What has happened to Toxin? And Gracie needs a new home
Oh and I have a new story up! http://www.ficwad.com/story/156825
Some people like it more than this one so please read :D
Russian Roulette stared at the child from across the room, too anxious to get any closer. Since Gracie woke up Rabid had done nothing but become more and more paranoid about the situation.
Harlequin rolled her eyes. "She's not going to hurt you."
The dark haired Gambler narrowed her eyes at the 'little girl' her friend had bought home. "How do you know? That thing is fucking dangerous! I want it out of my house, right now!" she hissed.
Gracie meanwhile was playing with Mr Sparkles, pretending that he was jumping over a pile of maps. Harley looked at the child then back at her friend, raising an eyebrow. "Really, you think that is dangerous? So much for the-most-rutheless-woman-in-the-zones charade."
"Shut up!" Roulette growled, eyeing the child from behind a chair. "I hate kids normally, and then you bring one home which also happens to be the deadliest piece of weaponry BL/ind has ever designed. So please, see the situation from my point of view."
Harley sighed. Her friend had her game face on, the impassive I-don't-give-a-fuck-what-you-say expression that she used when conducting business. It was the kind of headstrong mask that Harlequin knew all too well and she knew that it would be difficult getting Roulette to listen now.
"What the fuck...?" Maverick mumbled, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. It was just on dark so he was out of bed and staring at the most puzzling scene he'd ever awoken to. On one hand there was Harley, covered in dirt and in desperate need of a shower, standing over his usually domineering girlfriend who was cowering behind the couch. Then in the far corner of the room was a little girl he had never seen before in a BL/ind suit, playing with a stuffed unicorn doll.
Maverick's eyes wandered from the strange child back to Rabid. "Ummm Honey, when we said that we didn't want kids I thought that included adoption...."
Harley burst out laughing, holding her stomach to try and quieten her guffawing. Russian Roulette sent a death stare to her partner in crime and then scampered towards her boyfriend. "Mav, that kid over there is NOT what it looks like. It's an extensively developed Scarecrow, designed specifically for the mass destruction of the rebel force. It needs to be destroyed!" her voice was low, but he could hear the panic in her tone. "It could strike at any moment, and Harley is laughing about it!"
"Don't be silly. The girl looks innocent enough to me. I doubt she's just going to launch herself into combat mode and take us all down that easily." he soothed, squeezing the woman's shoulder gently.
Harley pursed her lips. "Hmm I wouldn't underestimate Gracie, Mav. What Rabid's saying is true, she is a Scarecrow project. But more importantly; she's a little girl who wants a family. She asked me if we could explore outside. She's never even seen the sky before!"
Maverick glanced over at the child, pity in his eyes. "God that's terrible! Well we'll just have to make her at home here, huh Roulette?"
Rabid slapped his hand away and glared at Harley. "I don't like this at all! I wont stay here if that... that... THING is!"
Diamond looked at Maverick, exasperated by her friend. "She wont listen to me; she's terrified that Gracie is going to hurt her."
The other crew leader shook his head. "She's so stubborn. No matter what you do she'll find a way to disagree with you or make life difficult. I don't know what to do about her."
Roulette watched the tennis-ball conversation between the two people she loved the most, getting angrier by the second. "I'm standing right here you know!" she shouted, cheeks blazing with colour.
Maverick and Harley glanced her then rolled their eyes in unison.
"Drama queen." he teased.
Harlequin giggled and nudged him with her elbow. "Call her Bon-Bon, she really hates that."
Roulette seethed with anger. "If you two don't get rid of that fucking BL/ind toy then I'm going to kick both your asses out into the zones! I found this cave; you're only here because I let you!" she shouted, then stopped her foot childishly. "Get it out of here, now!"
At this point Gracie looked up from where she was playing and observed the screaming woman calmly. When Roulette had finished her little speech she decided to speak. "Wow, you're not a very happy person, are you?"
Rabid gaped at the child, then let out a huff and marched back into her room, slamming the door behind her.
Maverick sighed. "I can understand why she's so upset, but I wish that she'd curb that temper."
Harley rolled her eyes. "After thirteen years of friendship I can confidently say that it wont ever happen."
"So what do we do with Gracie? I think Roulette was joking when she said that she'd kick us out, but I'd rather not test her patience."
