This one is ALSO set another eighteen months into the future. It may seem a little forced but please, I AM trying to cram three years of familiarity into three chapters.
Anywho, ENJOY :-D
When the Kali dropped from the trees, surrounding Sara, she was honestly quite surprised.
She knew she shouldn't have been. It hadn't been the first time she had been ambushed by murderous looking men, on the brink of capture or assassination. But this was the first time she had dealt with an ambush completely and entirely alone.
Oh, the twins had originally been with her, their annoying and pointless chatter causing her to constantly ask herself if Josie would be mad if she accidentally pushed them off a cliff. Though, despite being unable to take anything seriously, the twins were formidable allies. They made up for their idiocy by saving her life on multiple occasions, leaving her to pay them back by saving their lives in return. Which meant not killing them.
She had grown used to their strange, erratic behaviour, so when they creepily disappeared into the shadows, leaving her alone, she didn't give it a second thought. For those two, that was normal behaviour. God knew what they got up to during their spontaneous disappearing acts but they always returned. Every single time.
She had been too focused on their goal to notice that they hadn't returned. Nothing penetrated her mind except the urge to find the camp, aid the resistance in the fight and participate in what was rumoured to be the final battle, the battle that was said to finally save humanity.
Which was why, when the forest was suddenly filled with Kali, Sara was more than a little shocked.
She narrowed her eyes. She was going kill the twins.
The sky was darkening, the looming trees casting dark shadows over the men that circled her, triumph in their eyes. There were at least twenty of them, each of them dressed completely in black. A silver haired Kali stepped forward, his hands fingering an AK-47.
"Saralene Beckett?" he asked, perfectly civilised, "You have been caught and put under arrest due to numerous offenses against the Law."
"The law, you say?" Sara began silkily, "Do tell me, how exactly did I break the law? By surviving?"
The Kali dropped his charade, his face pulled into a scowl. Sara's smirk grew wider as she watched utter loathing fill his eyes, his eyes glaring acidly at her. "Either way, human, you'll be taken in to the Commander. Also, if I were your heroic rescuers," his voice grew louder, "I would tell them to stand somewhere downwind from me. I can smell them from here."
A low rumble of confusion echoed across the clearing, the silver haired Kali still glaring her. Sara knitted her eyebrows in confusion. She had only just opened her mouth when another voice, an annoyingly familiar voice, echoed through the forest.
"Well, damn. And we thought we were so clever."
Shock flashed through Sara, her mouth hanging open slightly. There was no way.
As soon as the voice spoke, the sea of Kali parted in the centre, shock registering on their faces as they stared down the aisle, hands gripping their weapons tightly. She could only guess what they saw. They probably saw the two figures standing by the tree line and felt a flash of fear run through them, startled that they were in the presence of the two eighteen years old that found it sport to kill. They probably looked at them and viewed their identical lean bodies and messy chocolate brown hair and recognized them instantly as the twins on the Most Wanted posters. She could see it on their faces that they were terrified of the matching Cheshire cat grins the boys were wearing.
To Sara, however, she didn't see two formidable opponents. She saw two teenage boys who looked a lot more thrilled then they should by being surrounded by twenty homicidal men.
She groaned. She was done for.
Her Kali grinned. "James and Jordan Pryce, am I correct?"
"Annoyingly so," James (or perhaps Jordan. Sara honestly couldn't tell) answered pleasantly, striding down the aisle with his brother, "We never thought we'd be smelt out. Honestly, it's a bit creepy."
Jordan nodded. "It is creepy, isn't it? You're like some kind of a wolf man." he brightened, "I bet you have an awfully hairy back."
The Kali's face soured, disgust etched into every line on his face. "That is none of your business," he snapped, "Now stand beside Beckett or else face the consequences."
The twins seemed to ignore the walls of Kali watching silently as they lazily walked towards Sara, still grinning devilishly.
"That's a bit cliché, isn't it?" James observed, only succeeding in having the Kali's eye twitch dangerously, "You know what, Jordan? I bet he watches those cheesy action flicks. You know, the ones with the bad acting and dramatic death scenes."
"James, I think you're right. He strikes me as someone exactly like that," James flashed the Kali a brilliant smile, knowing full well of the effect he and his twin were making. "Uncanny."
