observed, gently asked questions.  Quiet and caring.  He was attentive.  Every time that Ava looked at him, he would smile benignly at her, with her Brady's smile.  Her heart ached almost as badly as it did when Yellow-Eyed Guy first told her about Brady's death.  She would smile weakly in return, and then a look of concern would cross his face.  She'd shake her head reassuringly, and he'd go back to listening to the others' conversation.

Four days passed before anything happened.  Ava couldn't make herself turn on them.  They had connected in ways she'd never done so with the other groups.  Perhaps it was because they'd not had to face any dangers yet (other than a constant shroud of mystery), allowing them to actually attempt bonding.  

Each night they would huddle in a rundown room because it had a fireplace, so they could stay warm and close together.  Conversation inevitably started with Dave complaining about the severe lack of sushi, of any kind of food really.  They talked, laughed, told stories.  She and Brady were the only two who didn't participate as thoroughly as the others.  

And Ava felt like she was water on the surf of a beach: alternatively moving closer to them and farther with each ebb and flow.  She hated it, and loved it.  It reminded her strikingly of how much she missed human interaction.

"I suggest we try to bust out of here," Frederick had said one evening, his accent thickened with his nervousness at voicing his idea.  "I believe we've been here long enough."

There was a short silence.  "I think you might be right."  Ava turned, startled, towards Brady.  He stared straight at her for a couple of seconds before turning his gaze to the rest of the group.  "Nothing's really happened, we've just all been hanging out."

"I'm starting to miss Charlie like you would not even believe," Sandy piped up, a small grin on her face.  "But where do we head to?"

Dave stood up from his place next to the fire.  “Well, we’ve all noticed the forest surrounding us,” he suggested.  “Who knows where it’ll lead?”
 
 “What if we die in there?” Ava asked shakily.  She couldn’t believe she was allowing herself some shred of faint hope to enter her heart.  This whole thing was inconceivable.  Yellow-Eyed Guy wouldn’t let her go that easily… would he?
 
 “Better than dying here,” Brady said, smiling softly.  
 
 “We could head out when it’s day again?  Better chances that way.” Sandy looked eager.  When Ava looked around, she realized that they all did.  But something was holding her back.  She wanted to leave more than anything, but it couldn’t be this easy.  Something was wrong.  Terribly wrong.  The Yellow Eyed Thing was capable of tricks and illusions… This had to be another one.

But the faint hope of freedom and escape sent shivers down her spine.  What would be the harm in trying?  Maybe she could get away, put this whole thing way, way behind her.  Lock it behind these walls, and go about a regular life.
 
 “Better in the daylight, definitely,” she finally murmured.
 
The rest nodded around her, and they spent the next few hours deciding what exactly they wanted to do.  With the sunrise, they spent several hours combing through each building, attempting to find some kind of supplies.  They ended up with three cups, a plate, and two bowls, all made of the same rusted iron.  Ava wondered vaguely where they’d come from, if some now-dead special child from an earlier round had brought them.  She didn’t really care.

When Dave’s watch pronounced it 10:00 am, they made their way carefully into the forest. Every sound that echoed eerily through the trees had Ava on edge.  She didn’t trust this, but she wanted to get out too badly not to try.  They walked all day with only a few breaks, finally stopping only when it started getting dark to try and create a camp of some sort.
 
 “Brady, you want first watch?” Sandy asked as she passed him some water from a stream close to where they’d set up camp.  She grinned at him.  “You always seem to stay up the latest.”
 
He smiled at Sandy and nodded.  “Sure, why not?”  He accepted the cup of water and sipped eagerly.  “How is everyone holding up?”
 
 “Dreaming about sushi tonight,” Dave muttered, as he shoved some dirt around in the hopes of making a soft bed.  “I can’t tell you how much I want a decent meal.”
 
 “A decent meal consists of sausage,” Frederick piped up.  “If only we had some, I could cook it over the fire.”
 
Ava sat cross-legged across from everyone else and looked around herself into the canopy of trees.  “Do you think there’s any wildlife around here?  It’s so quiet.”
 
 “Hard to say,” Brady responded.  “Maybe this is that one forest that doesn’t house anything.”  He grinned and winked.  She felt herself smile slightly in response, the tension that had been tightening in her stomach releasing slightly.
 

 “I’ve been so very disappointed this round, I have to say.”  She started awake in the middle of the night, as the embers from their fire growing dim.  She wrapped her arms around her shoulders and glared up at the Yellow-Eyed Guy from her spot on the ground.   He sat on a fallen log a few feet away.  “Grown shy of your abilities, have you, Ava?”
 