"Yeah, I don't fancy sleeping at Misfits." she chuckled. "Hmm how about we drop Gracie off with the Killjoys? I'd trust them with her, plus no one would find her there."
Maverick nodded. "The Diner it is... I would offer to drive the kid over seeing as you just got back, but I dunno where it is."
Harley shook her head and smiled sleepily. "Don't worry, I'll drop her off. I don't think Party would take kindly to me handing out maps of their whereabouts."
Korse paced nervously outside the operation theatre. He was full of conflicting emotions, none of which he had felt in a very long time. It was stressful finding himself so against BL/ind and what they were doing to Toxin, but he knew that he had no choice. The Head may be wrong when it came to his apprentice, but they were right about everything else. They had always lead their people to victory. The takeover of America was swift, and relatively easy. Sure over the years he had lost a few friends, but that was all for the good of the future. Right?
The Scarecrow glanced through the window into the operating theatre, then immediately pulled away, wishing that he hadn't. Images of Toxin's skin being peeled back and invaded by doctors implanting alien equipment were burnt into his mind. The raspberry red hands of nurses holding scalpels sent a shock of fear through him. The man subconsciously ran a hand along his wrist, knowing that the dissection taking place on the other side of those doors had been performed on him, over eight years ago.
"Agent Korse?" a deadpan voice said from beside him.
He turned to face the fish eyed stare of the Head's henchman, who was ironically enough a female. "Newsagogo." he greeted her, avoiding her piercing gaze.
The asian woman's lips twisted into a sickening smile. "Enjoying the show?" she asked, looking through the window at the procedure occurring inside.
Korse tried to keep his emotions repressed as he answered. "No. It is difficult to appreciate the beauty of BL/ind's idealized future when my fledgling is being turned against her will. Although I'd never disagree with the Head's vision, I do not identify this as the best option when dealing with this project in particular. I believe wholeheartedly in the result, but the stress placed on her may be detrimental to our aim."
Newsagogo's face was impassive as he spoke. Her eyes were fixed on the mutilated body in the next room, not at all bothered by the gruesome nature of the operation. She absorbed what Korse was saying and although she did not like the Head being disputed against, she knew that he was right.
"The Head made the best decision under the current circumstances."
Korse raised an eyebrow questioningly. "What circumstance is that?"
Newsagogo continued to stare through the glass, speaking almost automatically. "The completion of Weapon S/C/9.GR8C was predicted to occur in three weeks. The Head has scheduled a large scale assault on the zonerunners, planning to invade Sanctum and take out the Gamblers. There is little chance that they could have defended themselves against the new Scarecrow model." she paused, frowning slightly when she continued. "However, there has been a complication. Yesterday the special units wing of this building was infiltrated by enemy raiders. Although we were able to exterminate the majority of the assault team, BL/ind's nine year project was lost. They have captured Weapon S/C/9.GR8C."
Korse's eyes widened and he ran a hand over his shaven head. Although he knew very little of the ninth Scarecrow, he did know that it's development was BL/ind's ace in the hole. It's creation was vital for the destruction of the rebel force. More money had gone into it's production than the production of BL/i meds for the whole of the country. And now that Weapon S/C/9.GR8C was in the hand's of the zonerunners, the Head would be frantic to get it back.
"The trouble with the situation is that the project was not equipped with her self destruct unit. The scientists working on her did not see the need to instigate it, as it had no reason or means to escape. If it were up to the Head, they would search for Weapon S/C/9.GR8C until we knew that it had deactivated and was of no further use. However the charger was stolen with the project and without a self destruct program it can continue to function independently. If the zonerunners learn how to use it's powers against us, BL/ind could fall."
There was a heavy pause between them.
"So what's this got to do with Toxin?" he grumbled.
Newsagogo's eyes flicked to his momentarily, then back to the window. "Rather than call off the invasion, the Head has now deemed it even more important. In three weeks there will be an assault on the zones. They are calling for every military resource we have, and you're protege is one of them. The Head deemed it imperative that she is converted into a Scarecrow and set out to destroy the Fabulous Killjoys. They cannot be involved or else we may loose. On the day of the invasion she is to destroy them."
Korse breathed in deeply, understanding the pressure that was being placed on Hypertonic. "What if she fails in her mission to destroy them?"
Newsagogo didn't blink as she delivered her sentence. "Either she is ghosted by the Killjoys, or she will be deactivated. Faulty equipment has no place in our system."
