Pairing: Welsey/ Cross (Not Relatives)
Spoilers: For the movie
Warnings: AU, violence, language, h/c, m/m
Summary: The group finds its not as easy to leave as they would have liked and Wesley finds out that his new allies are not as heroic as he thought they were.
-More angst in this one. Little violence to balance it out. Some more secrets are out. There are always gonna be more.
Extra Extra Notes: Hey Paula, providing with excellent feedback for my muse again. Hugs back!!!! You rock! There would be some serious lagging in this fic without ya!
Disclaimers: Not mine! The characters and the movie belong to the studios and producers.
Further Disclaimers: The quote is by Randy K. Millholland, not me.
"Heroes are people and people are flawed. Don't let that taint the thing you love."
-Randy K. Millholland
There was something to be said for having a small contingent of highly-trained assassins living in an isolated castle. Within the hour, all of the required supplies had been loaded onto the plane. Most of it was needless, frivolous items such as clothing and other trinkets. To be fair, most other things could be replaced. Laptops and books were also loaded along with food and medical. The last had taken almost 45 minutes.
Wesley was still seated on the medical bed, dressed in blue scrubs and a black jacket. He looked alright, if a little ragged. He was no longer attached to any machine or an IV, which was a relief. Tinga and others had been in and out loading supplies. I had stayed with him, talking about meaningless topics. Carefully sidestepping what we wanted to talk about the most. Tinga finally glided in and nodded.
"We are all done."
I nodded and brushed Wesley's arm before walking towards the door. I heard him sigh.
"I don't suppose it would make a difference if I asked you not to kill him."
I did not offer him an answer as I walked out of the medical room intent on getting this over with and returning to him.
The chill of the night air in the dungeons swept past me as I walked through the dark corridor. I nodded at Mariner. He offered me a grim nod in return, knowing full well my motives, and moved out of the way but did not leave. He would not interfere but he wanted to be certain that Handler was dead. It was not a question of my skill but more a reassurance of the traitor's death. What had happened to Wesley had shaken up everyone in the castle, not just those close to the boy. To know that someone so closely trusted could be so cold-blooded had been disturbing. Not since Allan Gibson's death, had they been so on edge and unsure. The fact that it was the man's son that was the victim, just added gasoline to the fire.
Handler looked up at me as the door opened. The bath had healed over the wounds, leaving ugly scars. His one brown eye regarded me with a mixture of fear and resignation. He knew he was going to die, had most likely known it for quite some time. Had he spent the past day trying to come to terms with it? As we had sat by Wesley's side and watched helplessly as the boy fought for his life, had Handler been praying for his own?
The man before me had made a choice to die. The man across the castle hadn't chosen any of this. It wasn't hard to choose who to feel pity for, even from an objective stand point.
Handler offered me a small smile. "Is the kid alive?"
"Do you care?"
He sighed. "I do like him. He's a good guy. He doesn't deserve this."
"No, he doesn't."
"So, he is alive."
Handler nodded. He didn't look disappointed as I had thought he would be, rather he seemed indifferent. I supposed it was because Wesley's fate was out of his hands now. "We will all suffer for this. He needs to die."
My hands clenched but I kept my anger in check. They were the final words of a dying man. If he wanted them to be of violence and hatred, then that was his choice.
"What if you are wrong?"
He looked up at me with a confused expression, as if I had told him that gravity did not exist. "Fate chose his name. He needs to die, you know that. Innocent people will suffer for it if he lives."
"What if Fate is wrong?" Some twisted part of me wanted to break his belief that he had sacrificed his life for some greater purpose, that his deeply held ideals were possibly flawed.
Handler snorted. "Oh, that's right. You don't believe in Fate. You believe that Wesley will follow in his father's footsteps and help you bring down the Fraternity."
The words struck a nasty chord. They sounded wrong, sharp and accusing. I didn't plan on using Wesley for some agenda. That was the original plan but only if he chose to follow it. No one would force him to follow this path if did not step onto it. No one would push him. I would make sure of that. Still, Handler's words, our actions so far, seemed to prove otherwise. Logically, I knew until the Fraternity was destroyed, that Wesley would never be able to stop looking over his shoulder, to find a normal life, if there was even one to be had at this point. He really did not have a choice now. Wesley Gibson was a hunted man.
The knife glinted in the vague light in the room. Handler looked at it and let out a shaky breath. He seemed resigned to his fate but frightened nonetheless. I flashed back to the youth that had first joined the Fraternity, nervous and naive. He had been much like Wesley back then. He had even gone through his training with a sarcastic attitude and stubborn spirit that refused to be broken. He'd also possessed a dedication to his cause.
