Fandom: Sky High
Characters: Magenta, Mr. Grayson/Stitches, the Commander, Baron Battle
Word Count: 1,941
Spoilers: All of the film
Warnings: Horror story, implied gore and other things of a disturbing nature, insanity, disturbed minds, character death.
Disclaimer: Sky High is owned by Disney. I make no money.
Notes: This is a sequel to Little One and Little One, Fly Away. This story won't make sense unless you've read those two. This is a through-and-through horror tale. Bad things happen to our favorite characters and there is no happy ending. You’ve been warned.
Summary: A supervillain always has to have a plan. Stitches can only hope that this time he's able to make it work.
Stitches clutched the phone in trembling hands. She was not here, being out in the city somewhere, on one of her unspeakable missions of mercy. He didn’t have much time to do what he had to do.
He dialed the number, hearing it ring once, twice. Click
“Don’t hang up,” Stitches said instantly. “I need your help. I need someone to help stop her.”
There was a beat of silence on the other end of the line, and Stitches was afraid he wouldn’t answer.
“No one can stop Magenta,” a weary and raspy voice said. They didn’t bother to introduce themselves. Stitches knew whom he was calling. The other man wouldn’t care who was on the other end of the line at this point.
“You could, if you get help. You have to try. Isn’t that what you do, you heroes, you try?” Stitches demanded.
“Do you know how many friends she’s put into the hospital? How many others she’s killed? No one’s doing anything now, everyone’s afraid to with her around. Everyone’s just running or hiding and hoping she won’t find them,” he said dully.
“I made her what she is,” Stitches said quickly, and held his breath.
He could almost hear the anger unfurling on the other end of the phone. “What? Who is this?”
“Royal Pain. My God, I should have figured it out.” His voice was regaining some of his old strength, and Stitches swallowed to try to keep his voice even.
“There’s a way to beat her, if you know what she is now. I can help you there,” Stitches promised recklessly.
“How? How do you think that I’m going to be able to destroy her, after what she did to my son? He was the strongest person alive!” The Commander’s voice did not break; he’d already done that months ago, after Jetstream had fallen to Magenta’s panicked response after an attempt to reason with her.
“Because you wouldn’t go at it alone. Commander, you and Battle are the only hope.”
Another long beat of silence, and Stitches almost felt the wrenching decision as a palpable thing in the air.
“If we die, then we all die. You realize this, right?”
“You’re the hero. You decide,” Stitches said, the salt-sting of sarcasm touching to the Commander’s open wounds. He held the phone away from his ear as the Commander roared in fury, and felt a touch of pride as he realized he still had his old minion skills.
Stitches always thought he’d wanted to serve the most powerful supervillain on the planet. He’d worked with Royal Pain in the beginning because she was unquestionably the best, a powerful, intelligent, great planner. Even when her plans had gone awry, Stitches had been there for her, helping her achieve the greatness he always knew she could do. What other minion would have that much faith in his villain that he’d spend eighteen years raising her as his daughter after a technological mishap to bring her plan to fruition? None but Stitches.
When her plan had gone awry again and she’d been captured, Stitches just patiently put Royal Pain’s next plan into play. He’d have to find and subvert a hero into going into the Metroplex Superpowered Correctional Facility and freeing her. That most would consider the task impossible hadn’t fazed Stitches at all; after all, hadn’t he raised a daughter? Now that had been an impossible task!
It had been fitting that he’d captured Will Stronghold and his friends to try to find one that was suitable. He’d known right away which one he’d wanted: the little one. Magenta Rothschild reminded him of Sue, with a feisty nature, strong will, and a completely underappreciated power. He’d isolated her with his words, using a technical array of thrown sound waves that only her more sensitive shifted ears could hear, induced everyone’s powers, and waited.
Stitches had hoped she’d been able to survive, he just hadn’t expected her to take the extreme measures she had. She’d given him more than he’d ever expected, like Sue, and he’d been certain nothing would be able to stop her from freeing his little girl. And nothing had, except her. He hadn’t guessed the consequences until she’d come back talking to a half-dozen voices, bloodstained and bearing Sue’s powers. Necessity had driven her to a hero’s extreme to complete her task.
He’d never wanted that. Now he had to end it.
When the Commander finally wound down, Stitches put in his last two cents. “Baron Battle agreed already. He said he’ll be in the town square when she comes back tonight.”
“I’ll do it. Tell Battle to be ready,” the Commander said, his voice a dark growl.
Stitches wiped his head as he set the phone down, and sat down with his head in his hands. He didn’t move until Magenta soared in the open window an hour later.
He hugged her when she came back to see him. He always did, no matter what had happened, no matter whom she had saved or spared. She lived for his approval. He was the only restraining factor in her life, and he didn’t dare anger her. Not until everything was ready. The voices of her hero friends conflicted with Sue’s frustrated anger, all of them bouncing around inside her, sometimes with violent consequences. And when you could control technology, fire, and plants, slip into any space, glow like the sun, fly like the wind, and had the strength of a giant, “violent consequences” could destroy cities. And had.