“I didn’t want any of this!” she shouted at him.
 
 “Shhh.” He gestured to her to settle down and be quiet.  “You’ll wake the other special kids.  Except, of course, Brady.”  He pointed to the dark haired man’s back, situated next to a tall tree at the edge of their camp.  “Diligent, isn’t he?  Do you find him at all… familiar?”
 
 “Screw you.”
 
 “Ava, Ava, Ava.  You’ve got to learn it can’t be this easy!”  He stood, dusting his hands off on his jeans.  “Guess the curtain will fall on you soon.  But you’ll never guess who will give it the drop.”  He grinned crookedly at her once, before disappearing.
 
She started awake, lying on her side, facing the dying embers of their fire.  Her heart was pounding- something that hadn’t happened in months- and she could hardly breathe.  Did he mean… there was a traitor among them?  
 
She got up slowly and moved to Brady’s side.  His head was resting on his shoulder lightly as quiet snores escaped his mouth.  The longer she looked at him, the less like her Brady he appeared.  She blinked slowly, and reached out a hand to touch his shoulder.  He started awake.
 
 “Sorry to startle you.”
 
 “Ava!  No, no problem.  I didn’t realize I’d fallen asleep.”  He grinned at her.
 
 “Well, I figure you can take a proper rest now.  I’ll take the rest of the watch.”
 
 “Okay.”  He stood up and then he eyed her briefly.  “Are you all right?  You look pale.”
 
She smiled weakly.  “I’m fine.  Just couldn’t sleep.”
 
He nodded and started walking the short distance to where the rest slept.  After a few steps, he paused and turned around.  “Hey, Ava?”
 
 “Yeah, Brady?” She wiggled her bum and settled into the ground, trying to make a more comfortable seat for the long hours ahead of her.
 
“What’s the last thing you remember?  You know, before waking up in that shed?”
 
Images of the people she’d killed, the blood that had surrounded her on too many occasions, of the demon she could now control filled her mind. Of being cold and scared and throwing up, retching, gagging.  She forced herself to smile reminiscently and looked over her shoulder at him.  “I was sleeping next to my fiancé.”
 
 “Yeah.  I remember feeding my dog.”  He smiled once more and then turned his back on her, walking back to the dying fire.
 
Ava started rubbing the spot that her engagement ring had once been.  She circled it with her fingers, trying to remember exactly what it looked like, exactly how the weight had felt when it had rested on her finger.  It had been a promise to be with each other forever, to love each other until the day they died.  To care about each other, and look after one another.  For her Brady to be there for her when she needed him.
 
Her body convulsed; a lump rose in her throat, surprising her.  Her eyes began to sting with a wetness she hadn’t felt in months.  The pain flowed through her veins almost as powerfully as it had when Yellow-Eyed Guy had first told her that Brady was dead.  She thought she had moved on from him, or at least from the pain.  Tears slid down her face, blinding her.  Her chest ached.  Her stomach ached.  Oh hell, everything ached.  She didn't want to be in a forest in the middle of the night with some Yellow-Eyed Bastard taunting her at every turn.

"Ava?" Brady touched her shoulder and she jumped.  "Are you all right?  You were, uh, saying my name..."

"Oh god!" She lifted a hand to wipe her face and used as much willpower as she could muster to speak coherently.  "Sorry.  I was thinking about that person you remind me of."  She choked on a sob and started coughing.

He patter her back.  "I guess... I guess he's not around anymore?"

She laughed bitterly.  "Not so much."  She leaned over her knees and tried to breathe deeply.  She couldn't believe she was falling apart like this.

"I guess now's not the time then..." He began, and she looked up at him anxiously.

"Time for what?" she asked uneasily.

"Dave's, uh, missing."

Ava stood up quickly.  "He's what?"

"Missing," Brady paused; the contemplative look he had on his face now reminded her of her Brady again.  She battled with her emotional response to that.  "He's not in the camp anymore."

"Oh god." She stepped forwards and slipped on a damn root.  She flailed to regain her balance and turned towards the camp.  It was true.  Only Sandy and Frederick remained.  "Oh my god."  Ava turned wide-eyed back to Brady.  "We have to go."

Brady frowned.  "What? Why?"

Ava shook her head apologetically.  "I... I don't know how to explain this.  It's just... It's not safe? For us?" Her tone was full of question and she knew that if the situations were reversed, she'd never be won over by an explanation like that.

"Ava..."

"Brady, seriously!  We have to wake up Sandy and Frederick and get our butts moving!" She used both hands to imitate moving forwards.

