thepainted_lady: (The things you've gone and told me)
[Mohinder is [ profile] capableof_both and mine to use for purposes of this fic/verse. Samuel is [ profile] offering_hope, Sylar is [ profile] heroslayer and both are mentioned with permission. Edgar is not aimed at any particular muse, 'cause we don't have an Edgar in 'verse. :-D]

He was watching her again. He did that a lot, those dark eyes burning across the arid ground, boring into bared, painted skin like he could peel it back with a look and expose even more of her. What was he looking for, she wondered. Some proof of her perfidy, no doubt. That he didn't trust Samuel and trusted her even less she didn't need her ability to know, though neither of them had given him any reason for such virulent mistrust. Hadn't she vacated Sylar's bed and left it to him with nary an argument? Hadn't Samuel offered him a place, a home, a family, when he'd been lost and wandering, rejected for the things he'd done by even those who once claimed to be his closest friends? He'd killed. He'd tortured. He'd maimed. She knew what he was, what blackened his soul as surely as it soaked through others' here, and yet, there he sat in his bright linen, peeling an apple, watching her as if she were something less than him.

Why? What had she done to him, ever? Shared the bed of the man he loved? He couldn't say he'd not bedded anyone else but Sylar. She'd told Sylar no lies, done nothing but give him comfort when he was lost, something and someone to cling to, a haven from the storm. Was it because she belonged to someone else? Samuel knew where she was, what she'd done, had sent her to do it, even, to make the former killer at home. It hadn't been a hardship. Was that the good doctor's problem? Not that she'd gone to Sylar's bed, but that she'd done it at Samuel's direction, for purposes other than lust or love? Well, other than love. Even without his memory, Sylar remembered what to do in the bedroom, and she hadn't needed to pretend much of anything, though that was a secret she'd keep close to herself. Samuel's jealousy was the last thing they needed added to the mix.

An itching sensation crawled along her skin and she finally threw down the trowel from the ditch she'd been digging. Another pair of dark eyes snapped up, catching the movement, and then another, and another, and she knew full well that three others watched her progress across the stretch of ground that separated her from the Indian. She didn't stop, even so, not until she was enough into his space that Mohinder was forced to straighten to meet her, something vaguely like alarm in his eyes.

'What is your problem?' she asked, voice low, but hard. )
thepainted_lady: (Caught)
They hadn't bound or drugged her, once they realized her power was nothing she could use to either attack or defend with, just left her in the barren cell, with it's bed and sink and a single chair, the too bright light-bulb hanging overhead. It wasn't turned off, night or day, and she'd lost all sense of how much time had passed. Her lips were parched dry in the air conditioned chill of the room, and no amount of water from the tap of the sink did any good. They'd taken her clothes, given her blue pajamas instead, and the feel of pants after so many years of nothing but skirts and dresses felt invasive instead of freeing. They weren't her things, this wasn't her place, and shut off in this room with its glass window out into an equally sterile hallway, she couldn't feel anything--she wasn't herself anymore, not in any way that mattered. Closing her eyes, she tried to pull the faces of her family to mind, but the whirl of energy and color of the carnival seemed like another world.

They wanted to find the carnival, wanted to find the others, thought they might be dangerous, and she was the map they sought to use, to show them what they needed to see to find what they desired most. They asked her about it, about them, about home, about her family, when they did come. She didn't answer. They held on to her, trying to make her tattoos move, forcing polluted ink into her skin that mottled there in ugly splotches before absorbing and fading away, soaking somewhere into her system and making her feel sick for hours afterwards. They tried more intimate contact, one's lips clinging to hers, hands on her while the other observed the patterns on her skin for any change, and cursed at her when there was none. Her gift, at least, she could keep from them, shutting down emotionally, cutting herself off from each touch, each dark intent that seemed to try and claw its way inside of her, wanting to imprint on her skin and into her soul. They were too ugly to see, too malignant to allow purchase, so she cut herself off from every touch, every shiver of dark emotion they tried to press into her.

Isolation had its own price, though, as the growing unreality stretched itself out. She wouldn't eat, ignoring the food, not even doing it the courtesy of a glance or pushing it away. She ignored them, too, eyes closing as she tried to send herself somewhere else, away from the needles they poked into her and the drugs that slid through her meant to reduce her resistance and open her consciousness back up to usefulness. They made her feel that way, yes, but they couldn't make her concentrate, couldn't make her focus to pull what they needed, and the images on her skin twisted into the things of nightmares when she screamed.

After a while, they left her alone, frustrated and angry, with a tube shoved down her throat regularly and a needle in her arm to make sure she stayed alive, though she heard them discussing leaving off such measures and letting her fade away completely. She wished they would, but she didn't have the will to fight them, either.

She drifted, not conscious, but not sleeping, for what could have been days or years, aching and bruised, some part of her curled up and crying while the rest of her remained pulled apart from the world. The warm touch on her arm was barely noted at first, but it stayed, it stroked over her skin slowly, gently, and in her weakened state, she couldn't block the frisson of mingled horror and compassion she felt along that simple touch. The straps at her wrist loosened, and she had the sense that she could move, if she tried, though she couldn't quite care enough to bring herself to dare try. Those at her ankles loosened as well, then fell away, and she felt warm arms slide around her, lifting her. A soft sound of protest escaped.

"'s all right. I'm going to get you out of here. I'm going to take you home," an accented voice murmured, and though she couldn't quite place the cadence, or find the will to open her eyes, she managed to shift enough to wrap her arms around his neck as he carried her, and somehow she believed him.


thepainted_lady: (Default)

October 2011

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