welcometoinnsmouth: (Default)
[personal profile] welcometoinnsmouth posting in [community profile] hso2012_r3s3
Summary: The only way that Roxy knows her mother is from watching her die.

Characters: Rose, Roxy, Dave, the Condesce
Ships: Rose<3Roxy


Category One:
Tags Present: Incest, gore
Tags Not Used: No other Cat.1 tags apply.

Category Two:
Tags Present: Character death
Tags Not Used: No other Cat.2 tags apply.






Sometimes you think your mom can do anything. Drain the ocean, beat the shit out of the Batterwitch, bring everything back to like it should be.

And then you realize that oh right, she’s dead.

But you wish she could see you now.
You think she’d be proud of you, feeding your neighbours and metaphorically flipping a totally righteous double-bird to Her Imperious Douchebagginess.
You can certainly see her, as you’re sprawled out on a pile of cushions in front of your laptop, shotglass in hand and a bottle of Absolut at a safe distance as the night drags on.
You have all the interviews, all the footage, all of it, and you’ve watched every second a dozen times over, even the part where she dies.

You hate that part.
You hate that part more than anything.

But you watch it anyway, because it’s the only way that you can be close to her.

All you can do is watch.

As this portion of the interview draws to a close (a Conan segment on a possible Complacency of the Learned movie adaptation), you hit pause as you’ve done so many times before. It’s habitual by this point.

You touch your fingertips to the screen and trace the line of her brow, the faint digital smudge of her cheekbones, the little quirk in her lips when she tries not to laugh.


This is the closest that you will ever be.


You close Windows Media Player and pull up the next clip. This one isn’t a show Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience ™, but grainy security footage from the deck of a battleship. How you got it wasn’t totally legal, but fuck that, because you have it now.

It’s really all that you have.

You never knew your mom.

Maybe by watching her, she’ll feel you there at some impossible point in time. You know it’s stupid, that the universe doesn’t work like that, but you’ll do it anyway.

You play the video.

. . . . . . . .

The thought that lurks in the back of your mind, as ever, is that you ache. Your legs ache from walking, from climbing, from dodging and running, and your arms and shoulders ache from killing, killing, killing.
You are not as young as you once were, not as capable, not as vigorous.
But you still have the capacity for slaughter, especially when bent to this greatest of causes.

You know that you will not win.

You have seen it in the bleaker hours of the night, when you let your mind tendril out into the blackness inside of your skull and find your destiny limned in fire.
That isn’t about to stop you from trying, however.


Dave has gone on ahead, sword in hand and grim-faced as he’s been these past few years. In all likelihood, he’s reached the deck already; he has always been faster than you, and he is even now in the grey and unrelenting winter of your lives. If he ever noticed, he never said anything.
It doesn’t matter now. Nothing you do will, as the outcome has written itself.

It suddenly strikes you as amusing that for years, you swore up and down that you would never make it past fifty.

Well, you had been right.



You ascend the last flight of stairs, ignoring the protestations of your knees.


. . . . . . . .

The waiting is the worst part. Waiting for the inevitable, for the witch to win, for the trident to gleam and the thrlkch as it goes through Mom’s stomach.

But you always wait. You need to see.


It’s the only way you can see her at all.

. . . . . . . .

She towers above the both of you, sleek and predatory, arc-horned and bedecked with the trophies of a thousand conquests, culling fork gleaming golden and lethal in the thin light from the sullen orange-glowing bulbs studding the deck.

Her Imperious Condescension is every inch a queen.

You suppose that makes your little break-in a regicide in progress.


Surprisingly, she smiles. “You are very bold, Seer, to defy me so.”

. . . . . . . .

You know her response by heart, and say it with her as you’ve done on a thousand nights like this. “I suppose I am,” you whisper, “because—“

. . . . . . . .

“—because someone has to.”

Your brother simply raises one finger in solemn salute.



The tyrant responsible for the genocide of your entire planet simply tilts her head to one side, and her facial fins flutter for a moment in faint amusement. “Your temerity is almost admirable. Still, it’s a pity that you refuse to accept your rightful extinction like the rest of your disgusting breed.”

The tines on one head of her double trident rise to point in condemnation. “I’ll just have to put you down myself.”

Dave is the first to move, a streak of steel and silent fury.

The Condesce swats him aside with one hand as though she’s dealing with an angry kitten. He catches himself before he can fall as you ready your needles; a bead of sweat runs down his forehead and into his greying sideburns while she advances.
He is so tired. Both of you are.

He brings his katana up in a rising slash.

What happens next is terribly fast, and just because you know how it ends doesn’t make it hurt any less.

The Condesce catches it in the points of her trident and twists; there is a horrified, ringing metallic crack, and Dave is left holding half a sword.
Almost too swiftly to see, she shifts her weapon to the other hand, grabs his hand (you can hear the bones break as she
twists), and slams the blade straight through his ribcage with a sick krlnch.

Contemptuously, she releases her hold and shoves him away.

Dave staggers backward for a moment, raises his maimed hand halfway, and then crumples to the deck.
There is a tiny crunching noise as his shades shatter on impact.

It takes one, two, three agonizing seconds for you to realize that your brother is dead.

And then you scream.

. . . . . . . .

No matter how many times you hear it, you’re never going to get over that scream.

Sometimes you hear it in your head on the long, lonely nights where you haven’t drunk enough to eventually pass out.

It hurts you.

But it hurts your mother more.
You can see it in her face, fury and sorrow carved in every line, it hurts her so fucking much, and all you want to do is drag her from her inevitable doom and kiss her into silence so that she can mourn.

Your eyes begin to burn.

You hate this part.
You hate this part so much.

. . . . . . . .

You scream hard enough for your throat to burn raw.

