Mind Over Matter
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything from Buffy or the Marvel Universe.
Chapter 1: Mind over Matter
WARNING: This has mentions of extreme violence and underage sex. No sex is actually described or shown though the violence is. If you want to skip the sex part skip the section following Adrian’s second appearance.
Xander sat in his chair staring at the man who had taken him from his home. Just a few hours ago he had watched this stranger kill his father. He should hate this man or at the very least fear him. Instead he was filled with this weird feeling of safety. It was an unfamiliar feeling that made his skin feel two sizes too small for his body. As he watched the man who had kidnapped him fidget under his stare Xander couldn’t help but bask in this weird feeling. He couldn’t remember any moment in his life where he felt safe. Not a single moment in his eighteen years as Xander Harris or the seven years as Julian Keller.
“Are you going to kill me?” Xander spoke up for the first time since the man had arrived. The man seemed startled at the sound of his voice. He was looking at Xander as if he had actually started wondering if the kid was mute.
“No I’m taking you to my bosses.” The man said as he clenched his left hand as if it was in pain. The man looked up from his clenched fist and looked straight into Xander’s eyes before continuing, “You’re now property of the Red Room. Welcome to the club.”
Xander watched as the man turned around. The last part had been said in little more than a whisper. Xander wasn’t sure if he had been meant to hear it or not. Either way it looked like his life had taken an even worse turn than he had thought. Apparently he was a slave in the twenty first century. How nice.
“What’s your name?” Xander asked after the awkward silence became too much for him. The man stared at him as if he was thinking about how he should answer him.
“I’m called the Winter Soldier.” The man said.
“Is that your real name?”
“It’s the only one that matter.” The Winter Soldier said with a stare that felt like it was made out of steel. The man’s eyes suddenly softened before he let out a frustrated sigh.
“When you get to the Red Room Julian Keller will cease to exist. Who and what you were before you got there is dead. Everything from your past life will be taken from you and destroyed including that doll you’re clinging to.” The man said with a pointed look at the doll currently being squeezed in Xander’s arms.
“After they do that you’ll be assigned a number. Like any product bought off the market. It will be the only thing anyone will call you until you prove yourself worthy of actually having a name. Only then will you find out your real name.” The Winter Soldier said.
“Did this happen to you?” Xander asked in a small voice.
“Of course it did. I was the very first person they did this to. You should count yourself lucky that they have already refined their techniques. Enough talking for now, there is only a few more hours before we get there and you’re going to need your rest.” The Winter Soldier said turning away from him.
Xander tried to quiet his frantic thoughts. Just from the little he had heard he knew that this Red Room was going to be the worst thing to ever happen to him. It was bad enough that he was going to be facing this trial in a seven year old body, there was no reason for him to make things worse by making himself sleep deprived too.
“Hey kid wake up. We’re almost there.” A voice said as a hand shook him awake. Xander opened his eyes to find the Winter Soldier staring at him. Xander was kind of shocked that he had actually fallen asleep. It must be his younger body. If he was still in his original body he would have definitely not fallen asleep.
The Winter Soldier looked back at the flight attendant nervously. The woman was the only other person on the plane and had left them alone throughout the whole flight. When the man was satisfied that the woman wasn’t paying attention he turned back to Xander.
“Listen up kid because I’m only going to say this once. This is going to be hell. They are going to tear you apart and destroy everything that makes up you; when their done their going to stitch you back up in some twisted image of what you used to be. What you need to do is find something inside you. A memory, a song, something that you love to do and hold onto it as tight as you can. Let them take everything else but that thing. If you keep that one precious thing or moment and guard it they’ll never truly own you. Who knows maybe then after their done molding you into their weapon you can make your escape.” The Winter Soldier said with more emotion on his face than Xander had ever seen there.
“Has anyone ever escaped before?” Xander asked feeling hope for the first time in hours.
