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Just something little I wrote up! Wow, I'm actually posting something here. I will have more done soon!

Title: A Fairy Tale
Characters: Yuri Petrov, Mr. Legend, Olga Petrov
Word count: 800
Rating: PG13
Warnings: References to domestic abuse, child abuse.
Summary: Stories don't always end the way you'd like them to.



It's quiet in the basement, and when he closes his eyes, at first, there's not a sound. Silence and stillness surround him, and the light is so dim, his eyelids are enough to block it out. Peace. Nothingness. He sits alone and motionless in his chair, and he is not troubled.

It takes several minutes for the noises to begin. They're distant at first, barely audible. One might mistake them for the house shifting or the pipes faintly protesting their own age. Yet that isn't all they are. It's more than that. They're noises with meaning. Yuri doesn't open his eyes, but he listens. He might not want to, but he can't help but listen. Even if he were to cover his ears, he knows, he cannot block out the noise. It is not the kind of sound that can be blotted out, drowned out, or escaped.

They are the sounds of his memories, of the events that took place here, in the rooms of the house where he was born. Vague at first, that vagueness only draws him further in, concentrates his focus. He must move toward what he hears, but he can do that without leaving his chair. Slowly, his consciousness rises from his body and up toward the ceiling. Up into the rest of the house, and into the past. The sounds coalesce, become identifiable. He hears his father's voice.

Father.

Calling his name, saying it's time for bed, reading him a story about a knight and a dragon. The dragon breathed fire, and the brave knight slew it. Then the knight and the princess he'd saved were happy together. Happily ever after after all.

That isn't how the story really went, Father.

He can hear his mother's voice, too. First, her gentle explanations as she taught him how to sew. He'd followed her throughout the house when he wasn't in school, eager to copy everything she did. She let him stir the mix for the cake for Father's birthday. She used to sing as she walked from room to room, lovely little songs in Russian that he can't quite catch the lyrics to, no matter how hard he tries. He doesn't want to hear any more, anything after that, but he can't stop it from happening, her soft voice rising into a shout, the way she'd cried out that day, loudly at first, then hardly at all, until there was only the softer yet somehow more horrible sound of the blows, oh mother.

The knight tried to slay the princess.

It shouldn't have happened like that, but he can't step back into the past, into the story, to change it. The looming figure of his father blocking out the sun, then bearing down. He'd noticed the bright buttons on his father's uniform, hanging empty in the background, his father no longer wearing it because his father had become a monster. Being a Hero had made him a monster. Who would have expected that? Yuri could smell the blood in the air. What if he'd done nothing in that moment? What would have happened to his mother? You cannot turn a blind eye to evil. You never can.

The dragon killed the knight.

The scent of blood, of alcohol, of fear, and then, burning it all away, the brightness of fire. From nowhere. Suddenly, when he needed it most, he had power. He could be strong, and it was the duty of the strong to protect the weak. He ran forward and grabbed his father's arm. And then--and then--a confusion of light and heat, his own fire used against him, pressed against his face. Everything so bright. Everything. The stench of burning flesh, and then, for a blessed but short time afterward, after he'd fallen unconscious from the pain, there was nothing. As there is nothing now. Those sounds, the memories, they are no longer real. There is only a man, sitting in a dark room, many years later.

The princess grew to hate the dragon.

His mother is waiting for him upstairs, still sobbing, no doubt. She'd had another of her episodes, railing at him for what he'd done to Father. He tries not to be angry with her. It isn't her fault, as she'd never recovered, but he finds it difficult to keep his emotions always in check, to control his temper, to keep everything as it should be. It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak. He can do this. He knows he can. That is why he was given this power, why he is what he is. He will cleanse the world.

And then, what did the dragon do?

At last, Yuri opens his eyes, and what does he see? He sees what he always sees. He sees fire.
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