But there was something that was different between them, a fundamental divergence that separated the two souls. Wesley would never have betrayed a friend; he was too good a person, too loyal a man. It was a part of why he was so torn apart by what had happened with the Fraternity. Handler was right. He did not deserve this, any of it. A good person should have a good life, with love and happiness; to be free of cruelty, violence, and fear. But life did not work that way. No matter how many people the Fraternity killed, the balance was never kept.
"Have you told him all of the deep, dark secrets yet?"
I paused for a second before slicing the blade cleanly across his throat. The blood spurted out instantly and air bubbles gurgled. I had cut the vocal chords, unwilling to hear to hear any more sounds from him. His eye were wide, his only way to signal his death. It didn't take long, mere moments. There was no satisfaction, merely completion. A task done.
Wesley stared at me when I walked into the room. I frowned at him and he glanced away before gesturing at me.
"There's blood on your hand."
I looked down and saw my right hand was covered in it. Walking over to the sink, I glanced over my shoulder at Tinga.
"Where is everyone?"
She was just finishing checking Wesley's vitals from what I could tell. She looked nonplussed by Handler's death.
"They are setting the charges. Everyone else is ready by the plane."
Whoa, walking hadn't been this difficult since I was an infant. Or the first, and last time, I decided to try tequila.
I mean I really had to concentrate here.
Tinga's ahead of me and Cross was hovering, so I felt a little better. I was just really glad I didn't need a wheel chair or anything. Its dark outside and fucking freezing. Judging from the the night sky and how bright the moon was, I'm guessing its about midnight, maybe a little later. Its hard to tell out here and I didn't have my watch which was driving me nuts. I wanted to ask someone to get it for me but time wasn't on our side. I stumbled a little on the uneven ground and he grabbed my arm to steady me.
I smiled at him a little and continued to walk.
I wasn't mad at him. Just a little freaked out. Maybe it was just executing the guy, maybe it was knowing him, maybe it was because I was liked him. I didn't know. But they had killed him.
Cross had killed him.
I was still a sorta lost on what was going on. I knew we were running and that the Fraternity was on their way here any minute. Ahead of us, on the grassy planes, was a huge, fancy-looking plane. Okay, I guessed that was our ride. How the hell did they get these things? Bright lights were shining down from inside of it and I could see Mage leaning against the side of the entrance door at the top of the stairs. She was stoic, tense, and nodded at us when we approached. What the hell was going on? I wasn't used to such a cold greeting from her.
The others were moving about inside and I walked to stand a few feet away from the plane to look back at the abandoned castle that had been my refuge for the past two weeks. I took in the worn stone walls that surrounded the castle and the wooden planks. Even from here I could see details of the architecture. For the first time in two months, I had felt safe here. For the first time in my life, I had felt like I could belong somewhere. For the first time, I felt like I could connect to people. It had all started in this place. I wondered how many other people in the past had wandered these very lands and had found a similar path here. A hushed and tranquil piece of earth where a person could just be still.
The powerful explosion took me by surprise.
I stumbled back, almost falling to the ground. The castle continued to explode in brilliant bursts of yellow and orange. Ancient stones were destroyed by modern weapons with the ease of pressing a button. Wooden fixtures went up in a flash, turning black in moments. Curling tendrils of orange flames reached up to the sky and more explosions sounded out with thunderous echos.
It was ironic that their descendants would destroy their legacy.
I sank to the ground, letting the crushing weariness overtake me. The sparse grass felt crisp and cool. Drawing my knees up to my chest, I wrapped my arms around them for warmth, suddenly even more cold in the night air.
I felt more than heard him move to stand beside me. He was quiet for a moment, then he spoke in a soft whisper.
"Wesley, we need to leave."
"A few minutes? I just want to watch it burn away."
He sat down beside me, ran his fingers through my hair and I leaned into the caress. He let me stay for a while. Somehow he understood that I had to say goodbye to yet another piece that I had to leave behind.
But they were coming to take everything away. Again. To bring more violence and death. Again.
He was quiet beside me and that was not a good sign. Wesley was usually greatly uncomfortable with silence but he leaned against the window and watched the world outside as it passed by. The bright lights of the city shined up in a brilliant array of colors in the night sky. The muted hum of the plane was surprisingly soothing as was the almost imperceptible motion of it as we passed through the sky. We were running from danger towards the Sanctuary, but no noise of excitement could be heard.
