Pairing: None, gen.
Summary: Sam's group wasn't the first.
Notes/Acknowledgments: Betad by waterofthemoon. Remix of And You Will Know Her By the Trail of Dead by lunabee34 for Remix Redux 9: Love Potion No. 9.
Cherie lasts the longest of her group. Ava isn't even the one to take her out—it's some girl named Amy who does it. Amy wraps Cherie's sentient hair, wriggling and squirming like she's Medusa or one of her sisters; around Cherie's neck and squeezes and squeezes with that superglue grip she has until Cherie and her hair stop moving.
Amy gets taken out after that by Scarlett and her pyrokinetic ways. They both go up in flame and smoke, and the smell of burnt flesh and hair is something that Ava doesn't think will ever come out of her clothes.
Stacy turns invisible, and it buys her time.
But invisible means nothing when you're covered in blood, and Erin's artery sprayed so far and messy.
Ava finds her by the well and makes her drown herself in the bucket she was using to get herself clean.
She misses her old life sometimes. Can't remember ever being that girl who laughed because something was funny instead of because she just couldn't get her body not to.
She talks to Brady between groups. She summons him and talks at his ghost, ignoring the blood oozing out of the gashes that never close, and pretends that everything is normal again.
Jessica Rene is smaller than Ava with delicate features and sharp, small little bones that snap loudly when she hits the wall.
Mind reader. She knew as soon as she saw Ava, so the whole sobbing and scared act went out the window.
It makes Ava happy—or what passes for happy anymore. Crying and screaming is so exhausting, and all she wants to do is sleep.
He calls her Princess, and he has a Stetson that makes her think of Kenny Chesney and eyes the color of her mother's old locket.
"That's better," he tells her. "But I just don't think you really are good enough."
She wants his approval so much more than she ever wanted her father's, and she can't even understand why.
Robby's death is a blank spot. She supposes that's normal, but it disappoints her nonetheless.
That was back when she could still feel fear—back when someone attacking her caused a reaction besides mild curiosity and boredom.
She wonders about him sometimes. If he was like her once, or like she was once. Maybe he had never been normal, had always been a killer.
She went to school with Elisa. She was friends with her until they escaped to different colleges, and there's something in her stomach that she thinks could be happiness.
It lasts until Elisa's head splits open like a ripe cantaloupe. Ava didn't do it. Elisa tripped—she'd always been clumsy, even when they were little, and her arms wind-milled like a cartoon character as she went backwards off of the porch steps and onto the wet ground with its sharp, sharp rocks.
Elisa's clothes fade grey as the life slips slowly out of her, dingy and plain. Drab.
It stops being hard after that.
Kevin cries for his mommy, and Ava mocks his tears and laughs in his face, and it even almost feels real for a few minutes.
Greg's neck snaps in her hands with strength she never had before.
She dreams of Sam and his brother, of them coming to find her, to save her, and to make everything better.
The man in the Stetson is displeased with her. "Don't you think about hurting my boy," he says. He's grinning his disgusting grin and has the Stetson over his heart, a mockery of his words.
Ava doesn't need some white knight to come save her. She's bigger and stronger, and, most importantly, she doesn't want to die.
She embraces her fate. Steps back from her old self and lets the blood flow.
"We don't have to do this," Ava says.
Coleen smiles and tilts her head, and everything starts to go black.
Ava doesn't think, just reacts on instinct, and then Coleen is a mess of gore and sinew, and there's a dirty, little girl with long blonde hair and bloody claws where her hands should be.
Her head tilts like Coleen's, and she grins a horrifying grin at Ava and just stands there. Like a puppy waiting for a treat.
The dreams turn.
When she gets bored, she writes stories about them in her heads.
Carl was from Georgia, and his girlfriend was Miss Georgia Peach 2006. His dad was a functional alcoholic who slurred his way through parent-teacher meetings and embarrassed him at t-ball games. His mom never left the house without looking like she'd taken six hours to get ready, which she did.
Ava doesn't thinks about her family.
She doesn't think about her mother and father in Boca Raton or how worried they must be. She vehemently does not think about her baby cousin who always wanted her to come visit or her ungrateful boss who probably hasn't even realized she hasn't been to work in who knows how many months.
She decides to just kill Tuesday's group all at once: one big swoop and get the group gone before they can get their heads out of their asses.
"You know," Stetson starts, lounging back in a chair. "I underestimated you, Princess."
Ava preens in her dream and feels something she hasn't felt in so long that she can't even remember what it's called anymore.
"You're not as soft as I thought you were," he says. "You just might make yourself a good general yet."
She wakes up before she can ask anything, and the feeling is gone once her eyes open.
She kills and kills and kills and nothing changes.
She sleeps through her days off, after she's killed one group but before the next one's have been brought in, and she never lets herself get bored or think too long about any one thing in particular.
Food appears at random, bottles of her favorite water and steaks so rare and bloody her jaw hurts from chewing them.
She changes things up.
The next group, she makes friends. And it's almost fun when she strings them up by her intestines.
There's a lull, and the next group doesn't show up for almost a week.
She thinks this is going to be fun.