Growing Pains

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,034
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
The moment Lily disappeared, the entire sky opened in a reflection of Ava's emotional turmoil, bucketing heavy rain and causing all of Paris to be under a massive thunderstorm. Lily was there, then she was gone just as quickly, and Ava had no idea where the woman had taken her. She knew her father well enough to know Lily's caretaker would immediately go to him and tell him that Ava knew, but that opened up the possibility of Stavros completely disappearing with Lily and never resurfacing again. The thought made Ava heave out and almost vomit, her arm clutching at her stomach.

FLASH

Ava was sick most of the morning, stationing herself next to the toilet for easy access. But her stomach finally started to feel at ease giving her a reprieve from the hard tile floor. Standing, her hand went to the bathroom door handle to open it when she stopped, hearing whispers coming from her suite.

Helena: "How is she?"

Stavros: "Sick. The doctors say it's normal."

Helena: "Thank GOD I never decided to procreate."

Stavros: "That's not why I called you here, Helena. She is still asking about the father."

Helena: "Well this wouldn’t be an issue if we just had Diana turn her into a vegetable for the duration of her pregnancy."


Stavros: "We’re not turning my daughter into a vegetable, Helena."

Helena: "Funny how you’re protective of her now Stavros, but you were ready and willing to whore her out to my prince."


FLASH

Her arms circled around his back, pulling him tightly against her as her body shuddered under his. She moaned out his name, telling him to keep going, the crave for his touch intoxicating.

"Alek..."

FLASH


Completely stunned, Alek's name echoed in her head over and over and over until finally Ava heard another name calling out from afar.

John: "Ava!"

John came running up, kneeling in front of her looking panic stricken. Ava was in shock since Lily disappeared. It had only been seconds, but it felt like an eternity. And now this new memory...a memory she truly wished had stayed locked away in her mind forever. Alek was Lily's father.

John: "What's happened?! Ava?!"

John's hands went to Ava's arms, his face dipping down enough to finally catch her line of sight. It was then the shock of the last minute began to slowly wear off and the realization that she was on borrowed time set in. She needed to find Lily before her father really did disappear with her for good.

"We need to find her!!!"

John wrapped his arm around Ava, helping her stand.

John: "We have to get you out of this rain."

"No! Listen to me!"

Ava fought against his grasp, looking back at the spot where Lily disappeared, similar to the night before when she had saw her at the festival. But John's strong arms lead her into the hotel and to the elevator, Ava's body shivering under the weight of his muscles unable.

"John, please.."

The elevator doors opened and John ushered her into their suite before wrapping her shivering body with a plush throw and moving her to the bathroom.

John: "You've got to get out of those wet clothes."

"We don't have time!"

Ava knew John was concerned, his eyes had been filled to the brim with fear since finding her in the park. But she needed him to listen. She couldn't do this alone, she needed her King. So instead of fighting against him and wasting valuable time, Ava conceded and began to strip her soaked workout outfit off. She wrapped herself in the thick black robe as John gathered some tea and coffee before moving her to the couch.

John: "Here...this will warm you up..."

"GOD DAMNIT I don't want coffee!"

The panic began to overwhelm Ava once again, feeling like the moments between Lily disappearing in the park and now were too long. Stavros was already gone, she knew he was. Ava hands cupped around her face, trying to catch her breath and ease her panic. That was when she heard John's gentle voice despite Ava screaming at him.

John: "What happened?"

She shook her head, her hands turning into fists over her face.

"That little girl....the one from the park....she's mine. She's my daughter."

Ava finally looked up at John, knowing this sounded unbelievable.

"I'm having flashes of memories again, but this time they're clear memories. I remember finding out I was pregnant....I remember giving birth to her. They're all fragments, like pieces of an unfinished story, but I KNOW that she is mine."

Ava held out the necklace with the pendent on it to John. He would immediately recognize it from when she was a child.

"She was wearing this. She said it was her mothers."

Ava's eyes were filled with tears.

"That's my necklace, John. That's MY little girl! Stavros has been raising her all of these years, my memories wiped from my head by Diana! And now he's going to find out I know and disappear with her before I can get to her!"

Ava took his hands, falling to her knees before him. She looked into his eyes, needing him to believe her. Willing him too.

"I can't lose her again...I WON'T!"
 