There was something to be said for Sloan's training in the Fraternity, loathe as I was to admit it. It did make us stronger, harder. We did not cling to sentimental objects and mourn their passing as though they had been sentient and alive. Aside from Pekwarsky and myself, the others seemed to be grieving for the loss of their home in those isolated lands. Even Mage looked distracted and slightly more upset than she had earlier.
I had expected Wesley's reaction, although he had taken it better than I had anticipated. The boy was constantly changing locations and safe houses, barely adjusting to a new life before being ripped away from it. And I knew that he had grown attached to the castle, finding a sort of peace in its serenity. Seeing it violently destroyed must have been a low blow. But we could not have risked leaving behind even the slightest of clues for Sloan. If he ever found some trace back to the Sanctuary . . .
We had been in the air for an hour before Pekwarsky walked down the narrow aisle and sat down on one of the plush, beige chairs beside the couch we were sitting on. He checked Wesley over and handed him some water. The old man's voice was surprisingly soft. Perhaps, it was the subdued atmosphere.
"How are you feeling?"
The boy shrugged and winced. "A little sore. Not as bad as before, though."
"I will give you a shot in two hours. Let me know if you are in pain before then."
He nodded and the other man left. The minutes ticked by and I closed my eyes, just listening to the sounds of the cabin. I could hear Tinga where she sat a few seats down, shifting every now and then. Mariner was leafing through a book while Dax toyed with his necklace, the rubbing sound of metal on metal. Elite was in the corner beside Mage, both quiet in their highly-disciplined trances. No one was asleep, although they were most likely exhausted and the flight was soothing. Their nerves were not alert, they were too well-trained for that to be an issue. It was more out of grief and a spinning mind, than a physical ailment. That was something the Fraternity had never taught them to overcome because they were never supposed to feel it.
"I don't want to keep running."
I turned to look at him. He was still staring out the window, watching the world below. There were the sounds of more shifting and I knew that Wesley had the attention of everyone on board.
"I'm sick of it. Everything keeps changing. I thought that my life had been shit and that I had no purpose. Then Fox came along and I'd thought that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't want to be boring again, but I want to stop fucking running. I want to stop looking over my shoulder and wondering who else is gonna die."
He flinched when I touched his cheek and I frowned, but he didn't pull away. He finally turned to look at me and his dark blue eyes were set with the same hard determination I had seen in his father.
"When are we gonna make them take a step back?"
Silence greeted his words. I had hoped that Pekwarsky would answer the question but it seemed that the old man was leaving me to deal with him. No doubt he believed my relationship with Wesley provided me with some special insight into the way his mind worked. Perhaps he was right. I sighed, knowing the argument that would follow.
"It is not that simple, Wesley."
"Why not? We're highly-trained killers."
"So are they." I countered.
He let out a frustrated sigh. "Not all of them. The ones in the factory are just grunts. The Butcher said they are expendable or something. Kinda cold but, hey, they're bad guys. What do you expect?"
I looked over at Pekwarsky who exchanged a rueful gaze with me. We knew this conversation would eventually come to pass. Wesley would have to know the true extent of our operation because we could not keep secrets from him as the Fraternity did or we would be using him just the same. And I would not allow that to happen. But agreeing to reveal our shady morals and explaining them to him were two very different things. Especially one so new to our world.
"It is not as unusual as you would think."
Wesley frowned at me. "What? What do you mean?"
I glanced over at Mage, looking to her for ideas but she shrugged. Wonderful.
"There is a hierarchy in this world, a certain way of doing things. There are risks to this and people are assigned to them according to their status."
He shook his head at me. "I don't understand. Are you saying certain people are assigned to die because they suck at their job?"
"No. No, that's not it-"
"But they're not as good at their jobs as you are. They can't hit the target as well as you can so they are in front of the bullets first." There was a bitterness in his voice that made me wince.
"You did it, didn't you? On the roof? When you killed that guy, Mr. X. You sent in those others to distract him - decoys." His eyes were full of accusation now.
I let out sigh and rubbed the back of my neck. He should know one of the many of the dark secrets of my past. One by one, I would tell him. This was enough for now.
"You sent them there to die." He snorted and turned away from me.
"We have to do things that way sometimes, Wesley." Mage's voice sounded from the back of the compartment.
