Chapter 12 : Nightmare
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WARNINGS: a ton of swearing, major triggers for rape, violence, and emotive language surrounding the two.
The night before I quit my job, two things pissed me off.
The first was a magazine that Elizabeth had picked up- some trivial, muggle rubbish that I read through boredom- that had an article entitled ‘Supergirl’s Super-disaster!’ with assorted pictures of me. All my flaws were pointed out- what was I thinking, wearing a polo neck? It doesn’t flaunt my figure enough! What was I thinking, wearing black combat trousers with a shit-ton of useful pockets? It wasn’t feminine enough! What was I thinking, wearing heavy-duty army boots? They’re not classy enough!
Heaven forbid I put my life and the lives of the people I was saving before my fashion sense. Heaven forbid I not tailor my every thought and action to suit the people who are trying to make money out of the way I dress.
‘How to Get the Look’ was pretty inappropriate. The only way anyone would actually look like me on my way back from a night out was if they covered themselves in blood and painted bags under their eyes and made sure they had torn clothes and bruises and cuts and deep, traumatic pain festering inside them no matter what they had achieved that night.
‘How to Get the Look for Halloween’ might have been more appropriate.
In the end, I checked on the internet for some hope, but they were too busy dissecting the latest footage.
Isn’t she so COOL??!!!
she’s so badass
[picture] I got my ‘stay calm and carry on (we’ve got a superhero)’ mug <3
WHERE DO I BUY ONE
Here’s the link x
This kick is awesome! I learnt that in karate- I wonder what she’s studied?
I grabbed my wand, shoved it in its sheath, and tore out of the flat. I needed to get out, I needed to get some air, do something useful- I transfigured my clothes into my entirely appropriate but fashion-useless clothing, and tore through the streets, searching for someone to blame.
This was where I found my second reason to get pissed off, but I had nowhere to vent my anger; nothing to do except hold her. I didn’t find her fast enough, so she became my second reason. It was simple and painful.
She had clearly stumbled out of a nearby bar or something earlier, judging by her freezing skin. Curled up tightly down a dingy and dark alleyway, her clothes frayed and tattered, she full-out screamed when I first put a hand on her to get her attention and ask what happened.
I didn’t know why I wanted to ask. I already knew.
Then she was crying into my shoulder, hands gripping onto my waist and upper arm so tightly I later found I had painful, blackened bruises. I stroked her hair, even though the blood wasn’t even dried in it yet.
“I was on a date- I didn’t know he wanted- and he said- he said I deserved it,” she sobbed. I wrapped a blanket around her shoulders, but kept as close possible and let her keep gripping me.
“You didn’t, I promise you didn’t,” I whispered, blinking back my own tears. She needed me to be calm. “You didn’t deserve this. “
She shuddered so violently that I shook with her.
“Shh, it’s okay. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Please, please- I can’t...“
“...I’m here, sweetie. I’m here.”
I wasn’t quite right the next morning. I didn’t have any more nightmares, although I woke up twenty minutes early- a perpetual feeling of being late, I supposed- and was actually up before Elizabeth. When she walked in, I wondered who Cute Boy really was. Could I trust her with him? Would he keep her safe? Should I follow them on date nights, just to be sure?
The night had got later and later, then the morning, and the police asked me over and over what I had seen, but she was clinging on to me so tight. I was the only other woman there and she didn’t let them near, didn’t trust any of them. They called female officers eventually, when she punched one of the men in the stomach because he tried to help her stand up and she freaked out.
My usual Apparition spot was empty, so my travel to work was painless, but everything mattered less. Mr Ryland’s report: written. Harry’s information sheet: filed. Keiran’s information sheet: sent. I promised Jess I’d buy her a cup of coffee and write three of her assignments if she would deliver my report to Rubina Selwyn for me.
Nothing mattered, because I knew that woman was still in hospital and he was still out. Somewhere. Still within arm’s length of other women, of girls, of everyone, those vile hands how dare they touch anyone at all-
“Rebecca, could you-“
Yes. The answer was always yes, Mr Ryland, why would you bother asking? Even if it wasn’t, I’d still have to do it. If we’re honest, Mr Ryland, I didn’t have any choice in the matter. I had to do what you said and if I didn’t you’d make me. That’s how the world works, Mr Ryland, have you noticed?
And I went to the Auror office because Keiran needed help because he’d entirely screwed up a very important file and apparently I was the nearest able-bodied worker between his office and mine that could help him.
He had led me to his desk, and the second I sat down, he began.
“Have dinner with me tonight.”
One of his hands was on the back of my chair and the other on my desk, towering over me.
“You really did manage to mess up the order of these,” I reprimanded, spreading the sheets out in front of me. My hands were steady, but my muscles were rigid and tensed.