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Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
327
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
The Paris Hotel

Ava was more upset than he'd ever seen her. She was talking nonsense, agitated. It was clear that something had happened. He didn't know if she was hurt, and she was soaked to the skin. He needed to get her warm and dry, before anything else. So against her protests, he hustled her into the hotel and up to their suite. But she would only allow herself to be managed for so long before...

Ava: "GOD DAMNIT I don't want coffee!"

He sat next to her on the couch, and gently asked what happened.

Ava: "That little girl....the one from the park....she's mine. She's my daughter."

"Ava..."


He knew this Haleigh thing was weighing on her, but he hadn't realized just how much. This fixation on the little girl had now turned into something dangerous. He silently cursed her selfless nature. He had told her he would get her a baby if she wanted one, she didn't need to make one up.

Ava: "I'm having flashes of memories again, but this time they're clear memories. I remember finding out I was pregnant....I remember giving birth to her. They're all fragments, like pieces of an unfinished story, but I KNOW that she is mine."

He reached out and took her hand in his.

"You know you can't..."

He looked away for a moment then back.

"It's Kelly...she's fucking with you..."

Ava's hand shot out towards him, and he saw a gold pendant dangling from a broken chain.

"You haven't worn that necklace in ages..."

When he had first met her, it was always around her neck.

Ava: "She was wearing this. She said it was her mothers."

"It's a copy..."

Ava: "That's my necklace, John. That's MY little girl! Stavros has been raising her all of these years, my memories wiped from my head by Diana! And now he's going to find out I know and disappear with her before I can get to her!"

She was crying as she slipped onto her knees in front of him.

Ava: "I can't lose her again...I WON'T!"

He looked down at her, into her tear-stained face, into her dark eyes that were pleading with him. He was silent for only a second.

"Then let's go get her."

He stood up, pulling her up with him.

"Do you want to call in the rest of the Court for this?"
 

Siphon

Red Rook
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Calder Henriksen
Residence
New York City
Missions
10
Ability
Power Mimicry
The White Corridor

His King had instructed him to practice how to use telepathic powers with Elena, this mysterious associate of the Red Court who dared to wear white in front of her King. He knew Alek didn't trust her - it was plain to see - and he assumed naturally that Alek wanted him to keep an eye on the woman. But still, that she was so brazen and able to get away with it? He wasn't sure if he should be offended or in awe of her. He decided to let her take the lead, to see what she would do.

But he wasn't prepared for it when her voice was suddenly in his head. It floored him.

Elena: Let's go. We can practice in my suite.

There was no getting away from it - it was like her voice permeated his entire body. He followed her silently, down the corridor and to one of the suites. It still felt wrong for him to be in the White Wing. He had only ever been here on guard duty for the White Queen, and even then not that much, so it seemed like trespassing. His discomfort only increased as he entered her suite. It did not escape him that this was the White King's...girlfriend? Jack and Heidi's words came back to him about the regents and if they came on to you. Elena wasn't a regent, but he was pretty sure the White King would kill him anyway...

Do you honestly think I would try to seduce you with my daughter asleep in the next room?

She had taken a seat, moving a chair across from her and gesturing for him to sit. He looked at her quietly as he moved to the chair, almost as if he was watching a wild animal that he wasn't sure what it would do.

"It must be hard."

She raised her eyebrows at him in curiosity.

"Always knowing what other people are thinking about you."

She shrugged.

Elena: "You get used to it. And you learn to block out the thoughts you don't want to hear. Now, have you ever mimicked a telepath before?"

He shivered a little bit as he told he had tried it a couple times but hadn't liked it - it was like a bad drug.

Elena: "It takes practice to separate the thoughts you want to hear from those you don't. It can be overwhelming at first."

He felt bad for her, imagining her a young girl, just coming into her powers, and how difficult it must have been to suddenly hear other people's thoughts in your head.

Elena: "In the interest of time, you'll have to copy my power to practice with."

"Are...are you sure?"

People usually didn't take kindly to having their powers copied by him. It was what had led him to Hellfire, actually. Elena in fact, did lean forward then rather scarily and threaten him if he ever used her powers without permission.

"Yes, ma'am."

She told him to focus on her voice, so he closed his eyes and listened to the soothing lilt of her in his head. And when he thought he was ready, he mimicked her power.