Brady frowned but walked slowly back to the camp.  Just as he reached it, Ava's head split.  "Ow! God!"


Dave woke up uncertainly in an empty grove.  "Uh, guys?" He stood up carefully, dusting his jeans off.  "I thought we were travelling together, guys!  Gunna get sushi when we got outta here?"  He peered through the darkness.  "Okay, I know that you all think I'm this easy-going goofball, but this isn't funny."

Something rustled behind him.  He turned slowly, his face showing relief before anything actually emerged.  "Okay, seriously, you were starting to freak me out... Wait... Who the hell are—“

His chest split open in a horizontal line.  Blood virtually exploded from his chest, and he fell first to his knees, and then flat on his front.  He died with wide, scared eyes; a complete look of shock marred his face.



"Ava!" Brady was shaking her.  "Ava! Are you okay?"

Ava cradled her head, tasting bile on her tongue. She turned away from Brady and threw up into the brush.  "Dave's dead," she muttered before spitting out a glob of remaining vomit.

"What? How the hell do you know that?" Brady took a step back from her.  "He can't be.  He must've just wandered off."

Ava shook her head, feeling more tears welling up in her eyes.  She'd thought it might actually be over; Yellow-Eyed Guy's threat or not.  "I can... see things, sometimes?  In relation to other people who... have... abilities?"

Brady took another step back, his face a mask of horror.  He shook his head.  "You're crazy."

"No, I'm not!"  She stepped towards him, her hand extended to him.  "We've got to go!"  He withdrew from her quickly.  She sighed in frustration and pushed past him.  "Sandy." She shook the woman's shoulder.  "Sandy, we gotta go."  Sandy woke slowly, looking at her blearily.  Ava moved to Frederick.  "Wake up!" She was getting desperate.  She didn't really care if they were startled awake or if they woke slowly.  Just as long as they woke up, and all of them got the hell out of here.

"What?" Frederick shook his head slowly in confusion.  "What’s happening?"

"Ava's on drugs or lost it or something.  She says Dave's dead."

"Dave's dead?" Sandy squeaked.

Ava stared at Brady.  "I am not insane and I'm not on drugs!  Okay, look, I know how all this sounds but you know what I'm talking about.  You can all do something too."

"Do something?" Sandy stared at her with wide eyes.  "What are you--"

"I don't know why or how, but we all have some kind of..." she flailed her hands around uncertainly.  She had a feeling they didn't have time for this.  "Like, I can see things before they happen!" She left out the demon controlling side of her abilities.

"Oh my god." Sandy stood up slowly.  "You mean, you ... I can tell how close a person is to death."

Frederick looked between all of them.  "I am able to see over very long distances, and hear very clearly as well."

They all turned to Brady.  He shook his head, his mouth agape in disbelief.  "You're all crazy."

"Brady--

"No!  No way!"  He turned to Ava.  "What, did you feed them all some psychedelic drug?!  Where the hell is Dave?"

Ava stepped back in shock.  "I didn't--

Frederick was suddenly gone from their group.  Brady whirled around at Sandy's scream, but not fast enough.  Ava saw the pained look on his face.

"Oh my god.  It's you."

"What?" He turned back to her.

"You're the one.  You must be able to, I don't know, like... move people instantaneously?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."


Frederick opened his mouth to intercede on Ava's behalf, but suddenly they weren't with him.  He was in an empty grove; before him was Dave's mutilated body.

"Mein Gott." He knelt next to the man, touching his back slightly.  He hesitated and then rotated the body.  "Scheisse!" He jumped backwards.

Something rustled in the bushes before him.  He looked up in horror.  "Nein.  Nein!"  He was in the midst of throwing his hands into the air to block whatever was coming at him when his chest tore open, his blood coating a couple of surrounding trees and dyeing the moss crimson.



"Stop it!" Ava screamed.  Her head was very nearly exploding.

"Ava!" Sandy stepped forward, but Ava threw her hand out, warning her back.  Sandy suddenly bashed against a tree, as if hit by a demolition ball.  The tree rocked dangerously, a few roots lifting. Splinters flew out in their direction as the trunk creaked loudly. Blood slipped out from the corner of Sandy's mouth, and her chest hitched.  "Ava...?"

"Oh god."  Ava stumbled towards Sandy through a painful haze, squinting and trying to make her eyes focus.  "Sandy, I didn't mean to.  Oh god."  She reached out to the young woman blindly.  "Oh god."

"I..." Sandy's eyes glazed over slightly and her breathing shallowed.  She passed out.  Ava shook her shoulder, hearing a few bones creak under her touch.

