This story falls in the same universe as 'All I Ever Wanted' and 'The First Night Back'. You don't really need to read them, but this is almost a direct sequel to 'All I Every Wanted' so it'll make more sense.
Heads up, unlike the stories previous in this series, this story is M rated for graphic content. If you've read 'All I Ever Wanted' you know what that means.
When Matt was little, he had had images and fantasies of what his life would be like at sixteen. Little Matt had expected to be popular, maybe have a girlfriend (although girls were still kind of gross at that age) and to be in a band with his best friends. It hadn't been too elaborate, but definitely spoke of the chaos his life had spiraled into that he never could have anticipated.
Yes, he did have all those things, but he was also a Regent of Earth, with wings and laser vision, who was dating a girl who was a Guardian of the Veil, and could turn into a fairy at will with four of her best friends and was taxed with saving the world.
Therefore, when Matt woke up with a pounding headache after yet another nightmare of the events that had given him his powers and the abuse surrounding it, it felt like just another day in the life of Matt Olsen.
"Ugh…" He moaned and rolled over to shut off his alarm. This was the third day of the headache, and it was getting progressively worse. Advil wasn't even helping. Matt muttered a string of foul language as he set about getting ready for school. This was ridiculous. At this point, he would accept no less than a tumor slowly expanding to kill him as an excuse for this constant headache.
He glanced at this phone, seeing a text from Will. He smiled briefly, then winced as the movement set off more pounding.
Good morning :), the message read, Headache any better?
No, he responded vehemently. Nightmares again too…
Will was still the only one who knew the full extent of what had happened to him at Mount Thanos, of the torture and… he still had a hard time wrapping his head around that other bit. Didn't help that he hadn't remembered it all at first. He kinda wished that he hadn't remembered anything at all…
He glanced down at his phone, not having realized that Will had replied. Maybe Yan Lin will know something, the message read. Otherwise you should probably go to the doctor. Matt sighed. Out of all the places that he was willing to go, facing a doctor and possibly having them figure out what had happened to him by a misplaced flashback ranked incredibly low on his list.
It wasn't exactly that he was ashamed. He knew cognitively that what had been done to him was not his fault, and at the time he had been completely helpless against an evil ex-guardian hell bent on revenge, but Matt was the type to try to downplay his own trauma, even though, as Will had pointed out, what he had gone through would be a nightmare for anyone.
"Matt, sweetie, you ready for school?" His mom called out, jerking Matt out of his head.
"Yeah Mom, I'm coming…" Rubbing his temples Matt braced himself for the school day…
Nerissa was happy. Happy for the first time in a long time. With the elemental guardians as her loyal protectors, the universe was at peace for the first time in a long time. Her son and husband loyally at her side, life couldn't get any better.
Except… Nerissa suddenly remembered a dark winged angel, the slave she had possessed, who had loyally seen to her every need. Her Dear Heart, who had brought her such joy. She missed her Dear Heart. And so, Nerissa reached out to the mental link that had been so long dormant and severed, and started to rebuild it
"Are you alright, Mr. Olsen?" It was the teacher's voice that broke Matt out of his head. Gritting his teeth in an effort to function past the pain in his skull, he met his science teacher's eyes.
"Ugh, yeah," He mumbled, finding the attention of the entire class on him, "Just a massive headache." That had to be it. It was around one, and he was finding it harder and harder to function past the pain.
The teacher, Mr. Chase, looked concerned. Did he really look that bad? "Do you need to go lay down in the infirmary?" He asked.
Matt considered it, and then decided it wasn't like he was focused on the lecture anyway. He nodded, eyes half closed, and tried to stand, almost blacking out at the surge of pain as he stood. He must have yelled, or swayed wildly or something, because he next found himself supported by Mr. Chase, the balding black man looking very alarmed, surrounded by concerned whispers from his classmates. "Mr. Olsen…" the teacher started.
"No, it's fine, I've had worse," Matt insisted weakly, and the truth was that he had. He had just known that it was from a psycho witch who was torturing him.