And it was like the world just turned on. It felt like everyone in the mansion was talking at once. His eyes flew open, and widened. He couldn't hear her anymore, not over the pounding in his head and the voices. Voices everywhere. He couldn't keep any of them straight. He wanted to clamp his hands over his ears, but he knew it wouldn't help.

Elena: Listen to me, Calder! Only me! Focus on my voice. Focus!

He couldn't. He couldn't focus on anything but the noise.

"I...I can't...I can't do it..."

Elena: You can! You have to!

And then, everything went quiet.

Elena: "Enough."

He was breathing heavily, but his body finally relaxed now that there was peace in his mind.

"No...wait...I can do it...one more time..."

Elena: "You don't have the discipline, the mental strength for this."

"No - I, uh..."

Elena tilted her head like she'd just heard something, and she turned towards the door behind her. Which presently opened, a small child jumping excitedly through it.

Carolina: "Mami! Estoy despierto!" [I'm awake!]

Elena's whole demeanor seemed to change, and she smiled warmly at the child. So this was the White King's daughter.

Elena: "I can see that!"

She gestured towards him, and he stood from his chair.

Elena: "Say hello to Senor Calder, Carolina."

The girl seemed bursting with energy even as she crossed the room towards him and held out her hand.

Carolina: "It is nice to meet you, Senor."

He smiled down at her, taking her hand to shake it.

"And you."

The girl turned toward her mother.

Carolina: "Can we go see papi now?"

Elena: "Mija - Senor Calder and I have some work to do. I noticed that your Aunt Erika picked out some new books for you - they're in your room. Why don't you practice your reading until we're done?"

Carolina: "Then can we see papi?"

Elena stood up and reached out a hand to tousle her daughter's hair.

Elena: "Papi might be working. But I'll tell you what, we'll go back to the garden and look for that kitten, okay?"

Carolina: "Okay!"

Carolina's face took on a curious expression as she turned to Calder once more.

Carolina: "Do you work for my papi?"

He had no idea how to explain Hellfire's hierarchy to a small child. So, he improvised.

"Uh...sort of."

Carolina: "I bet that is so much fun! I want to work for my papi when I'm big."

He smiled.

"I'm sure you'll be able to do whatever you want to do."

She grinned broadly back at him, then waved goodbye to him before skipping back through the doorway she had come from. Elena went to the door and closed it.

When she turned back around, the warm "mami" had gone and the stern teacher had returned. The smile left his face, but he looked her dead in the eye as he spoke with conviction.

"One more chance."
 
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Savage

Frenzied Beast
Real Name
Arthur John Savage
Missions
121
Adirondack Mountains — The Cabin

He had gotten the fire stoked up nicely, and she thoughtfully brought him a beer, asking him about the cabin. He explained that he’d built it as a refuge back when he was too feral to control his moon-shift, so that he didn’t endanger his family, and that after they had passed it became his solitary retreat. She was the only person he’d ever brought here. She was quiet for a moment, but then she expressed that she liked it being their place, and he smiled warmly.

Their nice moment was interrupted when all hell broke loose in the kitchen. In short order the skirmish spilled into the room they were in, as the cub took refuge with Ashley and AJ stepped in to discourage Eclipse’s aggression. It took some convincing, but Eclipse retreated back to the kitchen, no doubt to claim whatever food was there. Meanwhile, his Ashley cradled the cub to her chest protectively.

Ashley: “So much for 'my scent on the cub will make the pack accept her'.”

AJ blew the air out of his lungs, his expression chagrined. His Ashley gave him a kiss on his cheek, and left to take her shower, telling him playfully that he would get the honor of cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. He smiled, then finished his beer in preparation for the task. As he expected, the milk had been splattered in every conceivable direction.

Eclipse had bolted down whatever food had been available, and was licking the tile floor. AJ pulled the paper towel roll off the hanger and started tearing off sections and dropping them strategically on the puddles. When he squatted down to dry off the wall, Eclipse came over and started to sniff him, catching the scent of the cat on him.

AJ stopped cleaning to stroke her fur, his hands capturing her head when he spotted the claw marks on her snout. They were bloody but shallow enough to be of little concern. He pulled a clean paper towel off the roll and patted gently to remove the excess blood and then pet her reassuringly. He suspected Eclipse had come in confidently to investigate and surprised the kitten, who couldn’t be blamed for reacting defensively.

“I know, I forgot to introduce you to the hellcat. It’s okay girl, we’ll try again later.”