“Look, just one date. I want to prove to you I can be a nice guy. What’s your problem?” he asked, clearly exasperated. He rested a hand on my shoulder, and I promptly snatched away from him.
Still refusing to even look up, I shifted the paper in order, although I wasn’t entirely sure that in my flurry of movement I was entirely accurate. “My problem is that you won’t leave me alone. Let me do my job or go away.”
“But I want to have one date! One! It’s not that much to ask of you.”
I stopped shuffling the papers, and sank in the seat behind me.
“I don’t recall any of that being posed as a question. It was a demand.”
“I- well, I’ve asked, but then you ignore me. So fine, will you please please go to dinner me tonight?”
He was still standing right over me, and his desk was right by the wall. I couldn’t move, only shift uncomfortably. “No.”
“See?!” he said, throwing his hands up in the air. “You just ignore me! What else am I supposed to do?”
It so tempting, so very tempting, to pick up the chair and bash his head with it.
“If I said yes, would you leave me alone after that?”
“Yes,” he said, and I could hear the grin in his voice. He put his hand under my chin and guided me to look up at him. “We’re gonna have a great time,” he promised, practically bouncing.
I slapped his hand away viciously hard and loud, and stood so fast I nearly bashed his chin with my head- he took a couple of shocked steps back.
“Would you really leave me alone, though?” I asked quietly.
His smile had faded and instead he was weary.
“Are you sure you’d stop? Because I’m not.”
He stood a little straighter, and he kept his eyes on me.
“Because you haven’t stopped asking me for this goddamned date.”
He didn’t answer. He held my gaze, though.
“So in this parallel universe where I say yes- god only fucking knows why I’d ever say yes- we’ve gone out for a meal at a fancy Italian restaurant because you really wanted to prove your point. You’re a great person to be with and would spoil me rotten- and, honestly, I’m impressed, because I love Italian and I didn’t know you knew that.” I was speaking fast, jabbing the words at him to make sure he heard them all. “The date’s winding to a close, and you offer to walk me home, like a gentleman would. We’re standing at the door, and I open it. You give me a goodnight kiss. I smile. You ask if you can come in. You keep asking because you want to prove how amazing a kisser you are. I say no.”
He held my gaze, but he was speechless. A few paper people were watching us.
“Can you not see where this is going?”
“Fine,” I spat. I could feel the tears building in my eyes, but my courage was growing and so was the volume of my voice. “And then you get mad, because for fuck’s sake you’re an excellent shag as well, you really are, a kiss isn’t that much to ask, and you’ve asked so it’s fine really, and you make me kiss you and you don’t understand why I keep saying no and then to hell with it all you’re-“
While I’m talking, he’s shaking his head and his hands are coming up in defence.
“I would never force you to-“
“That’s what you’re doing right now!” I interrupted, nearly shrieking. “You’re pressuring me into doing something I don’t want to do. You’re forcing me into a decision I’ve already decided on. I don’t want a date with you- fucking respect me and accept my decision,” I demanded.
If he was going to humiliate and degrade me bloody hell was I going to tell the world about it. “When are you going to get it into your thick head? I was interested in you until you told me I had a ‘nice ass’, at which point I realised just how much of an unprofessional dickhead you are.”
“No, I didn’t mean-“
“Do you know what’s like? Not even feeling secure in your own work place?” I demanded, staying in his personal space when he tried to take a step back. He glanced around. I hoped everyone was hearing every goddamn word. “Do you know what it’s like, walking out the door as fast as I fucking can to make sure you aren’t following me? To stand at the front of the office and make sure you’re not in there before walking through it? Do you know how it feels to feel this worthless and crap and stupid, like the only thing about me that matters is how I look? Do you know what it’s like to think if you go to the next night out with your mates, you’ll get attacked by one of your colleagues?”
I thought of that girl. She’d only been out on a date, only out with a guy she liked...
“It’s why I didn’t go to Margaret’s retirement party!” I yelled, tears flowing freely, pointing my finger at him. He took another step back.. “I’d have absolutely loved to go- but I was too afraid if I dressed up, or drank a drop of alcohol, or even stood in your presence that I’d been blamed if you hurt me! That you’ll screw me up so royally that I’ll never be happy! Do you know what that’s like?!”
It didn’t matter that it wasn’t actually true; it could easily have been.
I wiped my eyes defiantly, holding his gaze. He looked trapped. “That’s the first time you’ve actually called me by my name. Did you realise that?”
He tried to say something, but he couldn’t.
His world must be so easy. The privilege of being a man.
“Fuck, ask any woman in here what it’s like when someone in work hits on you and you know they have the influence to get you fired.”
“I would never have-“
“How am I supposed to know what your intentions are? All you’ve shown me is that you can’t accept it when I say no!”