Matt's vision was turning fuzzy at the edges, and he struggled free from Mr. Chase's support. But he wasn't. Matt knew this feeling. He was about to pass out. "I'm going to the infirmary," He gasped. But he barely stumbled out the door before the pain in his head exploded into an inferno and he crumpled to the ground, unconscious.
The sirens of an ambulance rang through the school, jerking Will out of her math-induced stupor. Will jerked up, noticing the rest of the class had turned their heads to see an ambulance pull up in front of the school.
What's going on? Will thought, and conspiring whispers from students surrounded her as Mr. Collins tried futilely to get their attention back. A few moments passed before someone was taken away in a stretcher. "Who was that?" Someone asked.
Will frowned. She had a really bad feeling that she couldn't shake.
It wasn't until later she realized what had happened. She left mercifully left the school at the end of the day, looking forward to meeting Matt and discussing her day. At first, she thought he was just late. But as 20 minutes passed, she started to get anxious, and the bad feeling in the pit in her stomach intensified.
"Shouldn't Matt have gotten here by now?" Taranee asked, looking around for their errant team member.
"That's what I'm thinking," Will said, pacing nervously. "Where is he? He didn't say that he was staying after." She glanced at her phone, checking against that he hadn't texted her.
"Have you texted him?" Taranee looked at her. "Chill girl, he's probably got a good reason."
"I just don't feel right," She insisted. Finally, she gave into her instincts and dialed Matt's number.
The phone rang for a nerve-rackingly long time, before a female voice picked up. "Hello?" She answered tiredly.
"Uh… Matt?" Will asked, instincts suddenly on edge. She remembered what had happened the last time she hadn't been able to get a hold of Matt.
"Oh, Will," And she finally recognized the voice Matt's mom.
"Is Matt okay? What happened?" Will demanded, heart racing.
"You didn't..." His mom paused, "Matt's in the hospital. He passed out during class today and he won't wake up."
"What!" Will yelled. Instantly her mind flew to the flashbacks she had seen.
Taranee's eyes were wide. "What's going on?"
Will met her eyes, terrified. "Matt's in the hospital."
And then, he was there, standing before her like he had so many times. Nerissa reached forward, placing a hand on the gold mask in front of her. "Hello Dear Heart," She crooned.
"Hello Mistress," Shagon replied.
It took Matt quite a while to come to. Or maybe it didn't. His sense of time he had learned was incredibly unreliable when it came to waking up from unconsciousness. Something he had learned the hard way.
There was something eerily familiar about the way he was waking up. He woke up with no control over his body. There was something familiar on the edges of his vision, and then he realized what it was and where he was all at once.
Oh God, he was back, she was back. No, no, no…
Wait… it was just a nightmare. He just had to wake himself up. Except he didn't recognize the events. This was something new. Everything around him was different. He was in a throne room, where the elemental guardians stood guard. Nerissa looked young and beautiful. What was going on?
"Welcome to my kingdom, Dear Heart," Nerissa murmured, running her hands over his body. It was his Regent form, but like in his nightmares, he had no control over his body. It was happening again.
Your Kingdom? Matt wanted to demand, but a much more pleasant, "Your kingdom mistress?" was forced out of his mouth.
"Yes my Dear," Nerissa's hands had crept to his wings and Matt cringed in his head. He hated this part. "After I escaped the crystal and took over the Guardians, I became the supreme leader of the universe, bringing peace finally." Matt struggled to think past the sensations wracking his body through his wings. Nerissa had discovered that his wings in this form were the fastest way to make his body react, despite all his protests.
He was in some alternate world where Nerissa had won. The one the Yan Lin had discussed Nerissa had painted for herself in his mind to satisfy her while she was trapped in the crystal. "But how am I here mistress?" He asked, and cringed as a rumbling groan made its way out of his chest. Curse his wings…
"I never destroyed the mental link we shared Dear Heart," Nerissa explained, grabbing a handful of feathers to tug him to his knees. "I just had to bring it back."
