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[personal profile] last01standing

Title: Paved With Good Intentions
Rating: PG-13 ‘cause of violence
Characters: Ava
Spoilers: All Hell Breaks Loose (part one)
Summary: Ava, the five months in between.
Author’s note:  I am working very hard to stay SPOILER FREE. Please don’t tell me anything about the finale.

Paved With Good Intentions

 
On the first day’s she’s terrified. She wakes up lying on some splintered slab of wood in the middle of an abandoned ghost town. She pushes herself to her feet and realizes that there’s blood on her hands. It’s not her’s.

 
“Brady,” she whispers and her voice echoes through the empty streets. “Oh God, oh God.”

 
“Is someone there?” a voice calls in reply.

 
His name is Gray. He’s tall and skinny with his bright red hair and great dark eyes. He has freckles. Ava latches onto him and won’t let go. “I woke up here,” she babbles, “I went to sleep with my fiancé, Brady and I wake up here in the middle of nowhere…”

 
It’s not just them either. There are six that first time, Gray and Kyle and Steph and Lynn and Van and her, Ava. Six strangers with no connection, no real ties, just normal everyday people. Steph’s in grad school, Kyle’s a computer technician, Ava’s getting married.

 
And they’re just setting up for the night when Van tilts his head sideways, staring at the back of Gray’s head. “So,” he says casually, though no one had spoken. “You can start fires.”

 
That’s when things start to come out. Gray can start fires and Van can read minds and Lynn can electrocute things with a touch and Kyle’s got command of all things mechanical while all her and Steph do is dream. She can’t help but be a little disappointed because compared to pyrokenesis, she got completely shafted.

 
On the third day, she’s standing over Van’s charred body as Gray rounds on her. “I liked you, Ava, I really did, but I’m not quite ready to die and it’s either you or me and.” She can see a flicker of red behind his eyes.

 
She knows the rules now, got the first hand story from the man with yellow eyes in her dreams. It’s her or Gray. Sweet gentle Gray who’d talked her through her panic and had them all laughing when they should have been in tears.

 
She likes Gray.

 
But he’d killed the rest of them and if she doesn’t act fast, he’s going to kill her too.

 
Self defense, she tells herself, it’s all in self defense.

________________________________________________________________________

 
It takes her a full day to wash the blood off. She spends her day crouched by the well pulling up bucket after bucket of water and scrubs until her hands are red and raw and then she cries.

 
When she goes back into town, the bodies are gone just like they’ve never been there. No body swinging from the windmill, no charred bodies littering the ground. Ava doesn’t know if that makes things better or worse.

 
In one of the empty houses, she finds food, an entire banquet sprayed out before her.

 
She isn’t hungry.

________________________________________________________________________

 
There’s a new group four days after that, terrified all of them, just like she had been only a week before.

 
And this time, she steps up, tries to be the leader. Explains what she cans and attempts to get them the hell out of dodge. Away from this damn ghost town and back into the world of free thinking and sanity.

 
It doesn’t work. Ava had suspected it, of course, had spent much of her sixth day trying to find her way out of the woods only to find that all roads lead straight back down to hell.

 
She tries anyway, and it’s not her fault that the demon or whatever the hell it is won’t let them leave. She watches the black smoke descend on her new companions on Kate and Zack and Jones and Gary and barely stifles a scream.

 
Then the demon turns on her, a deadly swirl of black mist.

 
“Stop,” she tells it firmly. “No.”

 
And the crazy thing is; it listens.

________________________________________________________________________

 
There’s another group, another set of powers and this time Ava plays along with the rest of them. The smallest guy surprises them all by pulling everyone together, keeping them calm. He’s the only one who doesn’t admit to powers, who smiles and winks and says he must just be the dud of the group.

 
That night Ava has one of her dreams, of skinny little normal Jacob standing over bodies.

 
And the very next morning she makes sure it doesn’t happen. Calls on the swirling black mist and lets it rip Jacob apart.

 
Things unravel quickly after that. Later, standing over a pair of eviscerated bodies she’ll think that maybe that was Jacob’s power, making order out of chaos, causing the outlandishly strange to feel perfectly natural.

 
And she’ll regret it, just a little.

________________________________________________________________________

 
She loses track of how long she’s been here. She loses track of just how many people have passed through, just knows that it’s them or her and little by little, she’s less inclined to talk to them and more inclined to pick them off one by one.

 
She stops asking names because it’s easier this way. There are no more Jacobs, no more Grays, just faceless competitors. The skinny little blonde skank, that jack-ass who lets his eyes linger for just too long on things that aren’t her face, the one who looks like the girl who tortured her in high school.

 
Some groups last longer than others. Some groups don’t make it through the first night. Only Ava remains constant.

 
She gets better. The dreams are only the beginning. She lifts a knife with nothing but her mind; she calls on the black smoke with a little focus.