“Only one girl and she was the best I’ve ever seen. She was raised in the Red Room just like you’re going to be. She didn’t even make it out by herself. The Black Widow was helped out by the mercy of an assassin. Maybe if you’re good enough you’ll get out without the help.” The Winter Soldier said before clamming up. The flight attendant had apparently taken notice of their conversation and had been trying to move closer to them. Xander had a feeling that this lady was definitely not what she seemed.
The rest of their trip was made in complete silence. They exited the plane and made their way to a black sedan which took them through the backstreets of Moscow. The ride seemed to take forever to Xander’s young mind. The sun had started to rise by the time they arrived. Xander was ushered into an ordinary concrete building in the middle of nowhere. Xander looked back at the Winter Soldier who had stopped and was watching him walk away. Xander watched as a sad little smile appeared on the man’s face. Xander had just enough time to see him get surrounded by men with guns before a hand grabbed his wrist and roughly yanked him. The man he had been supposed to follow was scowling down at him and muttering something that must be in Russian.
The man dragged him to an empty room with a single shower head hanging from the roof. The man ripped the teddy bear from his arms and threw it into a barrel he hadn’t noticed was there in his rising fear. The flames inside quickly burned through the doll.
“Strip, take off clothes.” The man said in broken English. Xander quickly took off his shirt and pushed down him pair of pajama pant leaving him in his little boy whitey tightys.
“Those too.” The man grunted. Xander shuddered in disgust at the thought of being naked in front of this disgusted man. Seeing the frustration growing on the man’s face Xander quickly pushed his underpants down. The man gestured for the clothes. Xander quickly gathered them and brought them to the man. Xander watched as his clothes joined his bear in the flames. The man walked over to a switch on the wall and flipped it. Xander jumped as water started raining from the shower head.
“Wash” The man said before leaving the room. Xander slowly walked under the water as the door slammed shut. The water was ice cold but something told him that cold water wasn't going to be the worst of his worries. Xander had barely been under the water for a few minutes when the door opened again. A man in his early twenties walked in carrying what looked like a pair of clothes.
Xander quickly stepped out of the water and started putting on the clothes. The clothes clung uncomfortably to his wet skin making him fidget as the man inspected him. The man had light blonde hair and light blue eyes. He would be attractive if it wasn’t for the ice that showed in his eyes.
“Huh I guess you’ll do. From now on you will only answer to the number Six. If you answer to anything else you will be severely punished. Do you understand Julian?” The man asked.
Xander wasn’t dumb enough to fall for that trap. He was no longer Xander or Julian. He might as well get used to answering by a number. Six stared at the man trying not to show anything in his face. Slowly a vicious smile appeared on the man’s face.
“Good Six. Perhaps this won’t be as painful for you as I first thought. On to the next point of business, to help you learn how to use your powers you will do everything with your telekinesis. I mean everything. From eating and drinking to even going to the bathroom. As long as you are not in one of your other lessons you might as well not have any hand for all you know. For every time you use your hands instead of your powers you’ll be punished. Do you understand Six?” The man asked.
“Yes sir.” Six said.
“For today your lesson will be opening this door without breaking it. Then you will walk down the hallway and open the third door to the right. You will then close the door and turn off the lights. Then you will get into bed and go to sleep. Do you think you’re up for it Six?” The man asked with a pleasant smile on his face.
“Then get to it.” The man said stepping to the side of the door. Six looked at him for a moment before concentrating on the door. Okay this couldn’t be too hard. He had done this earlier this day when he had lifted his now deceased teddy bear. He focused on the knob. When he had lifted the bear he had at that very moment known everything about that bear. What material the thing was made of every single part down to its last fur. He just had to do that with the door knob.
Alright this was nothing he could do this in his sleep. Which he would be right now if he could figure out how to do this stupid thing. Be one with the knob. You are the knob. Wait a second did he just insult himself. The knob was kind of pretty in its own way. Mainly comprised of iron but had a small amount of other metals doped throughout it. Oh hey he was being one with the knob. Now he just had to wish for it to turn. There it went. Okay it was turned now all he had to do was pull on it to open the door. There it was opening. Way to fast. The door smacked the wall making Six jump.