He told her, as if she could understand every word. He went back to cleaning up, his mind wandering. Had he been in the city too long? Was he forgetting the way of the wild? How had he missed the scent of the hunter who’d shot him? What if that had been someone that wanted to hurt his Ashley instead? He didn’t have the answers to his questions and couldn’t bear the thoughts that were plaguing him, so he focused instead on the task in front of him.

Half a roll of paper towels later, he was done. He checked the stew before ducking into the fridge for another beer, grabbing an extra for his Ashley. When he got to the bedroom and found it closed off, he assumed it was to protect the kitten from another interaction with Eclipse while his Ashley was in the shower. AJ knocked on the door and called through it.

“My Ashley?”
 

Sparrow

Rising Star
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Elena Estrada
Residence
Colima, Mexico
Missions
45
Elena's Suite

Elena hadn't expected the Red Rook to be proficient as a telepath right out of the gate, but she hadn't expected him to roll up into a ball and give in, either. In the end, she'd had to use her own powers to block out everyone else from his mind. After all, no matter her current position, she didn't really want to return him to the Red King damaged. And to be fair, this Calder just wasn't going to be Cameron, no matter how much they practiced.

She felt Carolina's mind wake from her nap, and soon she was a bundle of energy bursting into the room. She wanted to see her father, so Elena instituted a plan of bait and switch, and hopefully Cameron would be back with them before Carolina noticed. The last thing she wanted to do was worry her daughter with the prospect of losing the father she had only had for a week.

Carolina wasn't afraid of the big Dane, and began to work her considerable charm on him, which made Elena proud. She was thankful that the Rook knew enough to play along rather than get into complicated explanations. That was one point for him. Carolina herself was very excited to hear that he worked for her father.

Carolina: "I bet that is so much fun! I want to work for my papi when I'm big."

That was like a knife to her chest. Not only at the prospect of Carolina in this world permanently. But also because, as much as she wished the contrary, Elena feared that it was only a matter of time before Cameron forgot Carolina existed, and the little girl's innocent dreams would be crushed. Elena scooted Carolina back into her room, shutting the door behind her. Then she turned back to Calder, sighing, appraising him sternly. At least he had the guts to speak first.

Calder: "One more chance."

She watched him for a moment, before shaking her head.

"There's no point in beating a dead cat."

Calder: "I can do it. I have to do it."

She looked at him again, perusing his thoughts. Her daughter's appearance had affected him - he didn't want the girl to be without her father. It was admirable, she supposed. But she didn't know if it would be enough. She walked slowly back to her seat and sat down. He did the same.

"Let's try a different approach: we'll start small. I'll keep everyone blocked. Try to pick something from my mind. Ready?"

He took a deep breath and nodded.

He could feel something opening, like a door, just a crack. He looked hard at her, as if that would help. He was silent for a few seconds. Then he looked surprised.

Calder: "I see...a beach...and there are dark pink flowers growing all over the dunes..."

Good. Now...without speaking...say it in my mind.

Calder: There's no one around...and it's sunset...I can hear birds...

Very good. Now tell me what Carolina is thinking about. Block my thoughts, and focus on her's. It helps at first to visualize actually pushing my thoughts away.


Elena pulled her power back, so he wasn't shielded from Carolina. Calder closed his eyes then. At first, he was getting a jumble of the two, but he did what she'd asked, and mentally sorted the two voices.

Calder: She's...

He laughed.

Calder: She's reading a book about a witch and her cat...

His eyes flew open and went wide as he looked at her.

Calder: She's wondering if Heidi will let her swim in the Aqua Ring with her! She can't do that! You have to stop her!

Elena rolled her eyes and shook her head.

Calm down. She's a child. That's how they think.

Of course, she would have a word with Carolina and Heidi.

I'm going to slowly remove the barrier blocking out the rest of the minds in the mansion. Do the same thing you did with mine, block them out and only hear me.

She slowly peeled back the block more and more, and as he separated the voices in his head, she allowed more and more to enter it. He did reasonably well, the thoughts starting to overwhelm him at times, but then he pushed them back. Finally, he was blocking everything but her.

Well done, Calder.

She gave him a break, and switched to speech.

"Moving on. Cameron's power is intricate: he can read minds of course, and use telekinesis, like me. But he also has an aspect of his family magick, which he has mostly stayed away from cause, well, you know his mother. And he can astral project."