 
After a while, she finds that she can make the smoke take shape. It’s a fascinating process. A dark-haired telekinetic meets his demise at the end at the hands of the marshmallow man. A nervous blonde girl finds her end with the loch nest monster.

 
Ava laughs when she’s alone. Congratulates herself with a thick sloppy sandwich smothered in mayo while outside, the demon works its magic. In the mornings, cold and crisp, the town’s empty again, just her.

 
She finally settles on a pale-faced little girl with claws instead of fingers, because she’s always been scared of that sort of ghost. It’s the last vestige of her home. Her and Brady curled up on their bed watching bad horror movies

 
Sometimes she wonders what happened to him, if he thought she ran away, if he’s moved past her and moved on. She’s going to see him again. She’s got to believe that. But she never lets herself dwell on him for too long.

 
There will be more people soon.

________________________________________________________________________

 
She takes an immediate dislike to the next group. There’s a cocky Asian guy with a smug smile, a green-eyed girl with a perpetual sneer and this plain looking guy with freckles who sees straight through her.

 
They manage to lock her in one of the buildings. Ava curses herself for her mistake.

 
Then she, brings her hands up to her temples, concentrates on the demon and makes them pay.

________________________________________________________________________

 
It’s a day and a half before she hears voices again. One of them sounds distressingly familiar, like someone she knew in another life. But she’s bone tired, starving and can’t really bring herself to care.

 
So she breathes in the stale stench of rotting wood and screams.

 
After all, as far as they’re concerned, it’s day one.

 
And they’ll expect her to be terrified.

(end)

(no subject)

13/5/07 02:46 (UTC)
ext_12410: (the dean show - spn love overwhelms)
Posted by [identity profile] tsuki-no-bara.livejournal.com
oooh. i like this! i wondered what the demon might have said to ava the five months she was in that town and how she figured out how to expand her powers, and i really like how you detail her slide into evil, from last-minute self-preservation against a guy she actually kind of liked to taking people out as soon as she can. she doesn't just stop asking names, but starts to think of the new people in antagonistic terms - the sleazy guy, the smug guy, the girl who looked like someone who tormented ava in high school. makes it easier to kill them if you concentrate on their bad qualities. also? nifty explanation for how she got locked in that building.

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:41 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
For me Ava getting locked in the building was the wierdest part of the whole episode because it just seems so careless considering how well she's able to play this group...

Glad you liked this!

(no subject)

13/5/07 03:06 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ewanspotter.livejournal.com
That ending is really kind of haunting. Nice job.

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:42 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Heh. The ending's totally my favorite part. Thanks.

(no subject)

13/5/07 06:51 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ultraviolet9a.livejournal.com
This is very nice. Ties in gorgeously with canon and is totally believable. And makes the progression into her...uh...darth vader nature very smooth.

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:42 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Hee! Ava as darth vadar. I like the analogy! Thanks for reading!

(no subject)

13/5/07 14:11 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] vesuvianite.livejournal.com
*Excellent* story. You did a great job of explaining how the nice, "I'm freaking out here" girl we met in "Hunted" could progress to the cunning killer we saw in "All Hell Breaks Loose".

Just goes to show how "adaptable" we human beings are....

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thanks. I watched AHBL1 twice and that progression grabbed me both times. GLad I could do it justice.

(no subject)

13/5/07 16:17 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] superdork37.livejournal.com
Oh wow, this was so wonderful! I loved seeing Ava's sloe descent into evil and how she rationalized it :D

(no subject)

13/5/07 20:31 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] babelmira.livejournal.com
Lovely Job. It's hard to hate Ava, because if it's them or me, damn straight it's them. And who doesn't want power?

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:47 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Oh, I so want telekenesis. How awesome would that be. Despite how much I loved Andy, I really can't blaime Ava as much as I like to...

(and hey [livejournal.com profile] astrothsknot *waves.* Nice to see you again! This is totally [livejournal.com profile] spastic_visions's alter ego.)

(no subject)

13/5/07 21:14 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] scornedsaint.livejournal.com
Dammit, Paige, you got to this before I did. Mine is all written up in a notebook and I didn't have any time to type it up and now you go and post yours and it's really, really, really good.

I'd hate you if you weren't my friend. But as it is, I looooove this. So creepy and just quiet, if that makes any sense at all. It's very understated, thus making it creepier.

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:43 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
OO! POST YOURS POST YOURS! We all know it'll be soooo much better than mine because of your total kinship with Ava! And also, it's your SPN debute! Don't let me stop you!!!

(no subject)

14/5/07 02:19 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] nekare.livejournal.com
Oh, just incredible! I loved how very much like canon this fe, and the way Ava looses her humanity bit by bit is just chilling and so very well portrayed. And the ending is just awesome, so very creepy. :)

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:48 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thank you! Creepy was totally the aim. +) <---cyclops smilie.