That must have been the headache, Matt realized. "You have a bond to my quintessence," Matt whimpered from the stimulation, hating that his body was betraying him again. "And I have missed you, Dear Heart…" Matt felt a wave of helplessness sweep over him. She must have reached out from the crystal to find him then.
"Now shift back into your human form," Nerissa commanded, and Matt just prayed that Will and the guardians would be able to say him this time, "I miss the noises you make…"
Will sat at Matt's bed, holding his hand with hers, not sure what to do for him. At least with the flashbacks they had developed a routine to pull him out of his head, but Will had tried every trick she knew had worked in the past and nothing had happened.
Matt had been taken to the hospital and checked by the people there. His heart rate was elevated, but other than that, the doctors could find no reason for the fact that Matt just seemed to not wake up. Every other function of his brain was working fine, but Matt just wasn't reacting to voices. He would sometimes flinch at physical contact, but other than that, no one could get through to him.
It wasn't a flashback. At least, not as the flashbacks usually went. Usually they were much more violent, and involved shouting and begging. But Matt was just laying there. His fists were clenched and every muscle was tense, but aside from the occasional whimper, he was silent. Will wiped the sweat off his forehead again. "Help me Matt," She whispered. "I need to know how to help you."
His mother had scarcely left her son's side. Will cast a look at her tired, worried face, but didn't know what to say. Sarah Olsen didn't know everything her son had been through, and couldn't possibly understand. Not that it helped Will to know. She knew Matt had had a pretty bad headache, and had suggested so to the doctors, but MRI scans came back with no indications of any malignant growth or swelling to cause it. Magic was the only solution that made logical sense to Will, but how could she explain that to anyone else? She couldn't. And with Matt in the hospital she had no way of talking to Yan Lin about what was going on.
"Will?" Will was startled at Sarah's voice. She looked up to meet the woman's eyes. "Do you know what's going on in Matt's life?"
Will blinked owlishly at her for a moment, not sure how to respond to that question. "Uh… what?" She finally settled on.
Sarah looked at her hands. "I used to hate you," She said bluntly, and Will felt color rise in her cheeks. "Matt changed so much when you two started dating. He became more secretive, and then he went through that whole rebellious phase…" Will winced. The Shagon Phase. "And I thought it was because of you. Because you were the only thing that changed."
"That dark period was really hard for me too," Will snapped defensively.
Sarah nodded, "I know that now," She continued. "I've seen you two together and I know he's happy. He's just been… different, since everything happened, and that worries me, as his mother. He has the eyes and demeanor of a much older man." She raised her eyes to Will. "You and all of your friends do too."
Will laughed nervously. "What do you mean?"
"When my brother… Matt's uncle, went off on deployment with the Army I saw it happen to him. I know he saw active war zones, and the younger brother I had known had been replaced with a much older man, with haunted eyes." She chuckled briefly, before resuming quietly, "It seems silly, but I see that look in you and Matt's eyes and I can't imagine why. What have you all been through?" There was earnest curiosity in her eyes, and Will hated that she had to lie to Sarah.
"Uh… just school, I guess…" Did they really look like soldiers? Will felt like she had changed on the inside but she hadn't realized that it was projected outside of her mind.
Sarah just looked at her, and Will didn't know what else to say, so she shifted her gaze to Matt's face. Every muscle in his face was tensed, and she went to brush his sweat soaked hair off his face. As her fingers brushed against his face, she felt brief twinges of fear and panic that weren't her own. Will gasped, pulling her hand back quickly. She could feel the ball of energy that was her quintessence reaching out to Matt, and, ignoring Sarah's questions if she was okay, pressed her hand against his cheek.
She was on top of him again, his limbs all restrained to the ground by some unknown forced as she used him and his body. She giggled as she zapped him lightly with electricity, and even as he convulsed at the pain, he moaned at the arousal the stimulation had him conditioned to feel.
This. This was almost worse than the torture. He could hate the torture and be in pain, but this… this made his body betray him in the worse way possible.