Calder perked up at that.

Calder: "Really? Like be out of your body and no one knows you're there?"

She looked at him disapprovingly.

"It's not as exciting an idea as you would think."

She cleared her throat, continuing.

"I'm assuming that the magick and astral projection won't come into play if you aren't trying to use them, so hopefully the fact that I don't have those abilities won't make a difference. Hopefully."

Calder didn't look convinced.

"The most important thing for you to learn is to push back against another telepath's power."

She used her mind to lift a piece of Carolina's drawing paper from the coffee table, and tear it into pieces, which crumbled in the air in front of them. She then began to mentally fling them at Calder.

Calder: "Ow! Hey! Stop that!"

The small paper balls starting pinging off his face and chest, making Elena smile.

Feel lucky they're not spitballs. Or knives.

Finally, one shot away from him, off to the side.

Calder: "Got one!"

Stop focusing on one at a time; concentrate on blocking them all at once.

He started to visualize a shield in front of him, and the balls began bouncing off of it.

Now, push them back to me.

Controlling where the went proved much more of a challenge for Calder.

Picture it in your mind, and will it to happen for real.

Then she felt a piece of paper ping off her forehead. Her mouth opened a bit, half in surprise that he had managed to do it and half in annoyance that he had. Calder laughed at her expression.

Calder: "Got you now!"

He was getting the hang of it, ping ponging the pieces of paper she flung at him back at her. And he was enjoying it way too much. So she mentally got a glass from the cabinet in the kitchen, filled it at the sink, and brought it into the room and up behind Calder until it hovered over him.

Look up.

And when he did, she upended the glass.

"Don't forget to watch your back."

She crossed her arms smugly over her chest, watching him wipe the water from his face and hair, waiting to see how he would retaliate. But when he looked at her, he just started to laugh.

Calder: "Please don't tell Alek I fell for that?"

He breathed out, and smiled.

She shook her head again.

"You are a strange man, Red Rook."

Calder: "You can call me by my name, you know - I mean, you already can see everything in my head, it's kind of too late for formalities. And it's not like you care about all the Court hierarchy stuff."

He went into the kitchen and came back with a towel to wipe up the water from the chair, and then himself. She watched him silently.

"It's not that I don't care about the hierarchy. It's that the hierarchy was completely superseded by people who weren't ready to rule. I didn't sign on for their revolution - and the people I put my loyalty in are dead. They may not have been perfect, but I knew who they were."

She got up and took the towel from him.

"And Hellfire was never a place for a child. That's what matters most to me now."
 

Madame Masque

Unknown
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Adriana Nefaria
Missions
13
Hellfire -- The White Hall

More than half the group split off, either alone or in pairs, set on their own tasks, while Adriana and Gia stayed in the White Corridor with Heidi. Gia plopped into a chair in a nearby alcove, taking out her phone to stave off the boredom. Adriana wanted to blow the little device up in her sister’s hands, just to see how badly she’d suffer without it, but instead she turned her back on Gia and took the opportunity to size up the legendary White Knight.

She was a woman whose reputation preceded her, but how much of it was earned, and how much was myth? The others of the Inner Circle here had seemed to respect her well enough, even the Red King, which was quite telling. Clearly Adriana would benefit from creating a strong alliance with the esteemed White Knight, but she hadn’t seen Heidi’s name in any of the Nefaria ledgers, which meant Adriana had no foundation to work on. Had Gia never tried, or was Heidi simply uninterested in anything the Nefarias had to offer?

The handsome nerd returned to interrupt her thoughts. Adriana knew his name, of course, even without the formal introduction. She’d done her research, after all. He was the Red Bishop, a geneticist, the genius behind the Aqua Ring. He approached her solemnly and began to share the theory he’d mentioned having earlier. Gia pried herself away from her phone, which was a momentary improvement, but then expressed disinterest with snoring noises, to which Adriana cast a reproachful glare. She looked back at the Red Bishop with an apologetic smile.

“Dr Chondrich, I’m a businesswoman, not a scientist. It seems you still think we can help, I really just need to know how.”

Gia: “Kiss-ass.”

“It’s called couth, Gia. You could use some.”

