I don't own Ava's Demon webcomic.
Recently got into the Ava's Demon fandom and, true to tradition, paired Maggie and Ava together. Hope y'all enjoy this!
April 22, 2020: Took the fic through some edits!
"Maggie, I'm sorry!"
Ava should've known something like this would happen when she drank that stupid vial. She had called Wrathia a demon for a reason, after all. Nothing good ever came when Wrathia was involved.
After she drank the bottle, Ava actually had very little idea what was actually going on. She knew she was moving, and that it was unbelievably hot around her, but her body seemed to move more with Wrathia's will than her own. She was glad she'd managed to escape the weird Paradise machine without being killed, but she wasn't expecting to wake up in what appeared to be a wasteland in place of the auditorium. What had even happened?
To make matters worse, she'd woken up from the vial's effects just as Gil and Maggie had made it to the exit. The lack of continued noise apparently prompted Gil to come back and check on her condition. Of course, Maggie was incensed that he'd bothered to care about her, which led to their current predicament.
"Leave me alone!" Maggie growled, continuing on her way. She was not staying here a moment longer with this psychopath.
"But where are you even going?" Ava asked. Her smaller form struggled to keep up with Maggie's longer strides.
"To the exit, where else? Sooner we get out of here, the better. Means I can get away from y-." Maggie came to an abrupt stop.
Ava glanced up at her in confusion and peered around her. A small part of her was relieved to find the door fused shut. Another part of her, though, was horrified that she'd trapped them in here with no perceivable way out.
"Great!" Maggie snarled, throwing her hands up. "Another thing to add to the list of things you've done to ruin my life today!" She gripped at the fused edges of the doors, clawing at them in an attempt to get them to open up.
"I don't mean to ruin your life!" Ava told her with a slight whimper. "I never meant for any of this to happen! It just… did!"
"You could've killed Gil, you know that?" Maggie snapped, rounding on the smaller woman angrily. "You could've killed him and me, just like you did all those innocent people!"
"I didn't mean to kill anyone!" Ava exclaimed. Her hands flew to her head to grip her hair in exasperation. "I was scared they were going to kill me! I didn't know what to do!"
"So you just slaughter everyone with all your lava and-and statues and whatever?!"
Maggie glared down at Ava furiously, looking for all the universe like she wanted to throw a punch. Ava knew she wouldn't dare, not after seeing the power Wrathia possessed, but that didn't stifle Maggie's urges any.
"You kill all those people and ruin my chances of finally having something good happen to me, and it was because you were afraid? This is just like last time, when you and your stupid demon screwed up everyth-!"
"Oh, now you want to admit she exists?" Ava growled, her fury mounting. She was always getting blamed for things out of her control. She didn't ask for this, for any of this! Why could no one ever understand that it wasn't her fault! "I distinctly remember you handing me over to the hospital corridor proclaiming me to be a raging freaking lunatic!"
Maggie faltered a little at the reminder, but that didn't cool her anger entirely. "Tha- that was before!"
"Before what?" The anger began boiling over. Ava could feel the swell of lava in her stomach, rising in her chest, just waiting to flow from her throat. "Before you realized I was like you? That I needed to make a pact, too? Before you realized I was telling the truth?"
Maggie huffed and turned away, arms crossed grumpily as her arguments failed to land. It wasn't her fault talking to Ava was always a freaking chore, especially in the past. She had her own stuff to deal with, she didn't need someone else's baggage, too…
Her abrupt dismissal only served to aggravate Ava even further, but the anger had cooled somewhat into disappointment and resignation. "Of course," Ava grumbled. "Never admitting when you're wrong. Typical."
With no way out that either of them could see, Ava plopped herself down on the ground, also crossing her arms. She was thankful she had been put into better clothes after her little escapade, even if they did make her kinda look like a mummy in one of those old spooky books. They were easier to sit in than a ratty dress and a jacket.
Sighing, she looked off to where Gil was fruitlessly looking for survivors. She knew there weren't any, of course, not with lava and intense heat seeping into every corner of the auditorium. Ava lowered her eyes to glare at the ground. She really hadn't meant to kill anyone. Unfortunately, with someone like Wrathia around, she should've known someone would get more than just a little bruised up.