The Kali flushed in anger.
They laughed in an eerily similar manner before coming to stand on either side of Sara, their eyes sparkling in mirth.
She glared bitterly at them, noticing how each and every Kali now had their weapons trained on the twins. A few had flaming balls of energy cupped in their hands. The twins grinned widely, looking as if it had been nothing but their dearest wish to be on the receiving side of more than a few death glares.
She found it impossible to believe that the twins had done what they had just done. Despite their more annoying attributes, they were actually quite reliable and Sara was relying on them to assist her rescue. Instead, however, they willingly had walked into the hands of their captors, not trace of escape in their eyes. It was as if they had wanted to be arrested.
A low rumbling echoed from the back of her throat.
The twins glanced at her briefly in irritation. "What?"
"I'm going to kill you," she hissed, fists slowly clenching.
They shared identical puckish grins, James opening his arms wide and gesturing to the crowd.
"You and everyone else, Sara-"
"-Join the club!"
She resisted the urge to growl. She was beginning to rethink restraining herself from her murderous impulses.
"Slide over your weapons," The Kali ordered. Two men had stepped forwards to flank him, their eyes watching the trio's every move carefully. Without turning, Sara knew they were being surrounded, the crowd before them slowly thinning.
"Which ones do you want first?" Jordan asked cheerfully.
Whatever answer the Kali had been expecting, this certainly wasn't it. He seemed slightly disconcerted. "What?" he snapped.
"The weapons," James filled in. The Twin's eyes were sparkling in mirth, smirking that infuriating I-know-something-you-don't smirk. "Which ones do you want first?"
"We find that that, though the big ones are large, pointy and usually fatal-"
"-you know, like swords, axes, really sharp branches-"
"-the smaller ones are the most destructive."
James's hands fiddled around in his utility belt while Jordan drew the Kali's eyes, hands moving to hold the back of his head.
He narrowed his eyes. "What's your point?" he asked, watching them suspiciously.
"Our point?" Jordan responded, "Our point is that we should really give you the smaller ones first. Like grenades."
James, triumphant, pulled out a small hand held bomb, snatching the pin out. "Here, catch."
Before the Kali could react, he chucked it into the air. For a brief moment, time seemed to be suspended. The shadows seemed to thicken, stretching to create pools of ink on the dirt. The grenade swirled through the air, the only thing that seemed to be visible as the air darkened further, the vibrant colours dulling to create an eerie atmosphere.
Stunned, the Kali almost automatically let his hands fling out, catching the grenade seemingly without noticing. He glanced at it.
Then, all hell broke loose.
Sara barely had time to react before she was unceremoniously shoved to the ground, her body thrashing against the hard packed dirt. Jordan was crouching above her, his hands typing furiously into the silver cuff on his left arm. James leapt behind them just as a pale blue energy shield sprung from the gleaming arm cuff, crackling and sizzling with hidden electricity. It had only just sprung forth when the grenade exploded.
A fiery blossom suddenly burst into the sky, lighting up the dark forest with dazzling hues of amber, scarlet and gold. The flames writhed through the air like fireworks, each blazing petal curling until the inferno licked at the dark plants. The fire, for a brief moment, lit the night into day, Sara averting her eyes instead of looking at the blinding blaze.
Then the sound hit her.
It was an earth shattering boom! causing her to cling desperately to the hard packed dirt, squeezing her eyes shut and wishing fiercely that it would soon stop. It seemed as if the very earth was protesting as it shook with fury, the vibrations weaving through her body and threatening to rip her away from safety. Beads of sweat began to form at the nape of her neck, her clothes sticking to her skin like a coat of some sticky liquid. It felt as if she had been dumped into the pits of hell, ravaged by demons and watched by ghouls.
The flames licked past the shield, missing her curled body by mere inches. The heat was intense, wrenching away all air and leaving her gasping for breath. Each time she opened her mouth, it felt as if her insides were scorching and bubbling.
A brief thought flickered through her mind. The explosion shouldn't have been that intense, but the answer was almost immediately answered. The grenade had ignited the gunpowder that Kali had, without a doubt, on and with them.
She sucked in another breath, preparing for the burn, only to find she could breathe.
