Encounter with Fear
*Note, there is no shipping involve with this one-shot, just Absolute, Complete Angst. Nothing fluffy about this at all. There might also be some trigger warnings, though I am not completely sure. I'm being cautious. If you cry, I'm sorry. And if they seem OOC, just deal with it, please.*
*mentions of Bullying, some hallucinations of a chemical/drug(???), a single remark of mentioned torture... Definitely shows some emotional and mental scars... A liar and a butterfly terrorist are mentioned as well... I think that's it. If you guys see more, please tell me so I can add it.*
"What scares you the most?" The man under the burlap mask and costume asked, walking around Marinette as he sprayed her with this sort of gas.
It was then, Mari realizes, she just bumped into Scarecrow and he's using her as his latest subject.
She felt her breathing becoming quicker, her eyes dilating, and heartbeat pounding loudly in her head. Nothing she hasn't experienced though.
"M- Many things, sir. I-I'm afraid of m-many things." She stuttered, looking behind Scarecrow. Oh gosh, the fear toxins induce hallucinations as well. She could see them. Her classmates and former friends, staring and smiling at her wickedly. Their words jumping off the walls of the alleyway they were in.
She felt like screaming but she's been through many times. She lost the ability to scream about it a long time ago.
"Do go on, child. *I'm* ~~We' re~~ LiStEnInG" Scarecrow's voice was distorted, it sounded rough and low, but she could hear him loud and clear through the fake words of the hallucinations.
"I have many things to be afraid of, too many to count or even keep track of." She started. She sees Scarecrow gestured her to continue so she did. After all, she has nothing left to lose at this point in time, she has nothing to gain either, might as well just do it.
"All my fears are in my head, as everyone else does. Often times, I am not sure what I even fear until I'm facing it, staring at it head-on. It's hard to remember my fears when I'm always so busy with something else, most of the time worrying about many things. Once upon a time, I can remember easily feeling fear rise up in whole being when I look straight into the eyes of my nightmares. Now? I'm used to it. I've hit my lowest point multiple times, I am used to the feelings now. The pit of despair and helpless appear in people's stomachs only to become forever present in mine." She pauses, gulping. Dear Kwami, send her help. The fear toxins were affecting her badly, the only thing making it bearable was for her to talk, distracting herself with her own words, forgetting Scarecrow was even in front of her in the first place, the one who caused this.
"What's the point of feeling terrified when the nightmare is always on repeat on a daily basis? Every day, I get burned down by my classmates, my former friends. They call me and make claims of me that are anything but true. All because of a liar. A liar who took everyone I cared for away from me. My class is in war, and instead of joining my side, of a girl they knew for a long, they joined the enemy, all because of her pretty words that she spouts. I've been abandoned, betrayed, heartbroken, and left behind. Their words, especially the harshest ones, echoes through my ears. The rumors they spread of me ruined many things, especially my family. They managed to get to them, now my maman and papa does not believe no more. They don't trust me. All because of the girl who speaks nothing but lies." She could feel tears fall down her face. She chokes back a sob but Mari still continues.
"The same girl who's helping a terrorist back home. She aided the terrorist multiple times on multiple occasions. Their work has gotten so bad that paranoia has become a friend to all of the citizens of Paris. No one felt safe, not even in their homes. Everyone always walks the streets warily, not knowing when an Akuma will strike and destroy the city. The person underneath the Akuma is just a person whose negative emotions are manipulated by the terrorist, Hawkmoth. The bastard takes advantage of us being human, to feel negativity. Even a little sadness he can make you his puppet. Imagine waking up in the middle the streets to realize someone made you be a villain and destroy your home against your will, and you can't even remember!" She felt anger rise, the hallucination of her classmates morphing into every Akuma she, as Ladybug, had to witness and fight. All of them wore a frown on their face, yet their eyes were blank. Puppet strings were attached to their limbs, all connected to the same dark hand, Hawkmoth's hand.
"So many of us had to resort to not act like a human. We're slowly becoming a husk of our former selves the more and more we bottle our emotions. The only thing we can safely feel is the positive ones and those emotions are getting harder to come by. We're becoming cold, empty. All because of a man, a terrorist. And the liar is but a helper of his cause, spreading pretty and fake words around just to spread the corruption more and more." The hallucination started to lose it's color, slowly fading into the background. The toxins effects are subsiding. She managed to persevere through it. She wasn't expecting that.
"I've had to face this many times on a daily basis. I even considered it to be part of my daily routine. Hear the lies of my peers, see my parents disappointment in their eyes, the paranoia energy coming off of everyone as they walk the streets. It has become the norm." She paused as she stopped hearing her heart practically pound in her head, her breathing calming down to a steady rhythm, and her eyes now relaxing.
"I'm sorry, sir, that my reaction isn't what you had expected, nor was it the outcome you desired. The fear toxins do affect me but I've learned to deal with it."
Marinette couldn't see how Scarecrow's feeling or thinking due to his mask. She feels nervousness bubble up as she watches him pace around her, a hand under his chin. But she ignored it.
"You are, by far, one of the most interesting test subject and victim I have ever encountered, child." He finally spoke up, his eerie golden-orange eyes glowing in the darkness of the eyeholes in his mask.
"I'm curious, how do you deal with such fears?" He asked. She can feel him observe her intensely.
"I don't, actually. I let it free, so I constantly feel it's presence when it arrives. But I don't let it control me or my actions. It won't do good in the end. Plus, I do not want to fall down to my emotions just as many others back has, and soon be manipulated by Hawkmoth. At this point, all I could do is hope for the best and try to keep moving forward."
Scarecrow was silent, as he was whilst she ranted. His eyes never left her, as he stood in front of her, not moving as if he was a statue. After what seemed like an hour, Scarecrow moved up to her and untied the rope that binds her, letting drop to the floor.
He extended a hand to her, the one not strapped up with his fear gauntlet. Marinette hesitated but she gladly accepted it, surprised that he had helped her up and catches her when she nearly fell.
"Yes, you're definitely one of the most interesting..." He pauses for a moment, looking around the alleyway slowly with a critical eye and back to her.
"You are free to go child, but next time, please do avoid going through this alleyway, this one specifically. You're lucky you had encountered me instead of the Joker. Unlike me, he has no qualms in torturing you and leave your corpse to rot in an abandoned warehouse, no matter how old you be." He leads her to the entrance of the alleyway, to the nearby post lamp, and handed her an item, a small sickle scythe that seems to be dozed in yellow-orange fear toxins, unlike the toxic green he used on her.
"I do not trust the nightwalkers that walk among this city. Use this in case you encounter any trouble. One slice and they'll be distracted long enough for you to get away. This is for your own safety, child." He turned around and walked back to the alleyway when he pauses.
"Find a man named Harvey Dent, he can help you with any court-related things if you feel like suing someone, especially the liar, and I recommend you to find a woman named Leslie Thompkins. She'll help you with any emotional trauma and scars you may have." With that, he disappeared into the shadows, the only thing she could barely see from Scarecrow is the small glow from his chemicals.
Looking down at the sickly scythe in her hand, Marinette couldn't help but tear up and sob. The only person who seemed to care enough for her and her well being was a villain.
I might make a part 2??? Not sure. Depends. Might need to flip a coin to make a decision. OwO
@ellerahs, @imfreakingmagical, @raevofdamned, @carrisarune, @ranger-paladinikoe
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