Adriana shot back. To his credit, Jack glossed over the exchange as if it hadn’t happened. He was singularly focused on his plasma theory. He explained that the ionized particles had kinetic energy when they reacted to form the barrier, and Adriana immediately grasped what he was leading to.

“We can drain the shield as it forms and prevent the barrier from fully hardening.”

Jack nodded, opening the hard plastic case he’d brought back with him. He explained that he thought he could create a plasma phenomena somewhat similar to the forcefield, and that they could test themselves on that while they waited for the rest to return. He cleared the debris off the table beside the wall right there in the hallway and set up the little machine on top. As it sparked to life, creating a visible bridge from one side to the other, Gia clutched at Adriana’s arm, leaning in close to her ear.

Gia: “You know I need physical contact to transfer energy!”

“Yeah, sounds like a personal problem.”

Gia: “Very funny. If I take on too much charge with no outlet, I just might spontaneously combust like some overloaded battery. You think it’ll still be a ‘personal problem’ if I explode all over your dress?”

“Ugh, fine. While I’m pulling my weight working on the shield, I'll reduce the charge you’re building up too.”

Gia: “As IF I’d trust you with my life!”

Her sister said with a scoff. Adriana affixed Gia with a granite stare. In all honesty, Gia was smart not to trust her, because Adriana didn’t care if her sister shot the extra energy out of her ass to get rid of it. However, she didn’t want to be the only one draining the barrier in the event something bad happened. Having Gia to blame would be beneficial if it proved to be too much for her newly reinstated abilities, so Adriana needed to manipulate her sister into helping.

“Are you just grasping at excuses to avoid helping your Queen? Because that’s sure what it seems like.”
 
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Valkyrie

War
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Ashley Oldenburg
Missions
547
Ability
Ability to instill self-doubt, turmoil and intimidation
Adirondack Mountains — The Cabin

The cub was purring in her arms, and she rested her cheek on the top of its head. The enormity of what had happened in the clearing pressing down on her like a weight pushing all the oxygen out of the room. She sat on the floor like that, cradling the mountain lion, sobbing, until there was a knock at the door. Ashley sat up with a start.

AJ: “My Ashley?”

“Uh...don’t come in!”

She wiped her eyes on her arm, setting the cub down on the floor as she jumped up. The cat mewled in protest.

“I’m just getting in the shower!”

She ran into the bathroom and turned on the water. Then she flung off her clothes and jumped under the water. A quick soap and rinse, and she was wrapped in a towel and rushing back out into the bedroom. Where AJ was waiting for her. She pretended like her eyes weren’t red and swollen.

“You can uh, go ahead and eat if you’re hungry. I’ll be right down.”
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,034
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
The way he said her name when she told him that Lily was her daughter was a knife to the gut. The look in his eyes was even worse. She could tell he didn't believe her and that on some level, he thought she was losing her mind. Ava quickly told him that she was having more memories, except this time she remembered being pregnant with Lily and giving birth to her.

John: "You know you can't...It's Kelly...she's fucking with you..."

He was hesitant to even say the words that she 'couldn't have children', looking away in an effort not to. Then he came back with Kelly being behind this. Frankly, Kelly was likely a contributing partner in it, but she was not 'behind' this. Ava's eyes were filled with pain realizing that John was trying to come up with valid reasons behind this and not believing what she had to say. That her behavior leading up to that moment was erratic enough to cause him to doubt her. If THAT wasn't reason enough for him to believe that there was something more to this situation, she didn't know what was. Ava was of sound mind and always had her shit together...the last couple of weeks were triggering blocked memories and emotions in her, and they were finally coming to light. But still, John thought she was grasping at straws.

"You don't believe me..."

Ava whispered more to herself than declaring it to John. It actually shocked her. That was when she showed him her necklace, actual proof that what she was saying was true. He had known her since she was a child and had seen her wear this necklace countless times. John remembered it, realizing she hadn't worn it in years. That was when Ava told him that Lily said it was her mothers. John immediately said it was a copy and Ava shut her eyes and shook her head, getting frustrated.

"That's my necklace, John. That's MY little girl! Stavros has been raising her all of these years, my memories wiped from my head by Diana! And now he's going to find out I know and disappear with her before I can get to her!"