He looked at the man who simply raised his eyebrow before walking out the door. Six followed him before focusing on the knob on this side. It took less time to become the knob this time. Huh this knob didn’t match the other. It was made largely out of aluminum. They were screwed over by whoever made this place. With a thought he sent the door closing. Xander walked over to the third door to the right, were the man was waiting for him. It took half the time as it did for the first time to become one with the knob. Oh hey this was the matching set to the aluminum one. Apparently they weren’t swindled by their contractor. The contractor was just an idiot. Somehow he had felt safer when he thought they were a crook.
The door swung open letting the man and Six into the room. It took only moment for the door to swing shut. He focused on the light switch and knew that it was made out of plastic with two iron nails attaching it to the wall. He felt a tingling sensation that must be the electricity. With a thought the lights turned off. This wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be. He walked over to the bed and turned down the covers.
Six let out a gasp of pain as a fist slammed into his face sending him to the floor. Before he could get his bearing a foot flew into his stomach knocking the breath out of him. He laid there in agony trying to catch his breath. When he could finally draw in a painful breath he looked up at the man with his disturbingly cheerful smile.
“You were so close Six. If you hadn’t pulled back the covers with your hands you might have made it through your first day without being punished.” The man walked over to the bed and put the covers back where they were originally.
“Now get up and pull the covers back the right way. Oh and I would do it a little faster than you have been going. As it stands right now you only have four hours before tomorrow’s training starts.” The man said crossing his arms.
Six pushed himself up fighting back the pain. He angrily thought that the sheets better move right now. His anger dissipated as the sheet flew down the bed. Six quickly got into bed and summoned the anger he had just felt to pull the sheets back up. Apparently anger was a short cut to his powers. With it he didn’t have to spend so much time focusing on what he wanted to move.
“Good boy.” The man said condescendingly as he walked out of the room. Something told him he wasn’t going to be short on things to get him angry. Six…no Xander let himself slip off to sleep where he dreamt of a little girl with bright red hair who broke her yellow crayon and a man smiling sadly at him that somehow filled him with a feeling of safety.
Three years had passed since that horrible day and Six had come a long way. Using his powers came easily to him now. He didn’t even need the crutch of anger to do most things. He had just finished his last test on his control of his powers yesterday. It had been a long and torturous day filled with controlling multiple objects at once to picking up something as heavy as a tank. He still had a small headache from the work out, but it didn’t matter. There was no such thing as a day off at the Red Room. Since he was finished with his powers his days where now open to learn hand to hand combat.
He was dreading this more than anything he had experienced here. While he was learning how to control his powers his owner had been Adrian Mack, the man that had been in charge of him his first day. The man had been a cold hearted bastard that lived to get results and would do anything to get them. He hadn’t taken pleasure in Six’s pain, only accepting that it was a useful tool in getting results.
Today his Ownership was getting handed over to his martial artist instructor Stephanie Bustemante. She had been in charge of him for short periods of time over the last three years but had never had full ownership of him till now. The woman was a sadist plain and simple. She enjoyed everything that caused pain in her victims. The only trait she shared with his previous owner was that she got results.
Six ducked under her fist and stepped back trying to get some room to maneuver. Before he could take more than a step back Stephanie was in his face. A hand slammed into his throat cutting off his air supply. His hands went up to his throat instinctively, ignoring the desperate commands of his mind telling him to guard his midsection. As he was trying to draw in a sweet breath of air a fist punched into his stomach causing him to double over straight into a raised knee.
Six lay on his back seeing stars as he slowly regained the ability to breathe again. He knew that he only had seconds to get up before Stephanie would attack him saying that an enemy would never allow him the time to recover. Six pushed himself off the ground ignoring the intense pain from his stomach and the possibly broken nose.