Party rolled off the couch and stumbled to the door when he heard an engine pulling up outside. He looked out and saw in the dark that they had visitors. Thankfully it was the familiar body shape of Harlequin Diamond waking towards the Diner, not an intruder. There was a smaller figure at her side who didn't ring any bells.
"Party Poison!" she cried happily, running the last few steps forward to embrace the man.
He hugged her back tightly, realizing how much he had missed her in the past week or so. "How ya going Harley?" he mumbled.
She nodded and smiled, but it was slightly stressed. "Yeah... Good. Just got back from a raid." Her eyes clouded over for a moment. "Wasn't the best executed plan... But I guess I got what I was looking for."
The killjoy raised an eyebrow. "Which was?"
Harley nibbled her lip nervously. Her hand ruffled the back of her hair and she ginned almost apologetically. "Yeah, about that... Can we go inside? This could be a long story."
Gerard opened the door wide and gestured for her to enter. Harley paused and looked at the young girl shadowing her side.
"Sorry, I forgot to introduce you two. Party Poison this is Gracie. Gracie, this is a good friend of mine. I promise he wont bite."
The girl looked up at the red headed man suspiciously, subconsciously pressing herself closer against Harlequin who she trusted. "I dunno... He looks pretty weird to me. His hair's all bright and crazy and he's wearing really dirty clothes."
Gerard looked down at his grease-stained shirt, scuffed boots and ripped jeans, self-consciously ruffling his hair. He smiled nonetheless. "Yeah, I'll admit I could do with a shower."
Harley giggled and held onto Gracie's hand, leading her inside the Diner. They meandered into the living room and perched on the well-worn couch. Party followed them in, heading for the kitchen. "Drinks?"
"Yes please, coffee if you've got any or water would be good." she patted Gracie's head gently. "What about you?"
Gracie screwed up her nose. "I don't want anything. I just wanna go back to your cave, the one with that nice man and the crazy lady."
Party laughed, handing a cup of sim coffee to Harley. "Crazy lady? Would it be too bold for me to assume that she's talking about Roulette?"
Harlequin rolled her eyes, sipping the beverage and making a face. "This coffee is shit. I should send you a packet or two of the real stuff. And yeah, Rabid didn't take to Gracie very well."
Gerard smirked. "She's not the maternal one, obviously."
The Gambler shrugged. "Neither of us are really, but Roulette's kinda freaked out about Gracie." She saw the curious expression on Party's face. "How about I start from the beginning and explain the whole situation, at least then we'd be on the same page."
So for the next half an hour Harley gave Gerard a run down of her mission to capture Weapon S/C/9.GR8C and what had happened when she made it back home. Gracie lost interest in the conversation pretty quickly and stared wandering around the room, looking at various objects with curiosity. Everything about the world was unfamiliar. She stared at an oil-covered spanner lying on the kitchen bench. Her computerized brain recognized the tool and fed her the word it was called and what it was used for. Each object in the room she was able to name as well identify it's purpose, but that didn't take away the novelty of discovering something new.
Harley kept one eye on Gracie and the other on Party as she explained the situation. The Killjoy's face changed from curiosity, to hatred then switched to anger. When she revealed what Gracie is he seemed slightly nervous, although he relaxed back into a sympathetic expression when she explained that the girl really was oblivious to her purpose and seemed to be interested in finding a family.
"But," Harley concluded, "Roulette wont let her stay at our place... So I was wondering... If it's not too much trouble..."
"She's welcome to stay here." Party smiled watching the young girl explore the room. "I'm sure the boys wont mind... Frank and I especially miss having kids around."
The Gambler put an arm around his shoulder, squeezing him gently. "I'm sorry about that... Your loss. I can't pretend to understand what it's like, but I honestly feel bad. If she's too much to handle, in any way, just tell me and I'll take her back. I don't want her to be a burden on anyone, especially not you guys after all you've done for us."
Gerard shrugged, grinning. "Nah, I doubt she'd be any trouble at all. She's in safe hands out here."
Harley nodded, watching Gracie. Even though she'd only been taking care of the kid for a bit over a day, she already felt attached. It would be sad leaving her, although she knew that she could visit anytime. "You Killjoys are the best, you know that right?"
Party laughed, standing up and stretching. "That's what they keep telling me."
