AN: This is a weird, freakish little oneshot I wrote ages ago. It fits in with a story i'm sort of planning - in which the mentioned 'Beast' is a main character - and because of this, it probably doesn't make much sense. Anyway, let me know what you think, which parts of it you liked, which parts you thought were crap, ect. - i'm sure everyone knows the drill. I'd really appreciate it.

Oh, should probably warn that this is slightly grisly, and deals with horrible, premature death.

I'm cheerful like that.

Enjoy...


Saff's heart had stopped when she'd felt the sudden grip fasten in a shackle round her ankle. She knew Shredders were never to be afraid, knew they weren't supposed to freeze like a rabbit in truck-lights the second something went wrong.

They were supposed to fight!

She should have kicked, screamed, struggled...something...anything...

Should have done anything but hang there, half over the wall, watching with panicked, sightless eyes as the rapid blur of Keir continued her own escape.

After a beatless, breathless age, the grip finally exerted its weight, and pulled, yanking her roughly out into mid air, rough grain of the brick catching on the small band of exposed flesh between the hem of her top and the waist of her trousers, scraping away rough rivulets of skin. Her chin hit something; brick obviously, but she didn't know how or when, only that it made her eyes roll out of focus, and her head swim and bob with aching disorientation as everything seemed to swing and swirl.

Then she was upside-down, suspended by one ankle. The rushing fear that courses through her, and the disfavourable position, meant she had little control over the surge of vomit that began to force its way up her throat, gastric acid fizzing horribly against her tongue as she tried to spit it out and swallow it back down at the same time.

So she was caught; the Beast had gotten her.

Game over.

She used to love playing tag when she was little (what child doesn't?), but had always preferred being the one chasing. Everytime she was the hunted, a feeling of thrumming dread would seep toxically into her veins the second her pursuer started to close in. She hated that, it made her feel out of control; panicked beyond reason, dreading the event of her capture, knowing she had lost, and hating every second of the suspension before she felt the slap of a tagging hand on her back.

Those feelings were nothing compared to how she felt now. Her body was no longer her own, twitching and struggling against her captor's hold, surging with adrenalin that was too late to be of any use.

She could hear a hideous noise ring around the narrow walls of the alley, harsh, hacking splutters, punctuated with wheezing gasps. It had to be Finn, just had to be...after all, he had been just behind her, it only made sense that he would be what occupied the Beast's other hand.

'Finn!' she cried out, redoubling her struggles, fighting the pressuring head-rush. Her efforts earned her a sound shaking, that made her brain rattle in her skull, and the noise continued.

'Stop it!' she heard herself screaming, flailing with her free foot in an attempt to smash it down against the vile fingers circling her ankle in a vice like grip. 'Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it!'

She didn't even know if she had managed a single damaging hit. The creature paid her no heed whatsoever, and the noise began to dwindle, a strong smell of blood assaulting her nose.

An image of Cal's blood-saturated t-shirt from earlier that evening shot into her mind, the sickening mangle of innards and leather armour her leader had revealed for one horrid moment in the dim orange light of the street lamp.

Is that what she had to look forward to?

Her body began to shake with panicked sobs.

The choked gasps had been replaced by pained gurgles, and with a sickening crack, Finn's body dropped down into her view, slumped onto the pavement, a shuddering, twitching heap.

Dread knotted every single part of her guts as she waited for the worst; though only silence came.

Through tightly screwed eyes, she visualised those cold, dark eyes staring down at her, as her outcome was considered.

She'd only become a Shredder, a hunter of all things bestial and evil, because Katy...Keir...had. She'd wanted to help, that was all.

Everytime Cal had come back from a hunt with a new gruesome tale, everytime Finn or Mags had taken the time to remind the two younger members just how dangerous this could potentially be, Saff had always pushed it to the back of her mind; it wouldn't happen to her, not yet, she was back-up, she was only a support, never to be around creatures of the night without someone stronger, expected to defend herself from things with claws, fangs and other highly damaging appendages.

She braced herself for what she imagined would come; being dropped onto the ground, pounced upon, throttled, slashed, gouged, ripped, any number of horrible things the Beast had been known to do to those it caught. Her dying moments would be filled with the hot breath of her killer, and the smell of her own blood filling her nostrils, like she'd read in one of Keir's gruesome horror novels, back before any of this had even started.

What she didn't expect was the sensation of being lightly swung, back and forth, a perverse variation of cradling.

It was like being a pendulum, gently moving through the air from left to right.

Her eyes shot open in surprise, then closed again immediately at the sickening view of the moving ground. What the hell was it doing? Trying to make her vomit to death?

She groaned as the motion sickness began to get to her, the swinging increasing in intensity, and a cold, niggling thought, not quite fully formed, began to take hold of her mind.

Being swung...in an alley...near a brick wall...gathering force...

An image of her father swinging a half dead rabbit by the feet (wannabe-roadkill), and bringing it smashing down against the tarmac head first flashed into her mind.

So much for staying pretty if you die young.

Her vanity suddenly took control of her tongue.

'No! Not like this!' she screamed, trying to twist once more in the things grasp, clawing at the air with her hands for anything she could grapple at, anything that might give her an out.

To her stunned surprise, the swinging stopped, and the creature lifted her until she was almost level with its chest, just high enough to make eye contact.

He looked alarmingly human, almost normal, even, for all the stories she had heard from temporary survivors.

'No? How should you die then?' it murmured, big, black eyes fixed on her, blank and emotionless.

'I don't know.' She whimpered, covering her face with her hands.

Her distress had no effect on it.

'You have ten seconds to name your chosen way to die, or I do what I like. Ten...'

'Wait!'

'...Nine...'

'I...'

'...Eight...'

'Please don –'

'...Seven...'

'-'t do this!'

'...Six...'

'Just...'

'...Five...'

'Tell me why you –'

'...Four...'

'-do this...'

It just shook its head.

'...Three...'

'Just...'

'...Two...'

'Make it quick.'

'...One...'

It stopped, stare still fixed on her, void of any feeling, except, perhaps, irritation.

'I was making it quick.' it said. 'You won't know what hit you...or what you've hit.'

The swinging started once more, and Saff whimpered, closing her eyes as tightly as she could, teeth clamping down on her lower lip, hands clutching beneath her chin, as she prayed, for the first time since she was six, that it was right.