Just then, a ringing sounded in the air and Maggie glanced down at her curiously. Looking down, Ava used her key to open the drawer on her chest. The phone clattered inside and she rolled her eyes before picking up.
"Hello?" she sighed, resigning herself to hearing whatever it was Wrathia wanted now.
"How ya feeling, kid?" the Demon Queen herself inquired from the other end. She sounded relaxed, so she was probably reclining in her bath or something. "Enjoy the power boost? It should last you for a while now that you've calmed down from the initial high."
Ava scoffed. "I would probably appreciate it more without the unnecessary slaughter of innocent people," she mumbled, taking the time to examine her new clothes. They did little to hide the chest on her breastplate, but they covered her in something kind of like a full body suit. She probably had better range of movement this way.
"Yeah, minor side effect." Did Wrathia sound… uncomfortable at the mention of the slaughtered crowd? "Anyway, now that you've drank the potion, you should be able to sense my warriors. Though, you'll still need the glasses to actually find them."
"I figured," Ava responded. She cast a quick glance up at Maggie. "I've got one of your warriors beside me and another's host is looking for survivors in the damage I left behind."
"Yup, I can sense Tuls' worthless existence from here. The other one is Nevy. Earlier, I smelled my dear Pedri nearby as well."
Ava groaned and thought back to the massacre that had just taken place. "His host is probably dead now."
Before Wrathia could respond, all three of them perked up as Gil called, "I found someone! Someone breathing!"
"Might have to retract my statement," Ava murmured, standing and following Maggie to where Gil waited for them. There, lying on the ground with a pair of melted handcuffs near his wrists, was Odin.
"Oh, great," Maggie huffed. "Him, too, huh?"
"Eeyup," Ava stated. "Wrathia, this the guy?"
"That's my Pedri," Wrathia purred. "Though, it's not like him to not have a pact yet. He's usually quite thorough. This host must be as stubborn as you."
Gil stared at the chest and the phone, but decided not to ask questions just yet. Instead, he sat back with a sigh. "He looks unharmed, so thankfully, I won't have to perform first aid." Turning to the others, he asked, "How's the exit?"
"Someone fused the door shut with her heat wave." Maggie shot Ava a pointed look and Ava snapped, "Wouldn't have done it if someone hadn't left me to the rats."
"You're the crazy one with a spirit haunting her!" Maggie growled.
"Just like you!" Ava spat. She pointed to Gil. "And him. And, apparently, Odin too. Whether you like it or not, we're all connected. So shut up and deal with it, or try to find a way out of your pact and disappear!"
Maggie recoiled at the sharp tone, realizing Ava was at her breaking point. She was getting fed up with the snark for the time being, but Maggie couldn't help throwing out one last quip. "Wouldn't have a pact in the first place if it wasn't for your stupid demon."
"Wouldn't need a pact if it weren't for her," Ava grumbled. "Yeah, I'm well aware."
The trio were silent for a while, waiting for Odin to wake up. Gil glanced between Ava and Maggie, wondering how to broach the subject of what happened. While he was upset that TITAN's sanctuary had been utterly destroyed, he was also curious to know why someone would go against TITAN in the first place.
"Uh… Ava, is it?" he asked softly, clearing his throat awkwardly.
"Yeah," said woman mumbled, face currently buried in her knees.
"Um, if you don't mind me asking, what's this all about, anyway? I mean, why did you… attack everyone?"
Ava sighed and took a deep breath. "I'm being haunted or possessed or whatever by a demon, just like you are, but mine is the reason the rest of you have demons to begin with. She wants me to get you all to make pacts with your demons in order to turn you into her warriors and overthrow TITAN. Apparently, this empire of his was originally her and he took it by killing her and all her friends.
"I attacked these people because, once I got out of the Gates to Paradise chamber, I… I thought I was going to be killed by the guards for defying them. I wanted to live and, unfortunately, everyone else paid the price of my fear with their lives." Ava sighed and buried her head further into her legs. "I'm sorry."
