My road of good intentions led where such roads always lead…
So this was not even REMOTELY the fic I planned to write today, but iTunes fucking sandbagged me out of gracious nowhere and this was the result. I don’t know if I like the results, or if I’ve got anything resembling a decent grasp on his character, but this bunny bit me hard and would. not. let. go. So here it is.
(Lyrics quoted are from the musical adaptation of “Wicked”, with one minor paraphrase.)
Author’s Note 07/09/12
Now with added fanart by the amazing Winzler. The first fanart I ever recieved. I’m still floored.
No Good Deed
One question haunts and hurts, too much, too much to mention
Was I really seeking good, or just seeking attention?
Is that all good deeds are when looked at with an ice-cold eye?
If that’s all good deeds are, maybe that’s the reason why…
Coming here is a risk.
He’s taken all the precautions he can think of to take: parked his ‘cycle well outside the edge of the city, rezzed up a loose cloak with a hood that obscures his face and false circuits that glow the airport landing-strip blue of just another Basic, suppressed his own energy signature as best he can. He’s even made sure to come on a night when the Games are being held, as much as it sickens him (how many of my people are in there tonight, he wonders, being forced to tear each other apart in front of an audience), knowing that much of downtown will be largely empty because of it. Even so, he’s all too aware it’s not really enough. He can feel Clu at the back of his mind, the link burning all the brighter for the increased proximity, and Flynn can only hope he’ll remain distracted enough by the Games to let him slip past unnoticed.
He’s been out to the ruins of Bostrum, its soft green light long since burned out, ugly rotten gashes in its walls where the virus had eaten away at them like acid. He’s still got the last remaining shards of Arjia’s delicate glass towers back at his safehouse in the Outlands. There’s only one place left to visit, one memory left to honor, and as far as Flynn’s concerned it’s worth every risk he’s taking to see it done, even as it shreds his heart.
So thinking, he rounds the corner and steps into the three-way intersection.
It’s like taking a sledgehammer straight to the chest, and all the cycles that have passed since that awful day have done nothing to soften the blow. Flynn has to fight back a surge of nausea as he remembers how confident he was as he turned this same corner with Tron that day—confident that his new System Monitor would make Tron’s job easier and that Radia would be able to help take some of the pressure off Clu and that everything was going to be okay.
“Will you stop worrying so much, Tron? Everything’s fine. Everything is under control.”
He kneels in the center of the intersection, swallowing against the nausea and the iron lump in his throat, and whispers “…greetings, Program.”
He tries to continue, but he’s vapor-locked. Night on night for cycles he’s thought about what he’d say, and now it all seems so hollow. But he’s got to say something, dammit, he owes Tron that much, so he simply murmurs the first words that come.
“…when we first met, you asked me if everything I did was according to a plan. You were so sure that that must be the way it was for Users, and I just…laughed. Laughed and tossed off some line about how you just gotta go with the flow, man, keep doing what you’re doing even if it seems crazy, all that bullshit. And it was true, too, I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I never did.” He runs a hand roughly through his hair, knocking his hood back some, but he doesn’t care. “You did, though. You always knew what you were about, and yet for some goddamn reason you followed me anyway. And I…I let you down.”
Flynn’s eyes are burning now, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe, but he rambles on anyway, powerless to stop the flow of words now that they’ve started. “I wish you were here, man. You have no idea how much. I failed you all…you and Alan and my family and Clu and…” He chokes on a sob. “…you died for me, man, and it wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t worth it. And I’m sorry, man.”
“I’m so fucking sorry.”
He can’t stay any longer. Already he’s dangerously close to losing his hold on the necessary suppression of his energy, and if that happens Clu will zero in on him in an instant. He takes a shuddering breath and gets back to his feet to begin the long trek back out to his lightcycle, sticking to back ways and nodding dumbly to any passerby he happens to encounter. No-one marks him, and the part of Flynn that’s still aware of his surroundings is distantly grateful for that.
He manages to make it all the way to the bike before collapsing against it, the sobs racking his body hard enough to physically hurt, burying his face in his hands.
Let all be agreed, I’m wicked, through and through
Since I could not succeed, my friends, in saving you
I promise no good deed will I attempt to do again, ever again…
No good deed will I do again