"Come on Dear Heart, I want you to enjoy this too…" She slapped him across the face, "I know you like the rough handling, I can feel how much you like it…" And she ground her pelvis into his, as all he could do was whimper pathetically. Because somewhere in this screwed up world his body had learned to take the abuse and turn it into the fastest way to get him going.
"Come on Dear Heart, I want to see you and hear how much you love this…" His cries cut off as she grabbed his throat. No… no no no no no…
"Come Dear Heart, and I want to hear you enjoy it." As the endorphins from oxygen deprivation started to creep in, Matt almost sobbed as his body arched and he did as he was told.
For a moment, he could have sworn he saw Will out of the corner of his eye. But he looked again and she was gone.
Must have been his imagination…
"Oh God," Will fell back from the bed, her stomach roiling as though there were live serpents in it. She was going to throw up…
"Will…" Will threw herself into the bathroom in Matt's hospital room and lost her lunch violently. There were tears flowing down her face and snot dripping from her nose but she couldn't stop, couldn't believe what she had just witnessed. Knowing it was one thing, but seeing it…
She slowly became aware of someone holding her hair back and stroking her shoulder as she hung over the toilet bowl, crying profusely. "Will, Will, what's going on," Sarah was scared and worried but Will still needed to wrap her head around what she had just seen. That… that couldn't have been a memory… Nerissa was still old the first time she had taken him. She had been young in this… and the sheer force of the quintessence Will had felt…
A crazy theory struck her so hard that she gasped and started choking on the liquid still left in her throat. "No," She whispered, "Oh please dear God, no!"
"Will! What's going on?" Sarah sounded terrified. Will fumbled for toilet paper, trying to wipe her mouth and face off quickly. She needed to talk to Yan Lin now. If what she was thinking had happened had happened…
"I uh… I'm so sorry Mrs. Olsen, I'll try to explain later, but I have to go." Will stood up quickly, tearing out of the hospital room, disturbing many of the staff. She felt bad, but she had to know.
She found an elevator. Heart pounding, she waited for the elevator doors to close before she teleported herself into the Silver Dragon basement.
"Yan Lin!" She cried, casting her eyes everywhere for the woman. No one was in the basement, so she tore up the stairs to the restaurant. There, she found Yan Lin and Mira calmly tending to the restaurant, and must have been quite a shock in her state. She found the stares of all the restaurant's customers on her, but could only gasp, "Yan Lin, I need to talk to you. Now." Yan Lin nodded at Mira, and the old woman hurriedly followed Will back down into the basement.
"Will, what is…?"
"Could Nerissa influence people from inside the crystal?" Will rushed out, cutting off the former Guardian. "Could she somehow reach outside and make a mental connection with someone out here?"
Yan Lin seemed confused, and then pondered it. "Perhaps. She would have had to have had a very strong mental bond with the person before hand…"
"Would her connection with Matt have been strong enough?" Will saw the moment Yan Lin connected the dots. The woman knew what had transpired yesterday through Hay Lin, and once she made the connection, started to more seriously consider it.
"It would have been her Quintessence that turned him into Shagon to begin with," Will continued, "Could enough of it have lingered to connect them? And…" She paused, because this was the part she was less sure about, "And could his sensitivity to quintessence allow me to get into his head?"
Yan Lin cast her a strict look. "Looks like you have a lot to tell me," She said quietly.
And so Will filled her in on the events that had transpired, although she left out the exact details of the things she had seen, referring to it vaguely as "torture". Yan Lin's eyes were wide by the end of the story. "Has anything like this ever happened between you two before?" She asked.
"Um… we had like one time when I felt his emotions really strongly but that's about it…"
Yan Lin sat down, still thinking. "There's an old legend," She started, "That one of the past Keepers of the Heart of Kandrakar had a lover and protector. The Heart allowed them to have a deep bond, connecting them even across distances, because the Heart knew that that it had found a protector."
"You say that like it's sentient," Will said, confused.
