Fandom(s)/Pairing(s): t-ara/iu; jiyeon/jieun.
Prompt: marvel/winter soldier au
Warnings: hints of brainwashing, memory loss, time travel, ptsd.
Summary: The past is all echoes and the present makes no sense.
A/N: Hi, long time no see! I had feelings :( There will be more of this, I'm sure.
Memories need to get lost before they can be remembered. Some times they filter back in the most unexpected moments. She’s walking down the street in Seoul one minute, minding her own business in the tide of people, and the next she’s knocked twelve of them to the ground, yelling for them to Get the fuck down, seriously! and punched a hole in an oncoming car because she thought for just an instant, out of the corner of her eye, that it was a missile.
It wasn’t always like this.
It wasn’t, it wasn’t, it can’t have always been like this, memories slipping like pebbles through water, like water through her fingers; one hand flesh and normal, the other one a metal monstrosity. When did it - how did it -
It wasn’t always metal, she wasn’t always a monster.
She has to tell herself this when she rockets through crowds and launches over cars to propel herself on top of a building, up the side of a wall and using her arm as the point of rotation to pull off a backflip onto another building and disappearing from the scene of the crime before siren’s even start whining in the distance.
Her name is Park Jiyeon, and she was born -- no. She was made. Rotting in a cell or chained to a wall or clamped to a table. Park Jiyeon is the Great Leader’s secret weapon. That’s what they told her. She was a gift to mankind, to the leader. An assassin, reshaping the world one kill at a time.
She doesn’t remember the kills until she tries to sleep. They come back in flashes, like nightmares, and keep her up all night, tense and aching. The waiting never stops and hasn’t stopped and never will stop. She’s sure it’s going to go on forever, that she’ll just be this collection of side notes, this missing person’s report from fifty years ago. She’s not that old, when she looks at herself in the mirror in some old ahjumma’s bathroom. The old lady doesn’t know she’s not her granddaughter, but someone comes around daily to check on her and make sure she’s okay. Make sure she hasn’t died yet.
“I was born in 1915,” the old woman says wistfully, accepting the tea Jiyeon hands her one day. Jiyeon thinks, me too.
She puts down the teapot with wobbling fingers. She opens her mouth to give a polite excuse and a whine comes out. She turns and walks out of the living room, stops to put on her boots, and doesn’t start running until she’s out of the front gate. But once she runs she goes and goes and doesn’t stop until memories stop and she’s standing on the top of Seoul Tower, boots on the railing and pieces of metal crushed behind her from her monstrous hand. On top of the world, of this brave new world, and she doesn’t even know how she got there.
She had a family once, who loved her. A mother and a father and a brother. They must have lived full lives, had families that had families. There were a lot of wars (she knows, she knows she was in them), and she had friends. All of her life, she had a friend, and she had long brown hair and a dazzling smile and a shoulder Jiyeon was tall enough to fit her chin on when they hugged. She used to wrap her arms around her and tuck her face into her hair and smell fresh flowers.
She thinks she had a name, but now she’s just a feeling making her chest ache. She’s lost her, she has. Just like everything else. Because she’s not a girl, she’s Dr. Frankenstein’s monster except she was made for glorious purpose. A purpose that burned so bright that it shut down the doctors with their pointy sticks and electric pulses. With that chair and the way it tore her head apart.
She’s not Park Jiyeon, because she’s dead and buried somewhere. She was a strong willed girl with too much to give and everything to lose and she lost it all. Her head is screaming her name like it means something, like it’ll come back, like she still matters. Like she has choices.
But the voice is too real to be her memory, all of which feel more like they echo from down a long tube or a tunnel. Dislocated by time and space and electricity. Memories aren’t real. They never feel real, they never pull at her flesh hand like this one’s doing.
The voice is an echo of an echo of a smiling face. Of daisies and sunlight and loud laughter. She turns on the bar of metal, feet sure where her mind is not, and catches the eye of a face as young as hers. A hand so much warmer, so soft and warm. She wants to ask, how is this possible? She wants to ask: Am I finally dead?
She opens her mouth to say Who the hell is Park Jiyeon? but something else comes out. It bubbles out around hot tears and her gasping breath.