Word Count: 1,869
"Fix his memory again now," Noah said, knowing they'd have a bit of time between the memory wipe and when Viktor Wolff joined them again mentally.
The Haitian did as asked while Noah took the time to clean off the now bloody instrument used in the latest form of torture dispensed on Viktor. The Haitian was grateful he had something other than the bloody stump to focus his attention on, though the coppery scent of blood in the air made it a little more difficult than usual.
"What is with you?" he asked.
"Nothing," The Haitian answered simply.
"This is it. The last name and we've gotten them all. Is this no longer what you want? You want to wake up next to my daughter, knowing you stopped short of completing the task we set out to do."
His eyes widened. "I do want it," he said simply.
"Don't look at me like that. You don't think I realize one of the perks of living in a sorority house is that she has unlimited access to you."
"It is not like that," he said.
"You can't lie to me about this. So, I ask again. Have you lost your stomach for it? Has she said or done something to indicate we should stop?"
"No, she knows nothing of what we've been doing."
"And it's best it stay that way."
"Undoubtedly," he said dryly.
Her father would never understand how badly he wanted this. He could taste it. They had hunted down every man they could find who had touched Claire during her time under Mr. Wolff's imprisonment. There was one final customer they had tried to no avail to get before today.
Her father was pulling out all the stops, able to taste that vengeance would finally be complete. The Haitian had doubts about the extremes Claire's father was willing to take. That was until they'd gotten the most recent piece of information. The Haitian was all in now, though until that final piece of the puzzle had been laid out for them he had some reservations. Beating someone into submission was on a different level than cutting off body parts.
The Haitian wanted to do more than kill the man now that he knew why Claire had been untouched in that fashion. They had known there was one left, and it was someone Viktor was not willing to roll over on easily. They found out the man had offered an unfathomable amount of money for the privilege of not just taking Claire's virginity but taking her off Viktor's hands permanently. There was no telling they would have ever found her alive had that happened.
"Then we finish this," Noah said simply.
There was no give or forgiveness in the other man's eyes. It was hard to picture the man in front of him acting loving and caring to his family. This man was cold and would stop at nothing to get the information he wanted. He had no doubt more fingers would join the one already removed soon. And it wouldn't end there.
The Haitian could not help but think that Claire would not want them to go to these extremes. She wasn't the one, however, who held her during the night and listened to her cry, her muffled screams of terror and pain, her mumbled words that he wished he could forget having heard. Still, after all of this time and intensive therapy, peaceful sleep escaped her. There were times it was so bad that he himself wept for feeling so inept at knowing what to do for her.
The worst of it was when she woke from one of her nightmares uncertain of where she was, looking at him as if he was the enemy. The look of terror in her eyes during those moments. He couldn't even imagine what unthinkable things she believed he wanted her to do. He wondered if she had been forced to sleep with her abusers, until she'd told him not so blatantly it was so. Waking up shackled or bound not knowing what new terror would be inflicted on her now that the customer had his (or her) energy back.
If nothing else, he could assure her that those who had hurt her would never be able to again. The Haitian finally nodded and before Viktor could be fully aware of what they were about, Noah activated the propane torch he'd brought along.
"Mr. Wolff," Noah said. "Welcome back," he added when he noticed the man was coherent once again. Noah seemed to enjoy too much watching as the man realized he was battered and bruised with no memory as to how or why. The man's muffled attempts at a scream as the pain from his missing digit registered in his brain.
The Haitian couldn't help but think the man's name was appropriate. He was a wolf, preying on the young and innocent. Claire had been right, some of the girls she had been with had been sold to him for whatever reason. A good many were runaways. A few, though, had homes to return to as Claire did. Those that had none The Haitian and Noah worked to have them placed with people who would care for them and could handle them with the potential problems.
Mr. Wolff and the lone name he held out were the only two left. And they were done. He could return to her and not have to worry that he'd ever again have to be with her with blood tainting his hands. The Haitian never did the actual dirty work, but he was a party to it. He helped Noah get the information and then erase the memories so that they wouldn't get caught. And he helped as today, prolonging the torture.
