put me up on a pedestal or drag me down in the dirt

anonymous asked:

Perhaps some prompts about the protagonist having a mental breakdown in front of the antagonist, from the overwhelming pressure to succeed because they're the do-no-wrong-and-always-be-perfect-without-questioning-anything-hero?

1) The antagonist watched the protagonist begin to crumble: breath quick in their throat, a panicked caginess in their eyes, clinging to some golden pedestal that would have been impossible for anyone to hold onto however good. And, of course, this was useful. They’d wanted to make the poor little lamb think about who they were serving, and why. Still.
“Come here and sit down.” There was no room for argument in their tone, and the protagonist’s gaze focused enough to snap to them. “I won’t do anything that will have any long term effects outside of the next half an hour, or anything terrible to your code. Sit.” They had made their point - pressing now wouldn’t give them the advantage.
The protagonist tottered over, falling down more than sitting.
“Good,” the antagonist said. They watched the protagonist shudder at the praise next and placed a hand on the back of their neck. “Now can you take some deep breaths for me? Just like that. Perfect. You don’t have to speak, you’re just going to be very good and sit here for a bit, okay?”


2) “It feels good, doesn’t it? To let it out?” 
The protagonist gasped for breath - tensed, clenched, from the curl of their fists to the grit of their teeth and the stiffness of the shoulders. Grappling with the tattered scraps of control, to reel it back in. 
The antagonist relished the moment, the teetering point as they bit down on their lip and stepped closer. One push, a few words, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men wouldn’t be able to put hero back together again. It was delicious. And they both knew it too, felt it. The antagonist raised one finger and tapped it to the hero’s mouth, so light. Their voice changed from a croon in an instant. “Just fucking try and pretend again that you’re perfect to me, hero. I dare you. I will drag you through the dirt so far that your own mother wouldn’t recognise you.” 


3) “So, when I heard that you got kicked out of my bar, I had to come and take a look for myself.” The antagonist peered down at the hero, groaning in the literal gutter. “Wrong side of the city for you, isn’t it?”
“I wanted to talk to you.” The protagonst swallowed, looking hopelessly lost. “You were right.”
“I always am, but what about in particular this time?” They paused as the protagonist’s expression began to shake, and then cry. In front of them. Crying. Nobody cried in front of the antagonist without a death wish, it was like offering oneself up to be devoured. They looked around for their security. “Get them up and bring them inside, and find them some clean clothes for fuck’s sake. Some of mine should be in the back room.”