Usually, Donna was good at heeding warnings. She always considered herself someone who thought things out through before diving into something. And sure, she had her impulsive moments just like everyone else. It was only natural, especially in her particular line of work. Still, Donna always prided herself in being the careful one. In her group of friends, one of them had to be. That always seemed to be her role. Making sure that her friends didn't get in to over their heads. The muscle, one that said "hey, we should think about this before jumping in". And the one who if she was told something, like the waypoints were acting up and possibly leading to a creepy fucking hotel instead of her intended destination, took that to heart, and found a different way to where she was trying to go.
But hey, everyone forgets shit sometimes.
Donna was heading to the DOA office to meet up with the rest of her defense team for a patrol when it happened. The waypoint that had shown up in Titans Tower when it arrived usually proved to be pretty useful. When she was in a hurry, which she was, it was great for getting to her intended destination on time. Donna didn't even think anything of it, as she entered in where she was planning on going into the waypoint, like she had done dozens of times since arriving in Vallo. Donna could feel herself being pulled by the magic that controlled her new world. And while she was used to it now, something felt a little...off about it this time. Almost like the situation wasn't entirely in her control.
Once everything came to a stop, Donna took a moment to look at her surroundings and take everything in. No, this wasn't the familiarity of the DOA office. There was definitely something off about this place. Donna didn't need to be magically gifted to know that there was supernatural about this place. Then it dawned on her. This was the hotel that Dan had talked about in his post on the network. The one that he'd warned everyone about. That he'd specifically stated was throwing off the waypoints. Fuck. Donna's hand instinctively went on her lasso.
"Donna..." the voice came from down the hallway, enticing her to move forward. A shiver went down her spine, and every instinct in her body was telling her run. It was okay if she didn't face the monster this time. Self-preservation was important, especially in this instance. She wasn't prepared to combat something supernaturally. And still, there was something about the voice calling her that made her want to move forward. She knew she should run. She'd seen enough horror movies to know that going towards the creepy disembodied voice could very well end in her getting killed in the most brutal of ways. She was supposed to be the sensible one. She was supposed to be the one that thought things through.
And still she moved forward, going deeper in the hotel itself. She held her lasso out in front of her, shoulders tense, her ears twitching, her eyes scanning for anything that could pop out in front of her.
Donna froze, as she came face to face with Dick. Only there was something off about him. This definitely wasn't the Dick Grayson that she knew, the one that she considered to be like a sibling to her, the one that she grew up and fought side by side with. No, this Dick Grayson looked as if all joy and happiness had been taken out of his face. He looked as if he'd hadn't slept in years, his eyes were so sunken. A smile rested on his face, but it wasn't the one that Donna was used to. No, this one was dark and twisted, and sent shivers down her spine.
"Dick." This wasn't really him. She knew that. Still, she was fighting every instinct to run to him and take him in her arms, to hold him and comfort him, and tell him that everything was going to be okay.
"You left me, Donna," he said, his tone accusatory and full of rage and hatred, "You knew what I was going through, and you didn't care. You were perfectly fine to leave me alone, letting me fall to the darkness that you knew Bruce was dragging me down to."
Donna inhaled, her knuckles tightening around her lasso, turning pale white. This wasn't real. This wasn't her Dick. Her Dick would never say anything like that to her. "I love you, Dick," she said, choking back tears. "I'm sorry if you ever felt that way. And you know I'd do anything to help you. but you have to help yourself, too." She shut her eyes, turning and going to walk away, as Dick's visage faded into the background.
Donna turned down another hallway, looking desperately for an exit of any kind.
Chills ran down Donna's spine, as she came face to face with Garth. She couldn't even look him in the eyes. Her eyes were drawn to the bullet wound coming out of his spine, with dried blood pooling around his shirt. Her heart ached, as she was reminded of him dying in her arms. Something that was her fault. Something that she could have prevented.
"If you were just honest with your feelings," Garth said, finishing her thought for her. "All you had to do was admit that you were in love with me, Donna. You knew it was true. We both knew it. Hell, everyone knew. But Donna couldn't say anything. What the hell were you so afraid of? I knew what you were supposed to do. I knew you had to leave to continue your training. I would have waited. You were worth the wait. But you couldn't even say anything. I had to hunt you down at that airport to tell you how I felt. If you'd just been honest, then well..." Garth gestured to his wound, giving Donna a sickening grin.
Donna inhaled. Damnit, seeing Garth like this nearly broke her heart. But this wasn't Garth. She had to remember that. This was just some sick version of him, conjured by the Hotel, mocking her pain, toying with her feelings. "I did love you, Garth," she said, managing to give him a small smile. "I wish I had done things differently. I wish we'd had more time. And I'm sorry. And you're right. I was afraid. I let myself shut off to being happy, and having love. And yeah, part of me wishes that I hadn't. But I did. And it's always going to tear me up a little bit inside. But I can't waste my time being stuck on what could've happened."
She had to get out of this place. Donna hardened her resolve, turning down another hallway. Gods, she hoped that this was the way out of this fucking place.
Donna stopped dead in her tracks, finding herself looking directly at her adoptive older sister, Diana. Only, like Dick, this wasn't the Diana that she knew. The loving, welcoming, compassionate older sister that she admired, her rescued her and took her in when her parents were murdered. No, this one was almost mocking her with the sick, twisted, condescending grin that she wore on her face.
"Poor lost, alone, orphaned little Donna. Never knowing where she fits in. Always feeling second best to her older sister. Always trying to be just like her." Diana laughed, like nothing Donna had never heard before. This one cut through her like ice, sending shivers down her spine to her very core. "You'll always be second best, little girl. You'll never be Wonder Woman."
Donna wanted to scream. She wanted to argue , or lash out and strike at the false version of her sister that the Hotel had placed in front of her. Angry tears clouded her vision, as she blinked them past.
"I don't need to be Wonder Woman," she said, her tone shaky, but assured. "I know that now. I just need to be Donna Troy. Whoever she ends up being. That's enough for me."
As fast as she'd popped up in front of her, Diana faded from her sight. Donna didn't waste any more time. She sprinted down the hallway, not stopping on she found the door again. She burst out the door, taking in the setting sun around her. She didn't know how much time had past. All she knew was that she wanted to get as far away from this horrible place as she could. Donna took a running start, before launching herself into the sky, determined to put as much distance between her and the Overlook Hotel as she possibly could.