Shattered Chances @soupsimp
Arrested To be completely honest, I originally had no intention of publishing this, it just started as a character study and practice for writing PoVs that I'm less used to. I chose Mera because I think her epithet and how it shaped her perception of the world and her personality is interesting, so I wanted to explore that. I turned out liking it, so I decided to publish it. I haven't watched Anime Campaign, so this will almost certainly be canon-divergent if/when season 2 comes out.

Everything seemed so good: she had the amulet, and she was inches—literally inches!—away from fixing everything. Her epithet. Her pain. All of that suffering, it would be gone!

But no. Of course that girl could silence things. And of course that amateur thief was there to hit her into a wall. It hurt, it fucking hurt. Just walking around was already painful enough; didn’t he know how much a bat would hurt?

She sighed. Maybe helping Indus would have been the right thing. Indus was, excluding her parents, the person she had known for the longest. Her parents never let her outside to play with the other kids. “You’re too weak,” they’d say. “Maybe later, once you’re feeling better.” They… ugh, as much as she hated being all alone, they were right. But it didn’t make it hurt any less. She had been safe, but at the exchange of everything that made life worth living. No parties. No trips to the park. No going to school. No sleepovers with friends; not even a single friend to speak of. Indus was one of the first people she met once she left to live by herself, and he made quite an impression. He wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb; in fact, he was pretty far from it. But he was loyal, and he could hold his own in battle. “Barrier” seemed like the perfect epithet to keep herself safe from anything. She hated being treated like some piece of fine china to be locked up in a cabinet, but it was an unfortunate necessity if she wanted any chance of making her way in the world. And he did have some nice muscles… but like that had any affect on choosing him as a bodyguard.

She sighed. Maybe helping Indus would have been the right thing. Indus was, excluding her parents, the person she had known for the longest. Her parents never let her outside to play with the other kids. “You’re too weak,” they’d say. “Maybe later, once you’re feeling better.” They… ugh, as much as she hated being all alone, they were right. But it didn’t make it hurt any less. She had been safe, but at the exchange of everything that made life worth living. No parties. No trips to the park. No going to school. No sleepovers with friends; not even a single friend to speak of. Indus was one of the first people she met once she left to live by herself, and he made quite an impression. He wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb; in fact, he was pretty far from it. But he was loyal, and he could hold his own in battle. “Barrier” seemed like the perfect epithet to keep herself safe from anything. She hated being treated like some piece of fine china to be locked up in a cabinet, but it was an unfortunate necessity if she wanted any chance of making her way in the world. And he did have some nice muscles… but like that had any affect on choosing him as a bodyguard.

The perfect tag team, and there they were, in the custody of the police. The officer put eraser cuffs on their wrists. She tried to remember her epithet, but it slipped from her mind as soon as the cuffs were closed around her wrists. It’s not like she would have used it to escape. What was the point? She had lost.

“I apologize for getting us captured, Lady Mera,” Indus said while they were being led to the police car. “I will do my best to scootch so you may have as much room as possible.”

If it hadn’t been for that lug’s naivete, she wouldn’t have been in this mess.

“Shut up, Indus.” She sighed. Maybe “shut up” was a bit harsh; he had tried his best after all, even if his best was far less than ideal. Hopefully next time it would be enough to not get them captured.

She grimaced as she took a seat on the cold, hard interior of the police car. She could almost feel her tailbone bruising as she took a seat. It didn’t help that Indus took up over half of the backseat, he kept bumping into her. It hurt. It wasn’t as if being in constant pain was anything new, but this time it just felt like salt in the wound.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a short conversation coming from outside the car. That little girl—the one who had the epithet to solve all of her problems, the very last person she wanted to see—walked to the car door.

“...What do you want?” If she had come here to give another lecture on morality, she wasn’t interested.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t give you my epithet,” she said looking at the ground. Mera just wanted to tell that girl that she wasn’t interested in her half-assed apologies.

“Really, I am. I just…” She sighed. “I need it to deal with stuff at home for a while.” Yeah? Like what? Breaking nearly everything you touch? Having to deal with a broken foot every time you slip? Holding on to the banister for dear life because falling down the stairs could quite literally be the end?

“But I can at least do this much for you.” She closed her eyes and held out her hands. The police sirens fell quiet; the air itself seemed to become very serene. A wave of nothingness washed over her. The feeling of her broken toe, broken fingers, and other fractures she had acquired throughout the night dissipated. No noise, no pain, just… nothing. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt like this. Not having to feel the constant pains and aches. Not having to worry about a small slip-up costing another hospital visit. Not constantly suffering.

The pain slowly came back. She sighed. It couldn’t last forever—at least not without taking her epithet, but that wasn’t an option any more.

“I hope that makes your car ride a little nicer, at least.”

“Hmph.”

“If you ever want me to help with that in the future, just ask." She smiled sheepishly. "You know, once you get out of jail.” It just felt like teasing at that point. ‘Once you get out of jail…’ Yeah, like that would be any time soon. Still, having some potential relief, no matter how far off, sounded pretty good, especially after what she had just experienced.

Mera said nothing.

Indus elbowed her very gently.

“Thank you.”

And that's the end! I have a few ideas bouncing around of what prison life would be like, so I might update this if inspiration strikes, but I'll leave it as a one-shot for now. Any commentary/critiques are welcome, I'd love to know what you guys like and what I can improve on.
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