“I told you already that I know you can defend yourself from an opponent who likes to keep a little distance during a fight. What you need to learn now is how to effectively fight someone who likes being up close and personal, someone who prospers in their opponent’s personal bubble.” Stephanie said as she walked over to a bench to take a drink of the water. Six squashed down the dry ache in his throat at the thought of a drink of water. He wasn’t allowed to drink water unless Stephanie gave him permission.
“That was your last warning. Now I won’t break any of your bones like I would have previously for not listening to me. After all you’re mine every day now for the foreseeable future and I can’t have you broken and useless. So instead every time you forget something I tell you, I’m going to take away an hour of your sleep that night.” Stephanie said as she wiped the sweat from her forehead.
“I don’t care if you don’t get to sleep at all. If you mess up after I take away your sleep I’ll take away one of your meals. You don’t even want to know what I’ll do with you if you lose all your meals. Do you understand Six?” Stephanie asked as she walked back towards him.
“Yes sir.” Six said making sure to not call her a mam nothing got her more pissed. Stephanie smiled before launching herself at him.
It was one of the longest and most painful days of his life. Six had been awake for forty two hours straight having lost all of his sleeping hours and had only eaten one meal the entire day. To make it worse the entire time had been spent getting his ass kicked by Stephanie. He slowly lowered himself to his bed trying not to jar any part of his body. He felt like a giant bruise. He was fairly certain that nothing was broken. He had learned early on that Stephanie didn’t break anything she didn’t want broken.
It took little time for him to drift away though he wasn’t certain that he hadn’t just lost consciousness. Either way the next day he woke up to images of a girls with a crayon and a man’s sad smile.
The next four years passed in a haze of pain and a deep tiredness. Six had almost given up hope that he would ever be finished with Stephanie Bustemante’s training, but the day had finally come. His ownership was getting handed over to Derek Lenshaw his stealth and parkour trainer. Six was glad that he wouldn’t have to see Stephanie ever again. The last few weeks she had been starting to offer him drinks that weren’t water and had been looking at him with what looked like pride. It had taken him longer than he was willing to admit to recognize that the weird look in her eyes had been pride.
He hadn’t known what to do with this new attitude. How where you supposed to react when someone looked at you with pride. He couldn’t remember ever seeing something like that. It was something new and it had filled him with unease. So it had been a huge relief to be released into Derek’s hands.
Derek was unlike any of his other trainers. He didn’t physically punish him like Adrian had or taken pleasure in beating him down like Stephanie had. He didn’t lift a finger against him and never raised his voice. He would teach him how to do something, slowly guiding him through the motions before making Six try it himself. It had taken no time to figure out why Derek didn’t bother punishing him. If Six didn’t pay attention or wasn’t able to pull something off it usually resulted in him injuring himself if it was one of his parkour lessons or getting shot by rubber bullets if it was one of his stealth lessons.
Today was one of his parkour lessons. Derek had him running through a ghost town that was built for this purpose. The path that he had sent him on was the hardest he had ever been on. Six was starting to feel exhausted from all the jumping and running and he still had a fourth of the path left. Six saw a large gap between the building he was running on and the building the path he memorized told him he needed to be on. Six pulled on some of his remaining reserves to run faster. When he got to the edge of the roof he jumped. He knew instantly that he had messed up. He didn’t have enough momentum to make it across the gap. At the speed he was going he would hit the side of the building before falling the many feet to the ground below. Six closed his eyes and braced himself for an impact that never came.
He slowly opened his eyes. He was floating in the air. Since when could he fly? Quickly he thought himself over to the other roof. Once his feet touched the floor he took a shaky breath before continuing on his path.
When he reached the end of the course he knew that he was screwed. Derek was looking at him with shock and what looked like a little bit of regret. Six slowly walked over to his current owner.
“I’m so sorry.” The man said in a quiet voice before turning around and walking away without saying another word.
