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Madrigal by Vicinity
Summary: The relationship between Athena and her father, creating who she is today. Yves, pre-XF, JTS.

Title: Madrigal
Author: Vicinity
Email: akavicinity@yahoo.com
Category: Angst, Pre-TLG
Rating: Dark PG-13
Summary: The relationship between Athena and her father, creating who she is today.
Spoilers: "Jump the Shark"
Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine.

The sun is rising over the water, creating the illusion of a crimson sea beneath my balcony. Soon it will be light, and it will be day, and soon Drou will come looking for me, to make sure that I am alright, as is a bodyguard's duty. I wonder how much of their protection is for me, and how much of it is for him. I am his daughter, and he sees me as himself. He is teaching me, he tells me. He says that death is part of the job, but he speaks of it like art, with the reverence I have seen so often in the eyes of the priests. It is his art, and it will be my art as well.

I killed a man last night. It was not the first time I have done so, but it is the first time that it has been real. It is the first time that I have killed someone that I have known. Someone that I have loved. It is the first time that someone looked at me with genuine sorrow, genuine pity, as I murdered them. He knew me then as a betrayer, and yet he still felt pain for me.

I was cold. I have to be, to go through with this. The first time, I vomited and my father looked at me with such scorn. Since then I have done better. I have not cried, and I am not crying now. There would be no purpose, other than to show unneeded emotion and to give him something else to hold against me. Now, though, as the ocean winds blow through my hair, I shiver and I know cold in a different way. No longer numbness, but something that I can feel. Something that tears at me, threatening to destroy.

He did not ask me to kill Andre, but he may as well have. It was in his eyes, and I foolishly thought that it would be something I could do to finally gain his respect. To gain the respect of a killer. In another kingdom I would gain the love of a father, but here there is only cold admiration, and I wonder why it means so much to me.

My father does not lose. He does not let others triumph over him. He does not let his emotions get in the way of what he wants. My mother did not follow any of these rules, and she was a fool. I have watched her broken so many times, weeping over loss, both that of things tangible and otherwise. My father is so much more powerful, but is it power that I want?

I murdered my first lover in cold blood so that I could gain his strength. Strong, beautiful Andre. He made me feel, and I killed him for it. I told him to turn around so that he could see the sky, and as he told me that he wanted to make love to me, I slipped the knife into his back. As he fell, he cried, and I think that it was for me.

I did not want him to waste his dying breath on me. Now I am indebted, and it is a debt that I can never repay. I will live with this knowledge until I die.

I think that I would like to die now. It is perhaps why I came out here, after all. To watch the sun as I have so many times, and to die before day begins. I do not want to live through another day of his torment. I do not want to kill and know that he is making me into a monster, and I do not want to refuse and know that I am no better than my mother. I want to transcend humanity, but if I cannot, death will have to suffice.

The blade is cold and clean, taunting. Offering a quick, clear death, promising pain and then blissful unconsciousness. I would not join Andre, for that requires a faith that I do not have, but I would not live in memory of him, either. I would just end.

For no purpose. I would show my father that I am too weak to live under him. That his reign was too strong for me. Would that be his final triumph over me?

I stare out over the ocean, leaning on the stone railing, knife in hand. He would win, this time. He would have his evidence. He would know that I am weak, weaker than my mother. I could not have that, not even for the few moments in which it would matter. No.

I hear Drou calling to me, and I turn from the railing. The knife slides out of my hand, and I do not hear it hit the water. I hear her footsteps on the polished tile of my rooms, and a few moments she appears at the door. "Lois, what are you doing out here?"

"Reflecting," I say slowly. As Athena from the mind of her father.

"You're going to catch your death of cold, you know," she says sternly, and somehow this strikes me as terribly funny. I cannot help laughing, and as she watches me worriedly from her safe place, the wind whips around my face and I think that I am finally crying.

Author's Notes: This is . . . odd, I think. I'm not sure how many times it's been done before, but at any rate, here it is. I doubt it will be well loved, or perhaps even well accepted, but it's something that would not leave me alone last night.

Better to burn out than fade away, indeed.