“Rebecca, I never meant to-“
“But you know what?” I spat, seeing Harry Potter come out of his office to watch my little display. I started directing my words at him as much as Keiran. “You can tell the wizarding world, the muggle world, everyone in this office that this superhero is a danger and a menace and the worst thing to happen since Voldemort- you can tell the world whatever the fuck you want! But she’s more a hero than you’ll ever be, because she’s doing what no one will ever mention- the drunk and drugged girls, the vulnerable girls, the girls who can’t say no- the girls that don’t get listened to. She’s saving them every day while you sit in your cosy fucking office with your cosy fucking lives, and she’s out there helping the girls like me deal with the guys like you.”
“I would never- do that- to you!” he said, hushed, raking his hands running through his hair worriedly.
“What? Rape? Say the word, Keiran. I dare you,” I said, smirking even though it wasn’t very funny.
“Look, I just-“
“Oh you pathetic-“
“Fine, rape! I would never rape you! I just- I just kept asking because I like you. I think you’re really amazing and I want to get to know you better-“
“WHAT ABOUT ME?” I roared, shoving him into the desk behind him. “WHAT ABOUT WHAT I WANT? WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO DATE YOU?”
“-I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry, I didn’t-“ he said desperately.
I felt my whole face contort with disgust. “I don’t want your apology.” Taking a step back, I shook my head. I picked the papers up, and shoved them into his arms. “Sort your own work out from now on. I won’t help you.”
I turned on my heel and began marching out.
“Rebecca, look-“ he began, dropping the paper back on the desk.
I halted and he nearly knocked me over, but I smacked out at his helping hands. “You know what? I’m done. I’m done with the people in this department- fuck that, this building- not even standing up for me or thinking that this was a problem. I’m fucking done. I’m formally handing in my resignation tomorrow morning,” I told him. “Don’t try to stop me. Can you manage that? Or do I have to give you another fucking lecture on respecting my decisions?”
He shook his head slightly, eyes downcast, swallowing.
Harry quietly called my attention.
“Do you want to make a complaint?”
I went striding up to him, near spitting my words. “No. I don’t. I want you to actually pay attention when one of your employees is making another uncomfortable. I want you to start supporting the superhero and making the difference that you pledged to make in that interview- it starts in here. You support her by supporting the people in here when no one else will. That’s what she’s doing, isn’t it? Isn’t that what you did when you were the Chosen One?”
Slowly, he nodded.
“...and I think you should change your frankly pathetic policy on harassment in the workplace before I change my mind about that complaint.”
He nodded, and indicated that I continue.
“Everyone- back to your work, please. Now.”
I strode into Mr Ryland’s office, and flatly told him what had happened and that I was giving him my notice. He didn’t try to argue. He asked if I needed a reference. I probably did, so I agreed to one. He told me to take the rest of the day off.
The flat was empty when I got back to it. I considered calling Elizabeth to tell her what happened and ask her to come back and eat pity ice-cream with me, but instead I grabbed my laptop and tried to update on recent developments.
In the muggle world, nothing much was really happening.
I nearly threw the computer against the wall. Instead, I methodically begin to pocket everything I would need for the day. I couldn’t sit inside and do nothing, although being without a job would probably end up being violently dull.
I couldn’t have gone back to that job. I couldn’t face that office again.
But it was fine, because I could live with only helping people.
I’M GOING TO SLEEP SUPERGIRLS <3 nighty night!
wow wait no hang on #thought
so our lovely crimefighting supergirl is like, mega fast and wicked strong and can beat off guys twice her size with very little difficulty- shes superhuman, right? but shes got to be naturally occurring because if the government had made her theyd still be after her or shed be locked up already, so its pretty much certainly in her genetics to be superhuman, right?
and she fights off crime all the time (omg so much rhyme) and she beats up bad guys, but the bad guys are never superhuman. theyre superhuman idiots, but. theyre not supervillains. so my question is this- if supergirl is naturally occurring and genetic, why arent there more supers and why hasnt she ever faced a supervillain? don’t all superheroes have their supernemesis?
Are you saying we should find a superevil guy to make sure our hero is really a hero? Because her going out on a regular basis to save lives isn’t enough evidence for you that she’s a good person? Do I have to get pissed off with you again? It’s really late and I want bed. I don’t have the energy for it.
no- i just don’t believe that she’s the only one with powers. where are all the other ones? why havent we ever seen them?
Okay, I think it’s time for bed for you too. Ssh, nightblogger. <3
but theres got to be more of them- maybe even who hate her, for putting their secret in the newspapers! why haven’t they confronted her yet?
The next morning, I woke up from another nightmare.
A/N This is for the girl who won’t be the same- I hope you overcome what he did to you.
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