The Gambler rolled her eyes. "I need to go grab Gracie's charger from the car. She wont need it every night, but I'd say once every three days to be safe."
"Sure. She can crash in the spare room.... Bleach will just have to sleep on the couch." His face went dark thinking about the untrustworthy girl.
Harley raised on eyebrow. "Bleach? I think Roulette mentioned something about her but...."
The Killjoy leader shook his head angrily. "Don't worry. She wont be an issue if I have anything to do with it."
After a slightly emotional goodbye, Harley left. Gracie clung to her at first, unsure about being landed with the strange red haired man. She begged the blonde woman, pleading with her to stay. However Harley knew that she had to get home. It took some convincing, but eventually the child agreed, with the promise of seeing Diamond again soon.
As the Gambler's tail lights disappeared into the night there was an awkward pause between man and child. They stood aloof outside under the starry sky, both as nervous as the other.
"So, do you want to see your new room?" Party mumbled, placing a soft hand on the girl's tiny shoulder.
Gracie looked up at him, eyes full of questions. "That's be cool... I guess."
Gerard lead her inside and took her to the spare room, most recently occupied by Bleach. He also directed her to the bathroom and the kitchen. "Help yourself to any food if your hungry. You live here now so this place will be as much your home as it is mine."
Gracie perched on the edge of the bed, hugging her unicorn doll tightly. She pouted, blinking rapidly. "Ummm P-Party Poison?" she whispered.
"Yes?" he said, kneeling beside her.
"I think...." she was embarrassed having to ask, knowing that the Roulette woman didn't like her robot side, ".. I think that I need to be charged soon."
The Killjoy smiled encouragingly. "That's okay. I'll hook you up." He grabbed the series of cords Harley had given him and plugged them into the wall. "I'll be back in a sec, okay?"
Gracie nodded, so he left to go and turn the generator on. It took a few tries, but when it got going it hummed along happily enough. Gerard returned to their new resident and held up the charger. "So where does this go?"
The girl pushed up her sleeve and calmly peeled back a piece of her pale skin. At first Party shrank back from the action, but then he reminded himself that she was just a kid. Bandit crossed his thoughts momentarily, but he shoved those memories away. Even after so many years it was still gut wrenching to think about his lost daughter.
"Pass me the wires?" Gracie asked shyly.
He handed her the cords and watched with fascination as she screwed them into the panel buried in her wrist. She breathed out a happy sigh when all out the outlets were attached and closed her eyes.
"Better?" Party asked.
Her grey eyes opened again and she looked up at him gratefully. "Yeah, a lot better. Sometimes I get so tired if I don't recharge for a while." her voice was small as her eyes wandered around the room. "It sucks. I wish I was like normal people... Like normal kids my age. Have you ever met a person my age? I haven't."
Gerard's heart ached for the girl. He sat next to her and carefully slipped his large, calloused hand over her small, delicate one. "Yeah, I've met a few. And you know Gracie, there's nothing abnormal about you."
"Really?" she whispered, eyes locking with his. "How do you know?"
He smiled softly, lifting her hand to his chest. The regular beat of his heart thudded against her fingers and she focused on it intently. Then he moved her hand over her chest and pressed it to her own heart, which despite the electrical additives, was beating just the same as his.
"See?" he murmured, patting her wild hair. "You're just like me; human. Normal."
Gracie's face broke into a huge smile and she wrapped her tiny arms around his torso tightly. No words were spoken, but the emotions welling up inside Gee were stronger than he had felt in a long time. Hesitantly he enveloped her with his own arms, holding her against him.
She was so small that Gerard was reminded of a similar body pressed against his, whispering "I love you Daddy" against his leather jacket.
Abbey's eyelids felt heavy as she drifted back into consciousness. There was a stale taste in her mouth, but she swallowed it slowly. Her body was heavy, heavier than it normally was, and she puzzled over this momentarily. Although she didn't open her eyes, she could tell that there were bright lights around her because of the red screen. Something felt off, but a pleasant fog drifted through her mind and a sense of peacefulness dowsed her anxieties.
"Hypertonic?" an unfamiliar voice echoed through her dulled thoughts. "Are you awake?"
Abbey flinched at the name. It registered on some lower level of her mind as her own, but she immediately associated it with hatred. She winced as she opened her eyes, a harsh light glaring down at her from above. Suddenly a dark shape blocked it and she could vaguely make out the features of an unfamiliar woman.