The heroes that had tried to stop her when she’d been in one of her fits had not fared well. Those villains that had sought to take her down or subvert her for their own purposes had fared even worse. The fatalistic had finally stepped back to watch the world burn. The desperate still tried to contain her.
Stitches was the most desperate man in the world.
“Sue was angry,” Magenta said slowly, her eyes wavering in her focus on his face. “She didn’t want to go into that power plant. I tried to get people out… Will said I had to. And someone else… Warren said someone was going to hurt them, so I went after someone first.” Her brows furrowed as she tried to drag truth out of a mind that was shattered into pieces. Stitches simply hung on to her, petting her hair soothingly to hide the trembling in his hands. She had no blood on her mouth, and he thanked whoever was listening for that small favor.
“And someone was… his name was… Ethan says he was Sparkler? Yes, that’s it. Wanted to use the power plant to put a surge through the city. We stopped him and saved the people!” Magenta said, beaming as she finally managed to put her story in order.
Oh yes, she’d stopped Sparkler’s bid to take over the city, and saved the citizens trapped inside. She’d also inadvertently destroyed the entire power plant and ripped up a dozen city blocks in the process. She’d saved a dozen lives and snuffed out a thousand by accident. Stitches had watched the whole thing on the news, his heart in his throat. Every semblance of a plan that he’d ever had for Magenta was long since gone. Now he could only watch in silent horror as she dismantled the world by mistake. Sue must be laughing at him behind Magenta’s eyes.
“You just did what you thought was right,” Stitches said softly, hugging her hard. “But sweetheart, I found out there are two people that want to talk to you. They need to see you pretty soon.”
“Who?” Magenta asked, biting her lip in nervousness.
“The Commander and Baron Battle.” Stitches braced himself for a bad reaction, and wasn’t surprised when Magenta went still, probably listening to the conflicting voices of Will and Warren in her mind.
“It’s not, I’m not, we-. We should see them, we have to see them, we need to-!” she broke out suddenly, and Stitches released her so she couldn’t accidentally break his arm. She’d done that twice already.
“They’re in the town square,” Stitches said. There was a burst of wind, and she was gone. Still shaking, Stitches walked to the window, easily able to see the square from where he stood.
In the middle stood two figures, one in red, white, and blue, the other in unrelenting red. Soaring to meet them was a tiny figure glowing a brilliant purple. He imagined what she might say to them, speaking in broken phrases that might have come from either of their sons, showing them the powers of children long dead and consumed into her.
The fire from Battle’s hands was impressive, consuming her in a hellish fireball that tossed her right into the Commander’s deadly punch. Over a decade as enemies had given the two fathers as much familiarity with each other’s tactics as any super-team, and they had every reason on Earth to not fail. The fate of the world lay in their hands.
But they were facing an impossible enemy. Immune to flames, stronger than both of them combined, with more tricks than a dozen superpowered beings at her disposal, only the most powerful would have attempted to face her and hope to come away alive.
Magenta rallied after a half-dozen tag-team blows, shifting into a form too tiny to target, and letting the remaining trees of the square answer for her. Fire flew from each side when Battle poured his flame at her, as the Commander destroyed the treacherous vegetation. Someone screamed loud enough to be heard from Stitches’ window as Magenta sent Sue’s power stabbing outward, hauling in every piece of technology nearby to give her a shield. With a shriek like a wounded animal, she dove to earth like a falling star, right into the hands of her attackers.
Stitches sat back in his chair as the final burst of flame and thunder consumed the remains of the town square. He clutched a sealed vial in his rock-steady hands as Magenta flew back into the room long minutes later, pale with exhaustion, bloody, sweat-soaked, and sooty. These were the tenth and final ones left. Stitches had called everyone with enough guts left to face her. She could never understand why they were here, only that they opposed some part of her, and she had to fight them. It had been three days now, three days of constant battle and no sleep. Setting the Commander and Baron Battle against her had been Stitches’ last play. She was as weak now as she ever would be.
“I had to, I think I killed them, I didn’t mean to, they were my fathers, I didn’t, I didn’t-!” she sobbed softly, blacked hands reaching out to him. Stitches pulled her onto his lap like he had with Sue before she outgrew showing affection. The monster he’d created sobbed into the side of his neck, crying for something she was no longer capable of understanding.
Stitches held her close as he pierced the vial’s seal with his thumb. Deadly poisonous vapors rose from within, engulfing them both in a sickly-sweet mist. Darkness began to overtake his vision, and he felt Magenta begin to sag in his weakening grasp. He didn’t know if this would truly kill her, but he had to try. Either way, he could no longer stay to face the consequences. As the darkness took him under, he thought he heard Sue’s voice again, rising above all the others, and smiled to think that he was finally back where he belonged.