Gil blinked. "Well, uh… that… certainly puts some things into perspective at least…"
"Yeah. Sucks with you being a TITAN follower and all," Ava mumbled. Standing, she brushed herself off and turned.
"Where are you going?" Gil asked.
"Gonna see if I can unfuse the door or something," Ava shrugged. "Least I can do is try not to make everyone's life miserable. Best way is to make sure none of us are here when reinforcements arrive."
Gil lowered his head for a moment before looking over at Maggie. She seemed quite put off at the moment. He wondered what she was thinking about. "Hey, you okay?"
"Oh yeah," she grumbled sarcastically, arms crossed at the wrists. "Just found out I'm stuck with a crazy murderer I've known since we were kids, and also just had my chances of finding a better home burned to ash because of her. Not only that, but the demon she has wants me—and you two, I guess—for her army against an almighty force like TITAN. I'm just peachy."
Gil had no response for that. He looked off to the side, spotting Nevy floating around near the ruined stage and statues. He was extremely thankful he hadn't stayed for Strategos Six's speech, even if these people had been innocent. Of course, now, he had no way to help Nevy find out who she is or was.
Maggie's eyes drifted toward him and rolled. Making conversation would probably be a good way to ease him into accepting the rose to try wooing him again. "So, your demon. What are they like?"
Gil's head snapped up, surprised she would ask. He scratched the back of his neck with a nervous chuckle. "Well, Nevy's pretty nice. Though, a reason I wanted to get into TITAN's army was so that we could ask him where she comes from. Now, without a way in, it's highly unlikely we'll ever find out about her past."
"Why not just make a pact with her and ask Fire Hands?" Maggie suggested, jabbing her thumb in the direction Ava had gone. "Become a member of Lava Brain's army and the two of you can get what you want."
"How do you figure?" Gil inquired with a snort.
"Well, if she wants to know who she is, and you want to get into Paradise, you can make a pact. Ava or at least her demon, is bound to know who this Nevy was. And if we're going to fight TITAN, we're bound to head to Paradise eventually. Win-win."
"Wow," a voice croaked below them. "You're b-being surprisingly h-helpful." Both jumped and turned their attention to where Odin was rubbing his head and sitting up. "So, anyone g-g-gonna tell m-me w-what's going o-on?"
Maggie turned away from him irritably, aware that he was part of the reason she was in this predicament. "Ava destroyed the auditorium with her demon rampage," she gruffed. "Her demon wants the rest of us for her army against TITAN. Two of us have already made pacts. Not sure about you two."
"D-de-demon?" Odin inquired, glancing to where Pedri was sitting calmly off to the side. "Huh. S-some things are s-st-starting to make m-more sense…" Glancing around, he cocked an eyebrow. "S-so where's A-A-Ava now?"
"Trying to pry the doors open so we can all escape," Gil explained. "Her outburst fried them shut."
"Serves her right if she gets caught by the stupid reinforcements," Maggie muttered.
Odin rolled his eyes at her and sighed, reclining on the ground for a moment. Gil simply clutched his bag to his chest, wondering how he was going to get himself back into TITAN's good graces as Nevy began pestering him about possibly making a pact, assuming they hadn't already. Maggie watched Gil's face become sadder and felt anger burn in her stomach.
Standing, she strode away from the two men and made her way to where Ava was heating the metal of the doors. The closer she got, Maggie could hear Ava murmuring to herself. "If I can just get them hot enough to melt, I might be able to open a hole or pull them apart."
"Yeah," Maggie called, stalking closer. "Seems to be the only thing you're good at anyway."
"What are you talking about?" Ava sighed, not even bothering to stop what she was doing.
"You're awful good at pulling people apart, Lava Lungs," Maggie reiterated, leaning against what might've once been a wall, her fists curled. Her glare burned into Ava's back as the heat from Ava's hands began making the doors slowly soften. "Seems to be a specialty of yours. What? Upset that someone actually likes me for once? Is that why you're feeding Gil all this army crap?"