You scream hard enough that something dark coils at the edge of your vision and a burbling deep-water voice whispers to rip and rend and ruin, to drown your anguish in tyrian-purple blood.

You scream hard enough for an unspoken question to rise to your lips that you cannot know and cannot answer, and since you do not ask it the deep-water voice falls silent and the blackness peels away from your sight.

You scream until something in your chest tears, and you charge the Condesce amidst the echoes of your grief.

. . . . . . . .

You wish she hadn’t fought.

You wish she’d run.

Maybe she would have lived a little longer.

Maybe if she’d fled then, run to the depths of the Batterwitch’s ship, she could have done something, found something, anything to get her out of there.

Maybe she could have managed some weird time shit and ended up here. You know what grief feels like, even if it’s hundreds of years old; you could have consoled her, kissed her tears away as you told her how sorry you were.

No.

There’s no point in fantasy.

Your mom is dead.

The lip of the bottle clinks against your glass as you refill it yet again, and something wet runs down the side of your nose.
. . . . . . . .

The Condesce
grins as though this was what she wanted all along, as if she’s proud of herself, the bitch.

That changes when one of your needles gouges her cheek. The grin flips to a sharklike baring of teeth, and her free hand smashes your nose. You see spots of white light for a moment before the pain brings you back to the here and now, and you sink a needle into her upper arm. She shrieks as though mortally wounded – perhaps no one has had the nerve to strike her in millennia – and sinks her teeth into your shoulder. Despite the searing pain as teeth tear through your flesh, you take the closeness as a blessing; from here you could reach an eye, from here you can
kill--

With your other hand you jab towards her face; she seizes your wrist with one hand, but in your fury you are much stronger, and the point moves inexorably towards her right eye, and you are so close, so close, you can see her eyes widen at the realization that she will not stop you, cannot stop you, and you are so close, and--

and--

The strength goes out of your arm.

Why can’t you finish?

She lets go of your shoulder and wrist and smiles, crimson-mouthed and triumphant.


Oh.



You look down to see a foot of gold buried in your gut.


. . . . . . . .


Your hand is digging into your stomach in sympathy like it always does.

Oh god, you just want to get her out of there.

But it's too late.

It’s been too late for four hundred years.

. . . . . . . .


Her Imperious Condescenscion places one heeled foot on your chest and kicks you off of her weapon like a speared fish.
There is a faint
skritch as the middle tine protests its removal from your spinal column.

You collapse to the deck in a heap, staring up at your murderer not in disbelief, but in resignation.

This is how you die, helpless and hopeless at the hands of a tyrant.



A tear meanders down your cheek, and you curse your body for that one small weakness.


. . . . . . . .


You don’t hate seeing her vulnerable.

You hate seeing her despair.

There’s nothing more you want than to hold her close and say hey, chica, don’t cry. Heroes don’t cry.

Your mom is a hero.


More importantly, she’s your hero.


You take another drink, and the tears spill into your glass.


. . . . . . . .



You can’t feel your legs.

Or much of anything, really.

For one guilty, fleeting moment, you wish that she’d been merciful enough to kill you first, so that you would not have to see your brother die.
But desire will not make the world quiver and tear itself to pieces for your sake.
It never has.

You’re surprised at how difficult it is for you to force your hand to curl around your needle, but not at how your grip gives out halfway through.

So this is the end of the play.
Pity that the last act ended so badly.

But then again, that’s the only way that it could possibly go.


There is a brief starkness to your vision, a merciless sort of clarity before it begins to dim.

It’s funny what you notice, here at the end.

As it becomes more difficult to keep thinking in distinct concepts, your thoughts blur towards your mother.

. . . . . . . .

But the thing with heroes—

. . . . . . . .

Sometimes you thought that your mother could do anything – protect you from any looming threat, vanquish the horrors of the night, tear the world asunder just for you.

And then you realized that she was only human.



You hope that she cannot see you now.



You are so sorry.

Oh, Mother, you are so, so sorry.

. . . . . . . .

--is that heroes can die, too.


You hit pause again and run your thumb over the screen as you always, always do in a stupid, futile attempt to brush the tear from her cheek.

You’re so sorry.

Oh, Mom, you’re so, so sorry.

Date: 2012-07-25 01:32 pm (UTC)
tehstripe: (johnvriska)
From: [personal profile] tehstripe
Wow this was just utterly gut-wrenching. When reading Dave's death I felt like I was the one who had been stabbed through the chest, and I felt like Roxy through the whole thing, wanting Rose to win or get out of there, even though canon already spoiled the ending. I also really liked your usage of the prompt!

All of this was excellent.

Date: 2012-07-26 01:12 pm (UTC)
mirroreuler: Bee standing on a crystal mountain (Homestuck2)
From: [personal profile] mirroreuler
Urgh, oh god, this is so sad, I'm legit crying here right now. :( So heart-wrenching... The fic you wrote for the first round already broke me enough, now you have to do it again?! :P But seriously, this is so good, I could just FEEL Roxy's pain as she watched the video... :'(

Date: 2012-08-13 09:05 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] noveltyhorns
Gorgeous writing, again, and an excellent fit for this prompt. It's hard to format a fic in this style that flows elegantly, but this clearly does.

Date: 2012-08-17 10:57 pm (UTC)
lionpyh: A glass liquor bottle with a panther shape molded into the glass. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lionpyh
It's been too late for four hundred years.

AUGHHHHHHHHHHH. This is lovely, in the trident-to-the-reader's-chest sort of way. This idea, just to start with, that there's a video, and Roxy watches it. Everything from this team has been so mercilessly good.

Date: 2012-08-19 01:35 am (UTC)
drbl1ndlov3: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drbl1ndlov3
Congratulations, you win actual tears. Beautifully written. ;-;

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