Taking place during Adrien's imprisonment and torture at the hands of Pepper.
"Let me go!" Was that scream out loud, or in my head? I couldn't tell anymore. Childish laughter spilled out my lips, or maybe it was only in my head. It matched the laughter that sounded all around me, the playing children I could hear but not see. We love you, daddy!
We know what you did, daddy.
We told you that you'd pay for killing us, daddy.
"Pepper! I know you're there! I can smell you! Let me go! God, please, just let me go!" Let me go, I can't take anymore, another minute hearing them might shatter me. "They want to kill me! Pepper! You can't leave me here like this!" She was there. Why didn't she answer? I could smell her, taste her. Sometimes I thought I could see her, hear her, but the others crowded close and blocked her from me. "You're hiding behind them aren't you? Aren't you?! Bitch! You're dead! You're all dead. I killed every single one of you! You're nothing but bones and worm food. Except you, Pepper. You can't hide among them forever." That laughter! The children tormented me, laughed at me. Daddy, we like her. Daddy, you deserve this. You can't hurt her, daddy, she's one of us now, in your head and torturing you from the inside out!
Roses. Again with the goddamned roses. I hated the things. The smell made me sick. The cloying scent clung to me and tried to choke me. And here it was, in the room with me. There she was, my tormentor, clothed in black. "Bitch! You'll die for this!" I tried to lunge at her. I know I pulled hard on the chains pinning me to the wall. My own chains. "Whore! Come closer so I can rip out your throat! Let me go!"
Pain! White-hot and blinding, shot straight through my heart. I cried out, until the stake stole all signs of life from me. Pepper! You will die. This I promise you. You are already dead to me. Hands on my body, then. Soft hands and honeyed soap to wash the blood away. Bitch! Get your filthy hands off me! Oh God, it burns! Take the stake out! Take it out, it hurts! Wait, what are you doing? Bitch, get your mouth off me! If I could only move! Then I'd make you take it!
We like her, daddy. She's nice.
"Fuck you! Fuck you all! Dirty whore! You like playing my games, Pepper? Come closer, and I'll let you see inside my head for real! What's a little madness between lovers? Lovers!" I spit blood at her naked cunt. Maybe it would infect her. Probably not. One could only hope. "I trusted you!" I trusted her. Trusted the black widow that writhed on the bed. Pinned to the wall, blinded, trussed with my own chains. How dare she? How dare she?
How dare she? I laughed. I couldn't help it. Too funny! I laughed and laughed. All that time, and she'd been betraying me to them. The ghosts that taunted me, tormented me, sang to me and laughed at me. The ghosts that hungered for vengeance. She'd given me to them. Had always known they were there. I laughed and laughed. She was dead to me. Dead as they were. I laughed until I was silent and empty, a hollow shell hung in chains.
Not even the stake shoving its way into my flesh could fill that emptiness.