"Can you hear us?" the voice asked, but it seemed disconnected from the slow motion mouth.
"What...?" Abbey asked groggily, trying to sit up. A heavy hand came down on her shoulder from behind and pushed her back against the table.
"Hold on, we need to check that your operation went smoothly." a man's voice instructed.
Abbey blinked furiously against the bright light, trying to clear her vision. "Operation? What operation?"
"Your Scarecrow implant."
Suddenly the people surrounding her who were cloaked in white made sense. Abbey's eyes widened as the realization of what had happened hit her. She looked down at her body. Although the skin was smooth, there were small scars running along her limbs, fading as the new blood cell in her body repaired it's host.
"No!" she screamed, pushing back the medics. "Take it out!"
They stared at her blankly, brainwashed eyes dull.
Abbey leapt from the table and bolted towards the doors. She burst through them without thinking, sprinting along the white hallway mindlessly. Her right hand gouged the wrist of her left, digging in the vain attempt to remove the implants. With every frenzied scratch against her skin red blood spurted against the sterile walls of the facility, but her skin knitted back over almost instantly. Her feet slapped hard against the cold floor, drawing the attention of passers by. Abbey rounded two corners, bumping into the walls and springing forward again, until she finally saw the glass doors of the exit. A strangled sob burst from her lips and she accelerated towards her escape.
The voice didn't even register in her mind.
This time she noticed, but the familiar tone didn't slow her. She reached the glass doors and wrenched them open, just as two strong arms encircled her waist.
"No! Let me go!" she shrieked, clawing at the pale white hands holding her prisoner. When the steely grip didn't falter she slumped back against the body and wept bitterly for what she had lost. "You did this to me!" she cried, "You let them take away my freedom!"
Korse looked down at the girl in his arms, heart aching painfully with emotion. Tears watered his eyes, knowing that she was right. He was the one who allowed this to happen. She may not understand why it was necessary, but she still had every right to blame him. He knew that it was wrong, and yet it didn't stop him lacing the apple with sleeping serum. The fact that she was now wailing in his arms like a lost child only confirmed his doubts. The transformation hadn't been the answer, it had only made things worse. Convincing her to exterminate the Killjoys in three weeks could become difficult.
The older Scarecrow picked up his hysterical apprentice and carried her to his car, where he sat her in the back seat. Korse slid in after her and shut the door behind him.
Abbey curled against the black leather seat, tears setting a shine on the soft material. The incision marks where the doctors had cut into her skin were nearly gone, healing over like they should. He reached forward and held her left wrist upwards, taking note of the self inflicted wounds that were paling rapidly. He sighed, holding onto her hand gently.
"I'm so sorry."
The girl looked up at him, black pupils swimming in seas of yellow and green. The whites of her eyes were an angry red, contrasting against her ashen lips and waxy skin. There was no spring to her hair which had lost it's gleam. Her shoulders hunched and she drew back in on herself like a sea creature in a shell. Korse knew that she wouldn't forgive him.
"You're one of us now. There's nothing you can do about it." he muttered.
The silence in the car was only broken by her hiccups.
"How long?" she whispered.
He raised an eyebrow at her questioningly.
Toxin cleared her throat. "How long have I been out?"
Korse checked the time on the dashboard. "Just over a day and a half. The operation takes a while." he looked out of the window into the night sky to avoid her accusing eyes. "It should be morning soon."
The girl sniffed, wiping her hand across her cold nose. "Why did you do it?"
The original Scarecrow frowned sadly. "Not my decision kid. The government wanted it done so that you wouldn't be able to run away. They have a mission for you and until then you cannot betray the Head. You belong to them."
Abbey thumped her fist against the chair angrily. "So what, branding me like some animal wasn't good enough? Now I have to carry the scars of your people inside me as well!"
Korse flashed her a warning look. "Our people, Toxin. The people. Those zonerunners aren't people, they aren't human."
Her lips curled back from her teeth in a snarl. "You know damn well that they're human! Those rebels are only fighting against BL/ind because they believe in a free world. What the fuck is so wrong about that!? Why can't you see that they're only trying to destroy your perfect world because in the end they want to make it beautiful?"
He shook his head, unable to answer her questions. They were hitting too close to home, planting seeds of doubt in his mind that he would not tolerate.