He glanced over at her before turning back to the window. " 'Kill one to save a thousand, right?' "
Mage visibly flinched at the words and I could sympathize. Maybe now had not been the best time to tell him about this. But I couldn't lie, couldn't avoid the questions anymore than I had two weeks ago. He deserved an answer and I had gotten too close to him to refuse an outright question. I touched his uninjured shoulder and he flinched again. But to my surprise he sighed and turned away from the window to lean into me.
I slouched down further into the couch and pulled him close. His head rested against my shoulder and his injured left arm was settled on my chest. He shivered a little and Tinga was by his side in an instant. She checked him over and frowned, motioning for Pekwarsky. The old man mimicked her medical motions and rolled up Wesley's sleeve to inject some liquids. Tinga also wrapped a blanket around him.
Her hand lingered gently on his shoulder for a moment before she stood up and returned to her seat. Pekwarsky re-checked Wesley and seemed satisfied but sat down in the chair next to him. Wesley moved closer to me, seemingly unfazed by the commotion. Then again, he must be getting used to it by now.
"There is not much fluxuation. Although it might be wise to remain calm. Perhaps it would be in Wesley's best interests to keep the conversations on light subjects, such as politics or war."
I doubted talking was in the near future, much to my relief. His body was relaxing, exhaustion giving way under stress. His breathing was slowed. I rubbed his side absently, happy that he hadn't held tonight's events against me. It was a twisted road ahead, filled with dark ditches and long gashes. Even our group had the shadows of blood on our hands and wrongful deaths in our hearts. We weren't heroes; far from it. He had idealized us. And like every idealized image, we had fallen short and had crushed the expectations with disturbing results. There was anger now, and doubt.
"Relax, Cross." Pekwarsky's voice interrupted my thoughts. "He learned that we are human; flawed people. It will make it easier for him to find that he belongs with us, not harder."
I smiled. It sounded like something Allan would say.
"Its nice to see a smile around here. What's the happy thought, hon?"
I glanced at Mage. "I was just thinking of Allan."
And just as quickly, the atmosphere went back to melancholic silence. But I was not done with my reverie. My inquiry was not anyone in particular; maybe to Pekwarsky, maybe just aloud.
"Do you think things would have turned out differently if Allan was still alive?"
"You can't live by 'what ifs,' honey. You'll drive yourself crazy." Her voice was quiet and I was reminded of her painful past with a bright flash of guilt.
"But he would have his father with him now. Allan always knew what to say, how to lead, what to do." Therein lay the problem, for us all. Lost children trying to fight a war we were never prepared to wage alone.
"He has you."
"Its not the same."
And it really wasn't. Allan knew, even then on that terrace, that Wesley would need someone to look after him. I had not known how to care for someone and that fact hasn't changed. It was a steep learning curve and we were all walking a mine field with the Fraternity, out-running a ticking clock. I was a killer, a skilled assassin. I was in my element when I pulled the trigger and ended a life. But I felt a calmness with him that I hadn't known I had needed until I had touched him.
"No. But its something."
Son of a bitch.
The hard landing nearly knocked me out of my seat. I hadn't realized I had fallen asleep and that was one hell of a way to find out. Strong arms were the only things that kept me from falling flat on my face on the ugly white carpet on the plane. I reached out to steady myself and a searing pain shot up my arm accompanied by a nauseating bolt of dizziness. Suddenly, the idea of sleeping hadn't been such a good one. I grit my teeth and gasped, struggling to control all of it.
The plane was still moving but Pekwarsky and Tinga had materialized beside me, hovering. The plane came to a sharp stop and she stumbled into me, even her quick reflexes unable to stabilize her. I cried out as another, stronger spike of pain shot up my arm and radiated down my side. She jumped back immediately and apologized.
"We need to get him inside. His blood pressure is low and his temperature is 95.4."
Pekwarsky's voice was steady, commanding and I was still surprised at how different he sounded from the fairly quiet and indifferent man I'd initially met.
Getting down the steps was a challenge but we managed. I stumbled on the last step and nearly crashed into the ground, caught by Cross again. The man's reflexes were uncanny and he was constantly watching me. Habit, I supposed.
He held onto me for a moment and I was grateful for the warmth and support. I was dizzy, cold, tired, and fucking sick of all of it. And complaining a lot.
With a sigh and a shaky step back, I pulled away from him. He seemed hesitant to let me go but allowed the distance. I looked around and saw only one person here to greet us. That was weird. I would have thought we would have been surrounded by a welcoming committee. Then again, they live here, why wouldn't they be welcome. It was me that was the stranger.