Ava snorted. Typical, thinking everything was about her, as always. If it was just because of Gil, Ava wouldn't have needed to bring Wrathia in at all. She could think of plenty of ways to make Gil abandon Maggie if she felt like it, but he wasn't worth the time or effort.
"Why are you so interested in him anyway?" Ava muttered, glancing back at her exasperatedly. "It's obvious he could never care about anyone except his precious TITAN. Why bother with him?"
"Because, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm half tree!" Maggie shouted, pushing off the wall and stomping closer. "How many guys you know into that?"
"None that would be worth your time!" Ava snapped, turning to fully face her angrily. "At least I tried to be worth your interest! But you're too hung up on every cute guy who even looks at you to pay attention to that!"
Ava turned back to the door, starting her process all over. Maggie stared at her in shock, heart thudding in her chest. She didn't know if Ava meant it the way she was thinking, but there was a way to find out. After all, Maggie wasn't known for being quiet and speculating.
"Hold up," she said slowly, eyeing her shorter companion. Her heart sped up at this small semblance of hope. "Are you telling me… that after all these years, me mocking you and everything… you like me?"
"Since we met, yeah," Ava huffed quietly. Her body trembled subtly, even as her hands remained on their task. "Thanks for noticing, not that it ever mattered. Or even that it matters now."
"What do you mean?" Maggie asked.
Ava scoffed with a mirthless laugh. "In case you've somehow forgotten in the last five minutes, you currently hate my guts."
Maggie grabbed Ava's shoulder but recoiled at the searing heat. Her healing took care of it, but she was glad Ava turned to look at her of her own will. Maggie took a deep breath, rolling her eyes to the sky for a moment. "Look," she started slowly. "My pact with Tuls… It involves me finding someone who actually loves me and cares about me. Someone I can be myself with, you know? Hard to find that when a dude finds out I'm half-tree. Maybe… using those flowers on guys wasn't what I needed to do this whole time. Maybe… I guess I just… needed to give you a chance…"
Ava shrugged and placed a hand against the doors, not wanting to completely forget her task during the conversation. "It was… only understandable, you know, that you would go for the guys. After what Wrathia did to our friendship… and my breakdown afterward… It's understandable you wouldn't even bother with someone… like me…"
Maggie rolled her eyes and turned her arm into a branch, placing it around Ava's shoulder. "Look, I can't… pretend to be all buddy-buddy with you or anything after what we've been through, but… I have missed you. And… if this whole 'being in an army together' thing works out without us killing each other, then… maybe we could try at a relationship too. Deal?"
Ava looked at Maggie's hand and placed her own over it, letting the cool, rough texture soak into her overheated skin. "Deal," she whispered, feeling the door beginning to give. "M-mind, uh, giving me a hand? You're stronger than I am."
I dunno if that's true, Maggie thought, refusing to voice that sentiment as she used her branch arms to punch the doors forward. Ava peeked out first, checking to see if anyone was around. Thankfully, everything beyond this point had also suffered from Ava's rampage, so there was nothing to greet them but more wasteland.
"It looks clear," she told Maggie. "I'll stand guard while you get the others. They'll have to go through me if they want to get to the rest of you."
Before heading back to Gil and Odin, Maggie decided that a small compliment couldn't hurt, at least to try to get the ball rolling for whatever their relationship would be from here on out. "Confident looks good on you, Flamethrower," she said as casually as she could. "Better than that shy, weak personality you had before we left. Keep it up. I like a gu- uh, girl who's confident in herself."
Stealing back to the guys, Maggie missed the small smile Ava shot in her direction. Turning to the exit to await any possible enemies, Ava's smile grew. Maybe this 'new' life wouldn't be so bad after all, she thought. She'd have to talk with Wrathia about being confident in the future.
There you have it! I know nothing like this will probably happen in the webcomic (since it would solve WAY too many plotlines WAY too quickly), but I just like the thought of some fluff between the screaming and destruction. I might have a few more ideas for these two here or there and if not them, then maybe any other characters presented in the comic.