Abbey knew that she couldn't win this argument. The belief that what he was doing was right was so deeply ingrained in his system it could never be weeded out. She turned away from him and wiped the last of the tears from her eyes. "I'm supposed to meet the Killjoys at noon. If I'm not at the junction they'll suspect something's wrong."
Korse sighed, looking at the time. "We'd better hurry then."
Frank, Mikey and Ray were at first cautious about the small child that had appeared in their home. She seemed harmless enough, but from what Gerard had told them she was actually a weapon of mass destruction developed by BL/ind. However by the time breakfast was through they were won over by her innocent grey eyes and crazy hair.
"She could almost be you're long lost daughter." Fun Ghoul joked, poking Jet Star in the side.
Ray squirmed to get away from his friend's tickling fingers. "You're just jealous you don't have a fro like us!" he cried.
The Way brothers snickered and Gracie looked on, not really understanding the relationship that these four men shared. Although she was nervous, none of them seemed the least bit threatening, and she found herself relaxing into their company. However it was Party Poison who she hung onto. After last night she was reluctant to leave his side, seeing him as a safety net of sorts.
"So what are we going to do today?" Frank asked, chewing a mouthful of cereal noisily.
Kobra Kid looked at the clock on the wall. "I need to leave in a few hours so that I can go pick Bleach up."
Fun Ghoul wriggled in his seat happily. "Oh I'm so excited to see her! She's only been gone two days but it feels like forever!"
Ray nodded in agreement. "Yeah, it's great to have her around. She's pretty serious but when she cracks a smile it reminds me of days before the takeover.... We really should get her to do some more training, Bleach knows next to nothing about the zones."
They all agreed, except for Poison and Gracie. The small girl had no idea who they were talking about, all she knew was that at the mention of this person's name Party went all stiff beside her. She looked up and saw that his eyebrows were drawn together in an ugly frown.
"So what do you want to do today, Gracie?" Fun Ghoul asked the girl. "I hear that it's your first time out in the zones, so how about we give you a tour of some places?"
The automated girl's heart sped up with excitement. "Oh that'd be great! I really want to learn about the outside! Is it true that the sky changes colour? My mind is telling me that it is the product of sunlight hitting particles in the air at different angles and projecting a separate section of the light spectrum, but I really don't know what that means."
The Killjoys exchanged glances. "I think maybe you should ignore the complicated stuff your brain is telling you. We'll teach you what you need to know about the zones." Jet Star offered.
Gracie's face split into a giant grin. "Yay! Wait, can I get Mr Sparkles? He wants to learn about this new stuff too!"
The four men watched her dash back to her room happily.
"She's really something." Kobra murmured. "BL/ind must have forgotten to include the brainwash button because she's just like any other girl her age,"
Gerard nodded. "We gotta try and treat her like a normal child. She's desperate to be a normal human, and although that can't happen we can try and make her life as close to that as possible." He fiddled with a strand of his fiery hair. "Who knows, maybe she'll become part of the family."
"What?" Kobra grumbled, "Like Bleach?"
The others watched Party's face grow still and cold.
"No, nothing like her." he answered, voice layered with malice.
"What on earth have you got against her? Huh?" Frank persisted.
Party stood up, not wanting to have this argument. "You're all so thick. Mark my words, there's something wrong with that girl. When I figure out what it is you'll all be wishing that you'd listened to me in the first place!"
"You're so arrogant." Mikey mumbled. "Sometimes I wish you weren't so up yourself, because you keep loosing sight of what's really important."
Gerard rolled his eyes. "And that is?"
His younger brother held his gaze evenly. "Friendship and love. I don't care what you think about Bleach, she's a good kid. Even if she is dangerous, I'm willing to put my trust in her that she'd never do anything to hurt us. She's better than that, and you just can't accept it for whatever fucked up reason."
Party stared open mouth at Mikey for a moment, before storming out through the front door.
"Wow." Jet Star murmured. "You really got to him that time."
Kobra sighed. "Oh well, he needs to hear it. I wish that Harley was awake, it's do him some good to talk to her. Or even Roulette. Sometimes we need space from each other, you know?"
The other two nodded in unison.
"When night falls we'll tell him to give the Gamblers a call on the radio, okay?" Ray proposed. "Today's only gonna get harder for him with you picking up Bleach at noon."