He was an Asian man, maybe in his 40s. He had greying hair and a severe look on his face. But as I walked closer, I realized that his eyes were nice, playful. They had a twinkle in them, showing that he must have a great sense of humor. I sure as hell hoped so. I was batting a thousand so far when it came to meeting new people and I was a little gun shy right now.
He put out his hand, his knuckles scarred. "My name is Otto. I have been the substitute teacher of sorts around here while the real leaders have been away."
I smiled at him and shook his hand, surprised at the strong grip. "Wesley. Nice to meet."
"I just wanted to let you know that you are welcomed here. Your father was a hero, a legend. We are honored that you are among us."
I blushed at his words, also uncomfortable at the underlying meaning. What did they want from me, expect from me? How much did they know about me? I glanced back at Cross and he moved a little closer to me.
"We had an incident at the compound. Wesley was injured. We need to get him into the medical bay immediately."
Otto frowned and shot me a concerned look. "Of course, Cross. Its is good to see you again, my friend."
The sound of the plane starting up again made us all turn around. It was starting off down the small runway and took off with little room. It surprised me what little runway it needed. Cross hadn't been kidding when he'd said that the technology they had was state of the art. But why was it leaving so soon? And with who? It was only then that I noticed that Tinga wasn't with us.
"Where is Tinga?"
"She has gone to get her medicine man." Pekwarsky said and brushed past Otto, making it very clear he no longer wanted to stay out here.
We followed him. I tried to take in the surroundings the best I could as we walked. My eyesight was beginning to blur but I rubbed it away. The sun was setting and it wasn't making things any easier, the flares of blinding light taking turns with the fading shadows of the day. I could see the outline of a city below us, but could not make out the details. Where the hell were we? I knew the Sanctuary was in Japan but it didn't seem to be in the city or in the countryside.
The world tilted for a second and he grabbed my uninjured arm in a painfully tight grip.
"We're almost there."
I looked up ahead and saw an enormous house, more like a mansion or manor or something. It was fucking huge. And it looked brand new. Had it been constructed for them? I stumbled on the uneven ground and he pulled me closer to him.
"Where the hell are we?"
"On the outskirts of Tokyo. There are underground tunnels in the manor that will lead us into the city if we are ever attacked. We will blend into the crowd and disappear from view with a thousand places to hide and many allies with which to aide us."
I was trying to take deep breathes, but I couldn't get enough oxygen. "Sounds like a good plan."
"Your father thought so."
I knew he was trying to distract me and I wished it was that easy. My mind wasn't doing this.
It seemed like it took forever before we finally got there but was probably about only ten minutes. I kept shaking my head to clear it and my body was starting to shake as I felt cold despite the setting sun. The doors creaked open and I looked up, my attention focused up on the house and away from the idea that the beige dirt beneath my feet was spinning like a mini tornado.
The grand hall inside was huge, complete was bright lights and glass panes. Water trickled down some stone fountains that traveled down an entire wall. Two staircases on either side of the wide hall lead up to the second, third, and what looked like a fourth floor. Okay. There were a few paintings on the walls that I couldn't make out from here. The walls were plain white with metallic sets of material and brown furniture.
"Impressive, isn't it? We have 97 rooms in this manor alone. There are two smaller establishments about one kilometer down the road. We have state of the art technology in every area and the kind of security system that you will not find in any government agency." Otto paused in his speech and turned around to face us, his humor slightly tainted. "And from your sudden appearance I am guessing that last piece of information will be most reassuring for Wesley."
Pekwarsky exchanged a rueful look with Cross.
Otto sighed. "How did they find it?"
"We do not know. We were a little pressed for time." Pekwarsky said.
The next wave of dizziness that took me over knocked the wind of me and I collapsed to the ground. I would have smacked my head on the polished wooden floor if he hadn't eased me down. He was holding onto me and the throbbing in my arm raced through my body. I think I was trying to talk to him, tell him what was wrong, but I wasn't sure. Pekwarsky was kneeling next to me, checking my pulse and shouting for help. Otto was calling for help, too, his voice sounding panicked. It was just plain weird to hear trained assassins sound freaked out.
All I could think, though, was that maybe they had a reason to be.
He was on his side, curled up under the blankets. I sat in the chair next to him, running my hands through his hair, over his face, trying to keep him calm. The drugs were doing their part but he was more relaxed when I was around, I knew that much by now. I had known that the first night he had been in pain from the toxin and had calmed down when I'd touched his hair. It had been a strange impulse, similar to the one I had followed three years ago when I had sat down next to him in the hospital. But it had proven to be correct.