The week that followed was terrible. Derek intensified his training and pushed him way past exhaustion as if he feared that he was running out of time to train Six. It only fed into the feeling of dread that had been sitting like a lead ball in his stomach.
When the week was over he walked into his training room to find Adrian there along with Derek.
“Your training is done Six. I’ve taught you everything I can in the time I’ve been given. It’s not everything I would have liked but your good enough for the real world.” Derek said as he looked at Six.
“You’re back in my ownership now.” Adrian said with one of his cold smiles. Six was able to stay still under the man’s scrutiny this time; unlike the fidgeting mess he had been seven years ago.
“Well let’s get going you’re not going to learn how to fly standing there looking like an idiot.” Adrian said walking out the door.
Six took a moment tolook at his last owner. For some reason he couldn’t understand he wanted to stay here with him. Derek looked the same as he did every other day. Except for his eyes they were filled with an emotion he hadn’t seen since the day he had gotten here. An emotion he had found in a smile of all things. They were filled with sadness. Six quickly started to walk after his new, but old master. He faltered to a stop when he heard Derek speak so softly he could barely hear him.
“Don’t let fear control you. They can only hurt your body not your heart. I’m so sorry I couldn’t help you. I’m sorry.”
Six felt a stinging sensation in his eyes and practically ran from the room. He didn’t want Derek to know that he was broken. His eyes were leaking.
By the time he caught up to Adrian the leaking had stopped and he was ready for whatever hell Adrian had in store for him. Adrian had obviously been waiting for him and looked kind of frustrated at him.
“I will give you two hours to do your best to fly. After that I’ll take it into my own hands.” Adrian said as he sat down to wait out the hours. Six tried to remember how it had felt to float but all he could remember was the feeling of dread that had taken over at the thought of hitting the side off that building. It didn’t make any sense. How had he been able to float? He hadn’t been focusing on the act of floating and he had definitely not been mad. If it wasn’t one of the two ways he usually controlled his powers how had he done it?
He didn’t know and he didn’t have enough time to figure it out. He tried to focus himself into the air but no matter how hard he tried he didn’t even feel lighter. He tried drawing on the anger that was always there but it also didn’t work.
“Alright your time is up. Come over here.” Adrian said. Six sighed in frustration before walking over.
“It’s obvious that you didn’t fly out of any conscious thought and that you didn’t pay attention to what you were doing so you could recreate it. So please try to to pay attention this time.” Adrian said. Before Six could ask what he meant Adrian had pushed him with his full force right off the roof. Six let out a scream of terror as the floor quickly drew towards him.
The world was a sluggish haze as he slowly woke up from his drug induced sleep. He could hear the beeping of machines and knew he was in medical. He slowly opened his eyes and saw a cold smile.
“Don’t you worry Six you didn’t succeed this time but when you’re all better we’ll try again.” A voice said as he sunk back into his dreams of broken crayons along with eyes and smiles filled with sadness.
A year and four plunges from the roof and Six could finally fly on command. He was finally transferring to a different owner. This time he hoped that he would never have the misfortune of seeing Adrian Mack again. He had been told to report to this room today were he would meet his new owners. That had shocked him. He apparently was having more than one owner. What could they possibly be teaching him that would require two teachers?
The room was bare except for a large bed. Six had never seen a bed so big before. What he had been using wasn’t really a bed but a pallet with blankets and an almost flat pillow. Six was drawn out of his thoughts by a man and a woman walking into the room.
“Good morning Six I’m Heather Lockly and this is Damian Brown. We’re going to be your teachers in the art of seduction.” The woman said with a smile. Six stared at them blankly before it hit him that they were talking about sex.
“As you’ll find out when you are sent on your first mission the world is run on sex. The market is driven by a desire to reproduce and it’s usually the easiest way to get what you want. By using your body in this fashion you’ll be able to get to your target without using more noticeable methods.” The man, Damian, said.