Mikey nodded. "Although I'm looking forward to seeing her, it sucks that Bleach and Gee don't get along. I just don't understand why."
They sat their quietly, lost in their own thoughts. None of them knew what to say. They had all known Gerard for well over a decade, and yet none of them could figure him out.
Maverick was awoken by a terrified scream. He shot upwards in the bed, blinking rapidly and trying to locate the danger. Next to him Rabid thrashed about wildly, sheets ripping as her entangled arms and legs struggled to break free. Her eyes were still screwed shut, imprisoned in a nightmare. Maverick shook Russian Roulette's shoulders, trying desperately to break her free of the dream.
"Honey wake up!" he shouted, pinning her flailing arms down before they could hit him. "Bonnie!"
Her eyes popped open with surprise and the screams died from her lips. He collected her trembling body against his, stroking her hair comfortingly.
"Shhh, it's okay now. It was only a nightmare, you're safe now."
Roulette took in a shuddering breath and then burst into tears. She hated crying, it was seen as weakness, but right now she couldn't hold it in. "Oh god! Mav, the worst thing... Oh you're going to hate me!"
Maverick only pulled her closer. "Don't be silly Sugar, I could never hate you."
She heaved a huge sob and scrubbed at her eyes childishly. "N-No, you don't understand! It's Renegade, I forgot"
Roulette could feel her boyfriend stiffen. His arms that were comfortingly hugging her a second ago was now too tight.
"What do you mean? Renegade's off keeping his head down, like I told him to." he growled.
Rabid shook her head, trying to swallow her tears. "He's not hiding... He's in Battery City."
Maverick's mind was clouding over with panic. "He said he's got a girlfriend in there. He's staying with her... right? Right Roulette?" he grabbed the Gambler's arms and pushed her back so that he could look into her tear blurred eyes.
Roulette shook her head, avoiding his gaze. "They got him. Korse got Renegade. He's been in there since I-"
"Why didn't you tell me this!?" Maverick roared.
Rabid cringed back from her furious boyfriend, trying to tug her wrists out of his vice like grip. "I couldn't remember! I don't even remember half of the shit that happened while I was there! You saw me after Party pulled me out, I wasn't-"
"Don't give me your shit excuses!" he shouted, then pushed her away from him almost violently. "You know how much Renegade means to me, and yet this managed to just skip your mind!?"
Roulette curled her arms around her waist and looked away, a lump rising in her throat. "I'm so sorry..." she whispered hoarsely.
"Not yet you're fucking not!" he snarled, "I can't believe I loved such a self obsessed fool! You must be really blinded by pity for yourself to have forgotten about Renegade. He's like a god damn brother to me!"
"I know Mav! I know!" she cried, wiping away the tears as they fell. "I love him too! And I hate myself right now for forgetting about it, but I honestly didn't remember anything. Do you think I want to remember all the shit they did to me in there!? When Korse told me I was half dead anyway!"
Maverick stormed back to her side and raised his hand, making out to hit her. A mindless fury had taken hold of him and he barely even registered what he was doing. The back of his hand struck Roulette across the cheek, the sharp crack and resounding shriek sending a shot of guilt through him.
The Gambler breathed heavily, eyes wide and blinking with surprise. Never had she thought him capable of getting this angry. Her cheek stung, but it wasn't that bad. The most hurtful thing was that he did it in the first place. "You hit me..." Roulette mumbled, holding a hand over the reddened spot on her face.
"That's only a taste of the pain that you've let Renegade endure." he hissed back, then turned and headed for the door.
Rabid called out as he reached the threshold. "You promised me that you wouldn't leave me! You said that we'd never fight like this again!"
Maverick paused, anger subsiding slightly as he processed her words. It was true that at Misfits he had given her his word that they would work through things together, but this just seemed too much to handle. Renegade was like his little brother, as well as being his best friend and most trusted crew member. To know that someone was holding off information about him hit a sore spot that hadn't been touched in a long time. Although his heart was aching at the thought of leaving Roulette, his infuriated mind told him to leave.
"Sorry, but I'm pretty sure that you've broken promises to me in the past." he growled, "Have a taste of your own medicine for a change."
Roulette began to panic as he stepped through the door, so much that she cried out the one thing she had promised herself to keep a secret.
"Maverick, I'm pregnant!"
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