"What are you?" Brady asked from behind her.  He sounded horrified.  She rounded on him.

"It was you!" She screeched.  She was so past rational thought by this point.  She realized that a very, very small part of her was hoping that this Brady could replace her old Brady.  Instead he’d turned out to be insane.  "Oh my god, what have you done?"

"What have I done?  What have you done?” He gestured wildly at Sandy’s broken form pinned against the tree trunk, blood still bubbling from the corner of her mouth. Her chest hitched with progressively weaker breaths.  “How did you do that?”

Ava shook her head, backing away from Sandy.  “What’s your power anyway?  Instant transportation or something?” She laughed deliriously.  “God, the Enterprise wouldn’t need Transporters if you were around.”  She could almost see the tiny unravelling thread that was connecting her to sanity about to break with a snap.

“What are you talking about?  How did you do that?”

“Stop lying, Brady!” she said, her voice suddenly stronger, her tones ironic.  “I know it was you.  I saw that pained look cross your face when Frederick disappeared.  It’s the same I get when I … when I use my ability.”

He continued looking horrified for a moment before the expression melted from his features and morphed into a modest smile.  “Had you going for a moment though, didn’t I?  You wanted to believe it was me, but you had a few doubts.”  He waggled an admonishing finger towards her.

“Why did you wait so long, if you were just going to kill everyone all along?” Ava’s voice broke.  She couldn’t seem to stick with a particular emotion- anger, heartbreak, betrayal, grief… they kept alternating inside her.

“Mostly,” Brady began, pacing slowly in front of her, his hands clasped behind his back looking all the world like this arrogant economics prof she’d had at one time.  She’d hated that professor, which was a big deal, because Ava  didn’t really hate people.  “Because He told me not to.  Y’see, I lied earlier.”

“Yeah, kinda got that,” she muttered scathingly.

He had the audacity to chuckle.  “Yeah, but I meant about my last memory being of feeding my dog.  It was actually this middle-aged guy with yellow eyes coming to talk to me.  He explained this whole thing, how someone he was interested in wasn’t,… How did he put it? ‘Reaching her potential’ and he wanted to stir things up.  And," he paused in his footsteps to look at her smugly.  "If all went well for me, have a new star rise to the top."

"What are you talking about?"

"You've hit a road block, Ava.  Can't seem to move past it.  You don't embrace what or who you are--

"And who is that?" she interrupted.  Anger was finally starting to win over the other emotions.  This man before her, whoever she'd thought he was, hoped he could be, he was far from it.  He was disgusting, and a servant to an even more disgusting power.  She shuddered as a particularly strong wave of fury rolled through her.

"Special," he responded simply.  "You and I, all these people, can do things no one else can.  And yet most of us are too afraid of that power and responsibility to do anything about it."  He took a deep breath.  Ava's fists were clenching at her side. She closed her eyes to try and reign in her anger: it was becoming a bit overwhelming.

“Anyway, enough of this, Ava.  Let’s finish it,” Brady continued after a brief pause.  Ava opened her eyes to see the forest debris at her feet beginning to rise.  She unclenched her hands and the unnatural silence was penetrated by soft thumps as it all hit the ground again.

At the last thump, flowing in from the silence that obliterated sound in their small grove, Ava felt a shift in herself.  The anger filled her, the emotion so huge, Ava felt like she was expanding.  She felt large, certainly much bigger than the wimp of a man who believed he could end her.

Ava raised her eyes to meet his.  “You should diversify your movie-watching, Brady,” she hissed.  “Everything you say sounds like it comes out of a bad B-movie.”  She tilted her head to the side and felt her heart expand as her lungs sucked in excited breaths.  The sight just over his shoulder brought her such an intense feeling of accomplishment that a laugh escaped her lips.  It didn’t escape her notice that it was a bit high pitched and wavery, but that was secondary.

 “And anyway,” she continued finally, as he began to crouch, a glare distorting his once friendly features.  “Monologues are overrated.”

Her demon tore through his chest as a particularly heavy branch snapped off an overhanging tree and smashed into his crumpling body.

His screams were almost musical.

When the eery blonde girl Ava eventually came to consider a loyal servant finished shredding the remains of Ava’s sanity, formerly known as Brady, Ava patted the rough bark on the toppled tree she was sitting on, indicating for the girl to join her.

“Do you think the tree branch was overkill?” she asked, seriously.


   the end

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
vorrothiel
Dec. 20th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
very good, showing how Ava lost it gradually and how she, at first fought to survive, and then to win
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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