Pete was already awake when Andy and Joe returned to the cage. He was pacing out small circles, so fast that the pair grew instantly dizzy just watching him. Something told them that something was wrong, and immediately they drew the conclusion that Patrick was in more trouble than they previously realised. An additional pang of concern hit Joe. He knew that Beckett had targeted him to suffer first and it seemed most likely that he would do so through Andrea.
“What now?” Pete growled stopping his incessant pacing and approaching the bars as close as he dared.
“You seem… agitated,” Andy observed with a concerned edge to his tone. “Are you all right?”
Pete exhaled loudly with an exclamation of scorn. Shaking his head in disbelief, he paused for a few moments before replying in a vain attempt to keep his anger in check.
“Am I all right?” he snapped, having to physically restrain himself from rushing forward. “How can you even ask that with a straight face? My best friend has been beaten to a pulp by Beckett who's only keeping him alive to torment me!” Turning his harsh glare to Joe, he continued his tirade. “You're only interested in your girlfriend and you're keeping me locked up so I can't stop you! And you!” he added, looking at Andy. “You're allowing it!”
Andy lowered his eyes. He would have liked to have tried to protest, but deep down he knew that Pete was right. The trauma they had all suffered over the past few days had caught up with them and made them all behave somewhat out of character. They had become insular and aggressive towards each other. Perhaps it stemmed from not being able to vent their anger and fear fully, perhaps they just needed more time to recover, but it was time they wouldn't get. Beckett had survived. After all their hard work and struggle, he had escaped the flames that were supposed to consume him. Worse still, he wasn't the only one. Now they were all left feeling bitter and angry and lashing out at each other had become the norm. Andy had been the first to see that it had to stop. Thankfully Joe had agreed, but would Pete?
“We know things haven't… we've all been… we've got to pull it together,” Andy finally managed. “For Patrick's sake… and Andrea,” he added after a brief pause and a deep frown from Joe.
“So, he did get to you?” Pete huffed in response, shaking his head with a disapproving scowl firmly fixed on his face.
“No,” Andy corrected him firmly. “I saw his point of view.”
“Oh, well maybe you should explain it to me, because I don't get how he can suddenly just abandon his friend just because he's getting some!”
“Hey!” Joe yelled angrily, rushing forward only to be held back by Andy.
“Stop it! Both of you!” Andy yelled, shoving Joe back behind the line. Pointing at Pete, he continued: “You! Just listen for once in your life! And you!” he snapped turning toward the still seething Joe. “You calm down! What did you think you were doing then? You were just going to electrocute yourself!”
Joe shrugged, looking away, angry and impatient.
“Pete,” Andy sighed. “Andrea is important to Joe and…”
“Yeah? So is Patrick!”
“Shut up, Pete! Listen! Just listen to me! Andrea's one of us now, and we look after our own. Joe was worried we wouldn't see it like that, so, she became his priority because he didn't think she'd be anyone else's. It's not that he doesn't care about Patrick, just that he knew that he would automatically be a priority, but…”
“Okay, okay!” Pete sighed. “I get it, but if there was a conflict or he had to choose…”
“That's not a fair question, Pete,” Andy interrupted.
“What's fair got to do with anything?”
"Fuck you, Wentz! I've already had to choose once!" Joe screamed, furious to be verbally assaulted again. "And I chose to haul your sorry ass out of Beckett's dungeons after you tried to kill the best friend you say you care so much about! I had to leave Andrea behind to save the one person who's questioning my loyalty!"
"Joe!" Andy cried, surprised at the venom in his friend's tone. Gripping Joe's arms, Andy squeezed them reassuringly. "Joe, calm down."
"No!" Joe pushed Andy's hands away. "I won't calm down! I'm sick to death of him making out that he's the only one who cares about Patrick! We all do! He wants to try caring about us for a change!"
"Care about you? How often do I have to save your life before you get it through your thick skull that I do care!" Pete stopped suddenly and sighed, all the aggression suddenly dissolving. "I do care," he added in a calm, quiet voice."
Andy sighed, hoping he was about to do the right thing.
“Joe,” he said quietly with a meaningful nod.
Moving away to the wall, Joe flipped the switch that controlled the electric current to the cage. Instantly the prickling of the hairs on Pete's arms ceased and he cocked an eyebrow first at Andy then Joe.
“You're letting me out?” he asked with uncertainty.
Andy nodded as Joe returned, pulling the key from his pocket.
“We've all been secretive, blinkered and at each other's throats since the mansion burnt down. Too many things have happened to upset us all. We haven't had time to readjust and we're not going to get that time… not yet, anyway. Beckett's alive. He's alive and he's got Patrick and there's a good chance he's going after Andrea. We have to find him and protect her. We have to get over whatever petty issues we've got and fix this!”
Pete watched anxiously as Joe turned the key in the lock and opened the cage door.
“Do you trust me?” Pete asked not moving from where he stood.
“Of course we…”
“You locked me up! I don't accept of course!”
“We were wrong,” Joe added. “I was wrong. I'm sorry. We do trust you.”
Pete nodded gravely and stepped from the cage.
“But you were wrong too, Pete,” Joe added. “About me.”
Pete nodded. “I know.”
“The words you're looking for are I'm sorry,” Joe prompted.
“No,” Pete closed his eyes briefly, to Joe's initial annoyance. “I'm actually looking for something a lot more expressive than that, but in the meantime, I hope it's enough?”
“Yeah,” Joe replied, staggered by Pete's unexpected admission.
Watching as Pete walked out of the cage and headed toward the training area, Andy turned to Joe, both of them still astounded.
“Make the most of it,” Andy advised. “That won't happen every day.”
Spencer stood outside the warehouse at a reasonable distance. Close enough to get a good view, far enough to be undetectable to the casual observer. But, one of the warehouse's occupants was far from being a casual observer.
“Now the last I remember of you, your master wasn't all that pleased with you,” Pete almost laughed as he surprised Spencer by appearing at his side.
Recovering his wits after spinning quickly around, amazed at Pete's stealth, Spencer tried to regain some lost ground by frowning with deep scorn and distaste at the young vampire.
“I don't have a master,” he snapped back. “I never did!”
“Well now,” Pete flashed a broad smile. “We both know that isn't true. You sucked up to Beckett for years.”
“I bided my time,” Spencer argued with a bitter edge to his voice.
“And then he killed you,” Pete smirked.
“Do I look dead?” Spencer snapped, gesturing towards himself.
“Yeah, you do!” Pete beamed. “You look really haggard and drained. If I had to bet money, I'd say Beckett left you for dead and you're still not far off now. Who'd you eat, Spence? Whoever it was, he wasn't substantial. I got past your defences way too easily. You're a sitting duck, Spencer. I could kill you myself.”
Spencer glanced up at Pete. Seeing something he never expected to see, Spencer allowed his lips to be drawn into a thin smile.
“But you won't, will you Pete?” he commented with unnerving confidence. Laughing at his next statement, Spencer revelled in the fact that he had just found Pete's weakness. “You want something entirely different… don't you?”
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