This story’s based on Victoria, my interpretation on the scenario of her dropping the necklace into the water and then going through a…purge? Idk, I wrote this on exactly zero hours of sleep.
The first day after Victoria throws the necklace into the water, she barely has the strength to lift her head. She remembers stepping back on shaky legs, her energy quickly seeping out of her body to join the isotope sinking into the murky depths. In the distance, she feels eyes on her. Calm and clear, like the cold blue of a swimming pool. She can only think of one person with eyes like that.
She stumbles back into Diana, who has to hold her steady and guide her to her bed. A trace of worry shivering in the air around Diana as she lowers Victoria’s head onto the pillow, her voice reaching Victoria through a maze of gray fog.
“You did what had to be done.”
It feels like her limbs are weighed down with concrete. She thinks of the few times she’d been without her necklace, but this bout of exhausted nausea rolls down her spine like her body’s realized that the isotope is no longer an arm’s length away.
The crippling fear of permanent helplessness stings her eyes and makes her clutch her arms around herself weakly. Diana’s voice, however muffled and distant, is like a balm on her mind as a cool hand grazes her face, pale and sweating like an unbroken fever.
“Rest, now. I’ll bring you anything you need.”
A choked sob leaves Victoria’s throat, and she clenches her teeth, ashamed at the sound of it. All of her strength, gone like a candle snuffed. The hands that could snap a grown man’s neck couldn’t even clutch at Diana’s. She feels like a snake with its fangs pulled out.
But she has refused to rely on the isotope for strength. She’s a teenage girl, not a test-tube experiment raised to be a killer. No matter what those papers say about her, she’s not going to give those bastards the satisfaction or control over her life.
So she waits it out. Agonizes over the lack of control she has over her body. Diana has to help her with nearly everything; eating, bathroom breaks, getting back into her bed. She’s like a newborn, brought into a less-sterile, less-shitty environment to be raised in.
In the first twenty-four hours, she’s able to get up and walk to the bathroom by herself. Which is good, because as soon as she reaches the toilet, the floor tilts under her feet in a vertigo spiral, and she’s throwing up the tomato soup Diana spoon-fed her, spotting the porcelain red. Her body must be purging itself, she thinks numbly. It was addicted to the isotope’s power, and now it must learn to live without.
Her fingers grip white-knuckled at the toilet seat as her vomiting subsides into dry retching that brings Diana to the door in a heartbeat.
“Victoria,” Diana’s voice is tight as she smooths her hand over Victoria’s back. It feels like forever until Victoria quits retching, swallowing the needles in her throat as she lets Diana pull her up by the shoulders and rinse her mouth at the sink. Diana’s been so patient with her, and it makes her want to cry. She’s the mother Victoria never had the privilege to know.
Her blurry mind digs up the memory of 47 carrying her down the hall. The nimble strength of his arms, the stilted whisper of his voice like he’d suddenly learned how to care and hated the feeling of it. But he knew the shit Victoria had gone through, a childhood parade of needles and tests and too-small hands holding too-large guns.
And it was enough to connect them to a similar want, the want to live a life they could call their own. 47 didn’t save her for the purpose of seeing her walk in his footsteps. So, if anything, she has to suffer through this for the two people in this world who care about her.
Diana helps her back into bed, cools her teary, too-hot face with a washcloth and adjusts the pillow under her head. “Thank you, Diana,” Victoria murmurs, gratitude brightening every syllable. Then her world blacks out.
When she wakes up again, the gray fog no longer fills every corner of her mind. She groans, turns her head and sees a glass of water on her nightstand, a bottle of medicine sitting patiently beside it. She forces her eyes to focus past them at Diana sitting in a chair, an open book in her lap. Diana’s eyes are closed, her head tilted slightly and her lips parted as she dozes, and Victoria thinks of how exhausting it must have been to look after her.
Victoria sits up slowly, and takes a deep breath.
It feels like the worst part is finally over.