"In a very animal sense," Yan Lin elaborated. "I have not heard of it since, but perhaps this is what has occurred. The Heart has chosen Matthew as a protector, and therefore bound the two of you." Yan Lin cast a look at her, "Perhaps strengthened by the fact that Matthew too carries a Heart with him."
"So you think that's why I could get into his head?" Will asked.
"It could also be his sensitivity to quintessence," The woman suggested, "But if Nerissa truly has trapped his mind inside the crystal, it may be your best chance to get him out."
And so it was that Will and Yan Lin and Hay Lin found themselves in the hospital at 2 am, prepared to try to break into Matt's head.
She felt kind of bad, as morally breaking into people's heads made her feel like Nerissa, but it was the only way she could think of to try to pull Matt out of wherever he was.
Will didn't miss Hay Lin's little gasp of pity when she saw Matt's state, and tiptoed around the room. Yan Lin looked at Hay Lin. "Just like we practiced," She whispered. Will and Hay Lin were both transformed, so as to pump up their powers to the max. Hay Lin took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Will heard what almost sounded like a pop in front of her. The Asian girl's pigtails were waving in some unseen breeze, and she held her hands a few inches apart, slowly spreading them so that it almost appeared that she was pressed against a wall.
As Hay Lin did so, the sound from the outside of the room basically disappeared. The way Yan Lin had explained it to them, Hay Lin had sucked all the air out of a region the width and height of the room, and about a foot thick, creating a vacuum that sound couldn't penetrate.
When all the sound from the outside was gone, Yan Lin looked at Will and nodded. "I don't know what will happen to you in there, but I will do my best to keep you grounded out here," Yan Lin promised.
Will nodded nervously. She flexed her hands, cracking some knuckles as she approached Matt's bedside. She took a deep breath, and gently placed her hands on his face.
Her guardian form allowed her to control the descent into Matt's mind more carefully, and she found herself walking down what she perceived to be a hallway, one in a place that resembled Elyon's castle. The air rippled with energy and Will could feel the vast amount of quintessence not quite hers but so much like her own with every breath. She could hear Nerissa's voice and Matt's screams in the distance, but resisted the urge to run in yelling.
Yan Lin had emphasized the fact that she needed to go in there and do her best to not be seen. If Nerissa began to doubt the reality of her fantasy, it would spell trouble for all of them. Instead, she started flying so that no one would hear her footsteps.
Sticking to the shadows in the ceiling of the hallway, she flew towards the voices, finally making out what they were saying.
"Beg me for it!"
Screams. "I don't think you really want it!"
"God, I do, I do, please, mistress please!"
More screaming. "I want to hear you say it!"
Sobbing. "Please mistress, I want you use me!"
"And let me enjoy it if it pleases you!"
Will felt sick again. She knew that Matt's body was safe, but his mind was being violated over and over again. And she couldn't step in to stop this.
Will was forced to watch as Nerissa violently raped her boyfriend again. He tried to stifle his sobs, but Nerissa would find a way to bring them to the surface again. Will could feel the conflict and anguish throbbing through his body and mind, as she could tell he was physically enjoying it, even as his mind screamed violation.
She and Matt hadn't even gotten this far. They had been too young and neither had been ready when it came up the first time, and after Will had found out about what happened, she had walked on eggshells any time they were physically intimate. Matt hardly ever let her touch him, and she could see why.
"I'm so sorry," She whispered, as tears ran down her cheeks. She hated that she couldn't step in and do something to stop this. She had to wait until Nerissa had taken her fill and left before she could go in. At least, she hoped Nerissa would leave at some point. For all she knew Nerissa's dream world was just abusing Matt all day.
Matt cried out as his body released and Will closed her eyes. She shouldn't be seeing this. She shouldn't be privy to this horrible, horrible thing.
Nerissa forced Matt through this cycle four times, and she could tell it just hurt her boyfriend by the end of everything. Finally, finally, Nerissa climbed off Matt as he lay, panting and crying on the ground. "Thank you Dear Heart, that was lovely."