It continued to baffle me that he found me comforting, my touch soothing. I was a violent killer, having caused vicious pain and unbearable suffering with the same hands that touched him now. Blood, gore and death tainted my skin. It had never bothered me before but it had occurred to me more than once recently. But he leaned into the touch, moved a little closer to me, shutting his eyes every once and a while.
He did not sleep but he did rest. His body regressed into its worsening symptoms but it didn't get as bad as it did before. No serious machines had to be used, just an IV and a few monitors. I had the feeling, though, that little could be done at this point. Pekwarsky could put him back on that complicated machine if things became that bad but the older man seemed loathe to put Wesley through that process again just yet.
Mage walked into the room, edging just into the corner. She stared at us for a moment, a small smile on her pretty face. She looked a calmer than before. She had always loved this place, as many of us did. There was a reason that it had such a name.
"Why are you avoiding me?"
She let out a weary breath, knowing that she would have to have this conversation sooner or later. She walked into the room and pulled up a chair next to me, twisting it around to lean forward on the back of it.
"Oh, honey. It hasn't got anything to do with you. It just brought back some bad things for me, that's all."
"I'm sorry." Then Wesley winced, no doubt realizing the anger the ridiculous apology would bring. I felt it myself. But he was ill and starting an argument would only cause more problems for him.
Mage must have come to a similar conclusion. "I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that."
That seemed to pacify him for a moment but he frowned and looked up at me. "What Otto said. How did they find out where the castle was?"
"We have a spy."
Leave it to Mage to make it seem as though we had known it all along. But from the look on his face, he wasn't fooled. Before Handler, it had never occurred to us that someone would have infiltrated our ranks to gather information for Sloan. Maybe it was our own form of naivete, passed along from Allan Gibson. The man had given us the truth and let us make our own choices. I never would have thought that a person would find fault in that. And if there was one, there were more. Sloan would not have risked Handler's cover if he was the only spy.
"More than one I'm guessing." He was intelligent. "Handler had his orders to kill me but someone else tipped off the Fraternity where the castle was."
"We believe so." I didn't want him to worry about this now. We could deal with the future when it happened. He had to focus on surviving the present.
He chewed on his lip. "You think it was someone in the castle with us?"
"No, Handler was his spy there."
"Handler was with you guys for three years, right? And you've been using the castle for almost a decade. Why now?"
I glanced over at Mage and caught the hesitant look on her face. This conversation could wait but he seemed determined to make the next few hours as trying as possible. He was very stubborn, very much his father's son. When I turned back at him, he looked down at the sheets, realizing the answer without me.
"It was only a matter of time before they made a more aggressive move on us, Wesley. You were just a convenient catalyst, an easy target."
I didn't tell him that we had all ran out of time. If Sloan was playing his hand, implementing his spies, then he was ready for the final showdown. Maybe it was because of how strong Wesley was and that he was now our ally. The older man was afraid of him, of the potential he had shown and the will to use it. He was Allan Gibson's son, stepping into the gathering of allies that his father had made so powerful. His plan to destroy us and murder Wesley, eradicate the most skilled assassin's lasting legacy had back-fired spectacularly. And now he was panicking.
But that didn't make him any less lethal, far from it. Now that he had everything to lose, he would fight with everything he had.
We weren't ready, I knew that. I was not sure we ever really would be. Allan had created a united group of people who had flocked to his cause because of his genuine sense of right and wrong and his natural abilities as an assassin and a leader. Like his son, he had never prepared us to exist in a world without him. I wondered if that thought had haunted him to that fateful night in his hotel room. I could only hope that he had found some sort of peace in knowing that his son was not alone and that his people were strong.
I hoped that would be enough. It hadn't been so far.
The machines started beeping again, the noise startling loud in the quiet room. Mage stood up sharply, the chair landing on the floor with a shattering clang as she ran to get help. I leaned over him, trying to get him to wake up. How could this be happening again?
Pekwarsky, Tinga and two other medical people were in the room within seconds. They pushed me away from him as they struggled to keep him alive. Metal trays banged onto the tables and several orders were shouted by everyone. I stood to the side, once again forced into helplessness. But there was no one to torture this time, no task to focus on. I could only listen to the noises of chaos, the desperate shouts and frenzied motions of failing people. They were losing.
As the machine continued to signal his death, I thought again that Allan had made a terrible mistake.