She didn't have time to fight with him or try to convince him that she hadn't gone insane. She needed his help, but if he wouldn't help her, she would do it herself. So Ava slipped to her knees, taking John's hands. She had never begged for anything in her life. She had never gotten onto her knees for anyone in a declaration of want or need. But she was for John in that moment, telling him she couldn't lose her daughter again. Her eyes were filled with tears as she looked up at him. Her stomach in knots. She needed her King....but she would leave him if necessary to get her daughter back. She would go against the whole god damn world, Hellfire and beyond, to get her daughter back.

John: "Then let's go get her."

He hadn't hesitated but a second before looking her in the eyes and saying the words she had needed to hear from him. It felt like a weight had been lifted off her chest as he stood, picking her up with him.

John: "Do you want to call in the rest of the Court for this?"

He went into the role of King immediately, Ava taking a few seconds to catch her breath. She wanted to thank him, to hug him, to tell him he wouldn't regret this and she was telling the truth despite him likely humoring her. But so much time had been wasted already. So Ava nodded, shutting her emotions down like she was famous for doing, and getting into work mode.

"Inform Amanda that there's a situation involving Stavros that we're handling. Tell her to be prepared for massive backlash by Kelly...."

Ava's eyes went black and her tone murderous.

"My father isn't seeing the light of day tomorrow."

Ava moved toward the closet.

"I want this kept under wraps until we have Lily is in our possession. Once we're back at Hellfire, we'll de-brief the court and the other regents..."

Ava paused at that, the thought of having to tell Alek...

A few moments later Ava exited the closet wearing some black jeans, boots, and a long sleeved shirt. She slipped on her leather jacket before tucking her phone into her back pocket.

"We'll check his yacht first, then his estate in Mykonos. Can you call our people and see if he purchased any properties within the last six or seven years that i'm not aware of? Maybe something under Kelly's name? Or Helena's?"
 

Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
327
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
The Paris Hotel Room

Ava:
"You don't believe me..."

"I'm just trying to figure this thing out..."

He held up his hands.

"I know this whole business with Haleigh has been hard on you...but we can't jump to conclusions. Just because you're having visions of this girl, it doesn't mean she's your daughter, Ava...no matter how much you want it to be true..."

She showed him a necklace then, one he recognized. When she told him the little girl had had it, he said it was a copy.

Ava: "That's my necklace, John. That's MY little girl! Stavros has been raising her all of these years, my memories wiped from my head by Diana! And now he's going to find out I know and disappear with her before I can get to her!"

She sank to her knees then, something he'd never seen her do.

"Ava, get up..."

He looked down into her eyes, which were filling with tears. She seemed so sure...

And then he relented. Because it didn't really matter if it was true or not, there was time to find out. What mattered was getting the girl away from Stavros if she really was in his care. He knew first hand how Stavros raised children. And if she wasn't with him? They could search for her back in Paris. But for some reason, Ava needed this. So he let his doubts go, like they never had existed.

He picked her up, asking his Queen if she wanted any backup from the rest of the Court.

Ava: "Inform Amanda that there's a situation involving Stavros that we're handling. Tell her to be prepared for massive backlash by Kelly...My father isn't seeing the light of day tomorrow."

A day that was too long in coming, in his view. He had been forced to watch the way Stavros treated Ava for most of his life, and he welcomed their relationship coming to an end.

Ava: "I want this kept under wraps until we have Lily is in our possession. Once we're back at Hellfire, we'll de-brief the court and the other regents..."

His phone was already to his ear as Ava went to dress. He kicked off his suit pants and unbuttoned his shirt as he talked.

"Your Queen needs her Knight, Amanda. Increase security at all Black Court holdings - we need to be prepared for an attack from Stavros Cassadine or Kelly King. Especially Kelly. There's a situation going on that I can't discuss over the phone, but Amanda - we need you to step in while we handle this. Full alert."

He paused while he pulled a black t shirt over his head, then picked up the conversation.

"And Amanda? I want our people all over the hotel in Paris. Discreet, but outside, the lobby, on our floor. I want our suite to be a fortress. We'll explain when we're back at Hellfire."

He hung up, then slipped on a pair of black jeans and black trainers.

Ava: "We'll check his yacht first, then his estate in Mykonos. Can you call our people and see if he purchased any properties within the last six or seven years that i'm not aware of? Maybe something under Kelly's name? Or Helena's?"

"I'm on it."

He texted a contact in Wales, with instructions to send the info to his phone when he had it.

He stood facing her, knowing what was coming.

"Ready."
 
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