It was over.
The blossom of an inferno curled in on itself, pulling back until there was nothing left but scorched earth and mutilated bodies.
A faint buzzing was ringing in her ears, as if a thousand wasps had made it their most desperate mission to make their nest in her skull. She raised her head slowly, attempting futilely to shake away the muted sound.
The trees had bent away from explosion site, their bark burnt and charred to black. Bodies were strewn carelessly before them, their flesh boiled grotesquely. She repressed a shudder.
Unaffected by the blast, Jordan sprang to his feet, glancing admiringly at his shield before it flickered away. A groan behind Sara alerted her to the presence of James.
Carefully, she climbed to her feet, reaching out a hand to steady herself against Jordan's solid form.
The buzzing noise faded away as she gazed at her surroundings. She met the twin's eyes and, noticing their expressions, cocked her head to one side. "What?"
James tried grinned but it fell flat. "We know you want to go find Josie so go. We'll clean up here."
A pang of gratitude thumped in her chest. She nodded, wordless, before turning on her heel and darting into the dark trees.
It wasn't long until she left all signs of human life behind, her only company being the gasps of breath leaving her mouth as she pushed forwards.
Trees loomed over her like dark sentinels, watching her eerily as she sprinted through the bush. The shadows, slithering like tendrils of smoke, were the shade of a starless night, cursing her as she ran.
The sounds of battle soon reached her ears; the clang of metal, the screams of the anguished. She burst through two giant oaks, pushing past them. She was almost there. She could tell.
The clatter had grown louder, footsteps and the harsh yells of orders adding to the din. She smiled in anticipation. She only had a few more metres she guessed.
That single word made her freeze, her body tensing. Slowly, carefully, she pivoted, her eyes scanning the tree line before her. A dark shadow stepped from the shade.
A slow, sultry smile filled Sara's features. "Hotshot."
What the hell? Josie could wait.
His chiselled face was serious, a stony mask plastered over his features. Ribbons of blood trickled down a deep gash on his torso, leaving liquid scarlet smears in their wake. A rather painful looking bruise was forming above his eyebrow, his dark red hair matted with dried blood.
It didn't seem right to her, to see him marred by the blood and gore. She wanted nothing but to wipe those injuries away, to see the face she was so used to underneath once again.
It wasn't natural.
She began to step forwards but stopped as his voice sliced through the air. "Do not come any closer, Beckett."
She pouted playfully. "And why not? I've missed you."
He winced slightly. "Cut the games.
"Games? I'll show you games if you come over here. I promise I won't bite," she paused and winked, "hard."
He growled and, for once, Sara stepped back in astonishment. "I said cut it. We don't have time for your stupid banter."
Sara carefully rearranged her face into an emotionless mask. "And why not?" she asked coolly.
He laughed but it was devoid of humour. "I've been hunting you for a while haven't I, Beckett? My superiors are getting tired of you constantly slipping out of my grasp. I need to kill you and your distractions aren't helping."
Her eyes took on a hard glint. "So that's how it's gonna be, huh?"
He flexed his hands, curling them into fists. "Yes. No more games. I will kill you."
An unfamiliar feeling jolted through Sara. She felt like a jack-o'-lantern, her insides carved out but a mask, not revealing her true emotions, was still plastered onto her features.
She gazed at him before nodding, a silent agreement.
Something crashed behind him.
His head jerked to the side, his eyes scanning the shadows for the source of the sound. Sara finally had her chance as he glanced the other way, totally distracted. It would be so easy for her to reach down, pull her gun from her waist and shoot him down, straight through the heart. It was all she needed to do.
But she couldn't.
A sick feeling filled her. She couldn't do it. However warped or twisted it sounded, he was the only one she could really rely on. No matter what, he could always be expected to be there, willing for a fight, always with the same intentions. She always knew exactly what he was doing since he never hesitated to tell her exactly what he was thinking. In a way, it was a reassuring.
She couldn't kill him.
She barely hesitated. Without so much as a glance towards her black knight, she disappeared into the night.
She was just gone.
How the hell didthat happen?
Roy honestly didn't know what to do. Of course she had disappeared before but this time it was different. She had left without a word, no playful banter, no seductive looks. He knew her and disappearing without a single warning was not her style.