She waved her hand and Matt was hoisted up into the air by his wrists above the throne in the room, put on display for all to see. Will felt sick again, but she watched as Nerissa finally left, with the creepy, elemental guardians following her out.
Peering around the room from her corner, it finally seemed empty. She flew straight towards Matt, who was still sobbing pathetically. He was naked, but Will barely noticed as she flew up to him and embraced him tightly, crying. At first, he flinched at the contact, but slowly seemed to realize the reality of the situation. A voice hoarse from screaming met her ears. "Will?"
"I'm here Matt, I'm here." She whispered, not wanted to let go, but pulling back as Nerissa could be back any minute.
"How…?" Matt whispered.
"I'll tell you when you wake up," She told him, trying her best to stay in guardian mode and not collapse sobbing into his arms like the scared fifteen year old she was.
There was a concentrated band of quintessence holding Matt's wrists about his head that she could sense, and when she reached up, she was able to carefully dissolve it. Matt dropped into her arms heavily and she pulled him over her shoulder. Looking around quickly, she flew back towards the tunnel she had entered through.
It seemed longer this time, and darker. And Will felt much more of a resistance trying to keep her from bringing Matt back out. She clutched at the energy that was her quintessence, focusing on her own power to fight this world surrounded by Nerissa's.
"She'll just bring me back." Will didn't register Matt's voice at first. But when she did, her heart dropped.
"What do you mean?" She asked, dread growing in her stomach.
"Nerissa told me," He said quietly, defeat in every word that he spoke. "We're connected. Her energy is connected to mine. Even if you take me out, she'll just bring me back." He sounded dead, and Will hated the defeat in his voice.
"She's never getting you back," Will snapped. "Because you're connected to my energy too and I'm not letting you go. You're mine." And she felt a tendril of her energy flow out from where it was contained in her Heart, and join with energy that was Matt.
And then suddenly, they weren't in a dark hallway anymore. They were on a floor, with no walls and ceiling that Will could perceive. It all seemed to be swirling pink and white energy.
And then Will caught a glimpse of Matt… or rather, where she knew Matt to be. She could vaguely see his outline, but what really stood out to her was his energy. She could see the swirling deep green power of the third of the Heart of Earth he carried, his own calming light blue energy, but she could see the dark energy that infected him at his core from Nerissa, and the smallest signs of a white/pink energy she knew to be her own.
Not knowing how she knew to do it, she reached out with her hands, which she perceived as pure white energy, grabbed the dark energy, and pulled. And as she pulled the dark power from his chest, she could see it slowly deteriorate, and her own energy fill in the spaces that it left. Nerissa couldn't have him, he belonged to her.
With a bright pulse of energy, the darkness that had resided at his core was filled with light, with pure, good, energy from her auramere. The white energy and the green from the Heart of Earth and blue from his essence swirled together, the brightness that should have been blinding but wasn't because she could see Matt's energy, Matt's soul truly becoming free from Nerissa for the first time in years… There was a moment of content and peace
And then Will slammed back into her body. She would have collapsed had Yan Lin not caught her, but even as it was, her legs felt weak and she felt as though she could have passed out.
When she finally managed to open her eyes and look around, Yan Lin's eyes met hers, and they were full of absolute shock. "What did I…?" She asked, but then heard a groan from Matt's bed. "Matt!" She cried, stumbling to her feet and almost falling to his bedside.
"Will?" Matt barely breathed.
"I'm here Matt, you're here, you're safe," Tears were budding at her eyes and falling by the time Matt opened his eyes.
"You're safe, you're safe. And she can't get to you again. I made sure of it."
Matt smiled, his eyes seeming hopeful for the first time in a long time. "I can feel it," He said. "Thank you Will."
In the joyful reunion between the two, neither noticed Yan Lin's barely disguised concern and the ever so slight lines of anger that had grown on her face.
Chapter Two coming soon, where we find out exactly what Will did...