“Now Men are easily manipulated by their sexual urges and are therefore easier to manipulate using seduction and sex.” Heather said matter of factly as if Six should already know this.
“So you will be spending most of your time under my guidance where I will teach you how to pleasure and seduce a man.” Heather said.
“Though women are less affected by their sexual urges they can still be manipulated in this fashion. They need a more subtle hand and you’ll rarely have to go all the way to get what you want out of them.” Damian said.
“Now that all that nonsense is out of the way how about you strip and lay down on the bed. There’s no point in teaching you anything unless you know how it feels to have sex with both a man and a woman.” Heather said with a smile.
Six quickly took off his clothes and lowered himself onto the bed. It was the most luxurious experience he had ever had. The bed was so soft he felt like he was lying on a cloud and the sheets felt like silk on his bare skin. This was going to be the easiest lessons he had ever had. He let out a small gasp as Damian’s weight lowered onto him bringing miles of naked flesh into direct contact with his own. It was an intense experience to be pinned down and surrounded so completely. It left him feeling vulnerable though not in a completely terrible way. Six let out a grunt of discomfort as a finger prodded at his butthole. He didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t really understand why Damian’s ministrations back there were required. It was extremely uncomfortable and Six kind of wanted it to end but he kept his mouth shut since for once one of his owners wasn’t out right hurting him.
Six let his mind drift to a sad smile and a pair of equally haunting eyes that seemed to plague his sleeping hours. It helped him ignore what was happening to him. It worked until the pain of being breached shattered his illusion.
Three years later and he was finally ready for his first mission. He was told to wait in the hangar bay for the Winter Soldier who would be his partner for the mission. He couldn’t wait for this man to arrive. Not only was the man going to take him on his first mission as an agent but he was also going to finally give him his name as an agent. He would no longer be property for someone to use but be an actual asset.
Six turned as the door to the hanger opened to let in a man dressed in black leather pants. a white tee shirt, and a black leather jacket. He also had a single glove on his left hand even thought the weather didn’t warrant it. Something about the man seemed familiar as if he had met him before.
“Hello Six how are you doing? Sorry I should be calling you Hellion now” The man said with a smile. Six…no Hellion couldn’t help but return the smile with one of his own. He finally had a proper name after eleven years of being addressed by a number.
“Alright let’s get going we have to be at our target by nightfall.” The Winter Soldier said walking toward one of the planes. Hellion joined him on the plane and sat next to him.
“Julian Keller.” The man said. Hellion stayed silent for a few seconds to see if he would continue.
“Is that our target?” Hellion asked.
“No it isn’t. Are you sure that name doesn’t mean anything to you?” The Winter Soldier asked.
“No it doesn’t. Why? Is it supposed to mean something to me?” Hellion asked.
“No I guess not.” The man said. Hellion watched as a sad smile appeared on the man’s face. Only years of training kept the surprised gasp in. It was the smile he had been dreaming of for years. He had forgotten where he had seen it before. It was this man’s smile. But how had he seen this smile before? He hadn’t met this man before. Well apparently he had, he just couldn’t remember.
“Our target is a facility in Canada owned by Weapon X. They have recently been hiring out an assassin that our Intel tells us is the daughter of the X-Man Wolverine. Our objective is to completely destroy the base and if possible acquire the assassin. If it isn’t possible our orders are to kill her.” The Winter Soldier said. The sad smile never left his face throughout his speech. Hellion had gotten the gist of what their mission was but he couldn’t tear himself away from the thought that he had met this man.
“I’m going to go talk to the pilot.” The man said standing up.
“I really love your smile.” Hellion said as the man reached the exit. He turned around giving Hellion a confused look.
“Though it’s just as sad as the first time we met. I really wish I could see how it would look like happy.” Hellion continued. As if in response to his wishes the man’s face broke into a smile that seemed to light up his whole face.
Next chapter: Is about Cordelia.