A depressed wave rolled through him. He could count on one hand how many chances he had left until the higher ups had the mission terminated and now that he had missed her again, he wasn't sure if he would get those chances either.
A twig snapped to his right, a dark figure appearing beside him. He knew without looking that it was Monica. She had taken to following him lately, sifting through his mission files and eyeing his work critically. He expected that she was under some falsely perceived notion that he needed help.
Maybe she was just being nice, maybe she was genuinely concerned about his well being but, most likely, she probably didn't want her best hunting partner to leave.
Her espresso hair was tightly bound back by a metal clasp, high lighting the sharp planes of her face. Tight, tough stealth gear adorned her body, a deadly Sabre held in one hand like an extension of her right arm. They stood like that for a few moments, dead silent and side by side, sharing what they knew without words.
Almost to quiet to hear, she whispered, "Beckett got away."
It wasn't a question.
He nodded, wordless. He didn't trust himself to speak, an arrow of despair shot straight into his chest. He barely registered the movement as the Kali placed a mocha coloured hand on his shoulder.
"You'll get her next time, hotshot."
Without realising, he flinched. The nickname was so familiar, something he had grown used to over the years. It felt strange coming out of Monica's mouth though, almost a violation. He sucked in a noisy breath.
Look what Beckett had done to him. A nickname. That was all it took to distract him and she had begun it. He knew instantly that she was liability. The rebel was a woman he took too seriously.
His face was set, a determined glint in his eyes.
He shrugged off the Kali's hand. "No," he responded, lifting his head slightly higher, "I'll get her this time."
Monica laughed, throwing her head back. He glanced at her in irritation. "What?"
She spared him an amused look, crossed her hands over her chest. "You just never give up, do you?" she shook her head, "Oh well. Go get her tiger."
He didn't look at her again.
He took off into a sprint, vanishing among the very trees he was sure she disappeared into. He didn't need to run for long. He soon burst out from the forest, abruptly stopping as he took in the battle below.
He was perched at the top of a massive hill, the trees thinning away until they were only skeletal remains placed sparsely at the bottom. The Kali structure, a mansion that could've been the size of a football field, stood tall and proud at the centre of the battle field, a lone figure standing at the top of the marble ceiling, viewing the battle spread out before him.
The Commander. Roy shuddered.
He quickly diverted his gaze back towards the battle and repressed a grimace.
Blood was staining the barren ground a deep crimson, seeping from the lifeless bodies of humans and Kali alike. He could barely tell who was who or which side they stood for as each person slowly fought their way towards the centre, in desperate hopes of killing the Commander. Wounded humans retreated into the forest a hundred metres on the opposite side of the Kali structure, causing Roy to be sure that was where their camp was hidden.
Bodies littered the floor, set in gruesome positions and their faces permanently pulled into a grimace, their eyes staring up at the starless sky they would never see again. A single figure, easily distinguishable by the flaming blue scimitars she brandished, was easily slicing her way through opponents, creating a path to the Commander. The figure was familiar and it was painfully obvious that the Commander found her familiar as well. He seemed to look forward to his near battle against Josephine Crescent.
Anguished screams, shrill enough that he felt he was in the prisons of hell, pierced the cool night air, only broken by the whoops of joy over a kill. Slicing through all sounds, however, was a single, bone chilling laugh, echoing across the grounds.
He could practically feel the death that emitted from the view in waves, the stench of blood and gore thick in the air.
Roy repressed a shiver.
Pushing his fear aside, he scanned the battlefield, keeping a keen eye out for the familiar silky, black hair.
He saw her, savagely pushing past her opponents, a single destination obviously in mind. His eyes trailed over her as a beatific smile crossed her face, her mouth forming words. Even from where he was he could hear her.
She dashed over to where a blonde man was duelling a single Kali, their swords merely blurs in the air. Beckett quickly stabbed the man in the back, causing him to drop into a crumpled heap on the floor, before she pounced on the human, hugging him tightly.
She looked so happy, so free. Yet he had to kill her.
He shook himself. He needed to get his head in the game.