The man had held out today despite a sizeable amount of damage being put out by Noah. His face looked minimally better than a boxer stepping out of a ring after a twelve-round bout.
"Give us the name and we'll call the hospital, perhaps you'll get use of your finger again," he said, holding up the torch to the still bleeding stump. Noah had made sure that the man's writing hand was unharmed as the gag in his mouth prevented him from not just crying out in pain but from verbally saying the name. The tears flowing freely down the man's cheeks and his rapid breathing despite the gag were signs enough the man was in pain.
Finally, a shaky hand picked up a nearby fountain pen and scrawled a name on the piece of paper just as Noah brought the torch inches away from the man's mangled and tortured hand. Broken fingers were skewed every which way, and now the severed finger had been added to the mess.
"Take everything. Take it all. I don't want him to remember a damned thing about anything in his life."
"I said take it all. You've seen how some of those girls are. Claire was strong before she got her ability. Not many were that lucky. He doesn't deserve to have a mind left."
While The Haitian agreed with her father, he had his doubts that they would be forgiven if it were discovered the extremes they took in her name. He had come to realize the more time he spent with her that she was not the type to seek revenge against those who hurt her.
He saw the toll volunteering at the women's shelter took on her. The vacant look in her eyes when he saw her the evenings of her work there. She dismissed it, claimed there was nothing wrong but he was no fool. Yet, despite her kindness causing her turmoil and pain of her own she continued with it.
Noah took the entire pad of paper so that no evidence would remain while The Haitian set about taking it all. What her father didn't understand was that he saw what he took. The good, the bad, the ugly. It was there in living color for him to sift through and cloud his mind. Claire did to some extent because he'd explained it to her, but no one could fully comprehend unless they'd experienced it.
The man was evil. It had many forms. The Haitian had seen all kinds of them. Some were more obvious than others. Those who would prey on others, children, were the lowest forms of it he could think of encountering.
"Doesn't deserve to live?" Noah asked, completing his thoughts. He was at Wolff's computer, accessing information on the last name. No password or access information was necessary, as they'd been in and out of the computer several times over the past year or so. And Viktor Wolff had no memory of anyone accessing his files. There was no question in The Haitian's mind as to the fate of the man behind the name.
"We'll keep an eye on him, see what he does. And we might need him again in the future."
"He will be useless to us now," The Haitian said.
"You never know," Noah replied simply, exiting out of the computer. "Let's go," he said.
The Haitian was the last to leave the man's office, taking matters into his own hands for the first time on this quest of theirs. He went against Noah's wishes and ended the man's life. He could not chance the man would repeat the sins he'd committed in the past. He would not allow another Claire to be taken from her family by this man.
Noah stopped in the lobby to place a call to 911 as he'd said he would so the man's finger at least stood a chance of getting reattached.
"That will not be necessary," was all that the Haitian said. Noah said nothing. There was nothing for him to say.
Both men slid the gloves off they'd been wearing, depositing them in a public garbage container blocks from Wolff's office. Their clothes remained relatively free of any evidence that they had engaged in torture. Of course, by now, they'd perfected a system and knew how to avoid getting dirty and soiled.
And for the first time in a very long time, The Haitian removed a few of Noah Bennet's memories once they were back in their vehicle. Just enough so that he had no recollection of The Haitian's confession in the lobby. The rest remained intact.
"Time to see that this nightmare is finally over," Noah said, starting the car. Whether he knew The Haitian had taken steps to alter his memories was unknown to him. There was nothing he could do about it anyway, they could not be given back.
"It will never be over."
Her father regarded him. "No, I don't suppose it will be. This part of it will be, though."
"It's the only part that's up to us to fix," The Haitian added. And that was why he'd gone along with the plan to begin with. There was very little he could actually do to rectify her problems. Ensuring those who'd hurt her were no longer able to hurt anyone gave him some satisfaction.
Info. on icons used for background:
The non-illustrated icon is courtesy of lay-of-luthien @ LJ. She's got some nice work, and did this and 4 others very quickly! The illustrated icon is courtesy of: julietbunny who gave me this in addition to some other great goodies for the Heroes_Holidays Spring Hiatus project.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com