(Sorry, I'm just a bit hyper now 'cause THE FINALE's on in t-minus 12 minutes!)

(no subject)

14/5/07 16:29 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] shadow-of-doubt.livejournal.com
I love how you filled in Ava's story in Frontierland. Great fic!

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:48 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading!

(no subject)

14/5/07 22:00 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] esorlehcar.livejournal.com
This is so natural and believable, the slow progression, the stages Ava goes through before aceepting that this is who she is and this is what she does. It works really well as an Ava character study, but even more, I love how well it shows what could have so easily happened to Sam, which just makes the whole thing even more unsettling.

(no subject)

18/5/07 00:50 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Glad it works on a character study level as well. Honestly I thought I had a good grasp on Ava before this episode and this just *threw* me. Thanks for reading.

(no subject)

18/5/07 08:50 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kres.livejournal.com
Awesome. I was waiting for a story like this - I knew there would be one, at some point.

The bit I liked best? Jacob the normal guy. That's a very creepy, very good power.

:)=

(no subject)

15/6/07 00:20 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Glad you found mine. How much Ava changed was just facinating to me and I loved playing with the different potential powers. Good fun all around. =)

Thanks for reading

(no subject)

4/7/07 17:12 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] wentbacktobed.livejournal.com
Oh wow, that was just buckets of awesome. I haven't read another fic that deals with Ava's time and the moment I saw the summary I was all, oh that idea has so much potential, and then you just filled it and then some. Haunting and gritty and so so believable.

I love how you sorted out the whole being locked in the building thing, that always felt a little like a plot-hole to me and it was nice to see a realistic explanation for it.

But she’s bone tired, starving and can’t really bring herself to care. So she breathes in the stale stench of rotting wood and screams. After all, as far as they’re concerned, it’s day one. This bit got me especially, just that sense of hopeless bitter killing.

I'll stop gushing now, but &hearts:.

(no subject)

4/7/07 20:10 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much. Your comment certainly brought a big grin to my face. Me and [livejournal.com profile] thenewradical who absolutely adored Ava got into a discussion about how and when she went evil (and then it degenerated to OMG! SHE DID NOT JUST KILL ANDY). But I can back and *poof!* fic. Call me crazy, but I love watching people slip down the path to evil and five months is a long time to kill.

...Thanks again for reading!

(no subject)

10/8/07 04:34 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] girl-wonder.livejournal.com
really interesting. I've been kind of fascinated with the idea of Ava having to survive for so long in a gladiatorial world. Good job fleshing that out.

(no subject)

5/9/07 22:16 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
(I'm on a replying kick, and I was way behind, can you tell?)

This one's blaimed entirely on [livejournal.com profile] thenewradical who was crazy in love with ava and then shocked by the twist. I got to talking to her and then to playing with this and bam, fic. Thanks for reading!

(no subject)

25/10/07 19:12 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] twistingflame.livejournal.com
Oh, awesome. This is now totally canon for me. Gorgeous.

(no subject)

21/1/08 04:19 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
So I realize I'm something like three months behind with replying to your comment but I wanted to say thanks.

(no subject)

29/12/07 23:17 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sacrilicious.livejournal.com
Just letting you know that this fic was recced here (http://community.livejournal.com/crack_impala/82890.html) in this week's Blast From The Past at [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala. Rock on!

(no subject)

21/1/08 04:20 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
(waaaaay behind on comments)

Thank you so much for the rec. That's just beyond awesome.

(no subject)

20/1/08 10:25 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] bofoddity.livejournal.com
Here through [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala. This was such an excellent take on Ava, and the slow loss of her humanity feels natural and believable. The ending is especially creepy.

(no subject)

21/1/08 04:20 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for reading. It was a fun character exploration. Glad you liked it.

(no subject)

17/8/08 12:33 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] knittedshadow.livejournal.com
Gosh, this fic has been listed on my favourites for like a year and I've only just realised I never actually commented on how much I love it. So apologies. But dude, I love this fic like burning. It's such an awesome concept and you've made Ava's downward spiral so haunting and believable.

Like Ava laughs when she’s alone. Congratulates herself with a thick sloppy sandwich smothered in mayo while outside, the demon works its magic. I can see it exactly like this, where habits of the normal world slowly slide into this really twisted new reality. It's creepy as hell. ♥

(no subject)

17/8/08 12:51 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Hey, no worries. I do that with fics all the time. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

(no subject)

9/12/08 00:58 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] spankulert.livejournal.com
This does a very nice job illustrating how Ava took shape to become who she was in AHBL Pt1. Thanks for sharing :)

(no subject)

9/12/08 06:01 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thank you for reading.

(also, icon LOVE)

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