Before his thoughts had a chance to catch up to him, he broke into a run, tearing down the hill. He easily darted past the battle, dodging a few stray bullets and ducking underneath a swinging sword. More than once, he even had to leap over a stray human, curled on the floor as if it trying to protect themselves from their brutal reality. Now that he was closer, the battle seemed even more real, the stink of death even more pronounced. He saw everything in perfect clarity, something he wasn't particularly proud of.
The crowd was larger the anticipated causing him to take longer then he originally thought to reach Beckett. He did reach her though, in the end.
She was fighting, side by side, with the blonde human, Matt, moving with him in perfect synchronisation. They seemed to balance each other, Beckett's smooth and seductive dance cancelled out by Matt's brash and raw moves. Their backs were to a rough wall of trees, a group of ten or more Kali leaping aside to dodge their blows before delivering ones of their own. Roy made a split- second decision and ducked behind a few skeletal oaks, leaning against the rough bark. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes. He had to wait for the opportune moment.
A single scream sliced through the air.
He froze, eyes snapping open, wide and shocked. He knew that voice, easily. It was the voice that he had been constantly bantering with for the past three years. He leant forwards, peering out from behind the tree. His eyes found Beckett instantly.
She wasn't fighting though. No. She wasn't fighting at all.
Her back was to him so he couldn't see the expression of pain and fear he knew would most likely be there. But he did see the tip of a sword poke out from her lower back, stained red with blood. Her blood.
Time seemed to freeze. Matt turned, his face contorting into a mask of rage and horror. Beckett seemed to be solely relying on the sword for support, her skin tinged a deathly white as her hands desperately clawed at the blade. Matt sent his sword soaring through the air, striking Beckett's attacked to the ground, and his sword slid from her body. Without its presence, her body crumpled and she fell to the floor. Roy could hear her whimpers, Matt's furious requests for help as he pressed a hand to his comms link. The blonde didn't have time to finish the request though. He had barely spoken for more than a few moments when another Kali charged. Nimbly, Matt leapt to his feet, meeting the Kali's furious onslaught with his own.
Roy could see her, deathly still, her own liquid ruby blood streaking across the ground. He would've thought she was dead if it wasn't for the unsteady flutter of her chest.
He took in a deep breath. He could still do it, he could still kill her. But it felt wrong.
He squashed that thought down instantly.
He didn't hesitate. He burst from his hiding place, dashing towards his target. It was an easy task to avoid her blonde companion, who was still ferociously fighting a Kali. He came to careful stop before her, his hands at his sheath.
He could see her now, wisps of midnight hair clinging to her forehead. She was sweating profusely, her breaths loud and laboured. His gaze wandered to the wound and he resisted the urge to show any reaction towards it. A gaping hole had been ripped in her shirt at her waist, rivers of blood streaming from the wound.
He shook his head. He had his mission.
Smoothly, confidently, he pulled his Glock from its sheath, aiming it unwaveringly at her heart. His pulse stuttered as her eyes flickered open.
A hint of a smile crossed her face, instantly over ridden by a grimace. "Come to kill me, hotshot?"
He gritted his teeth, clicking the safety off.
She looked at him, her charcoal eyes staring at him without fear. She merely looked ... peaceful. "Make it quick, alright?"
She closed her eyes.
For years he had wondered who the true Saralene Beckett was, poring over her files for even a mere insight. Yet, it was only then, seconds before her death, which he truly sawwho she was. He didn't see her sultry smiles or flirtatious winks, he didn't notice the way she seemed to have her hip permanently cocked. She just seemed calm, welcoming for death.
He could see clearly that she had given up hope, her skin sallow and sinking into her hollow cheekbones. He saw no mask, no facade, only her real emotions.
He should've felt happy, he had finally cracked her code and was on the verge of killing her, but he didn't. He didn't feel a single ounce of happiness.
He didn't want to see her true emotions merely seconds before her death. He wanted to see what she was really like, the way he had seen her welcome Matt – a laughing and smiling Sara, not the seductive and merciless killer.
For just a brief second, an idea flitted across his mind. What if he didn't kill her? What if he let her live? If she survived the stab wound, of course. But what if he was the one to take her to the rebels? The idea was absolutely ridiculous – he would technically be committing treason, defying every personal and genuine law he followed – yet it taunted his mind with its possible futures.
Her eyes flickered open once again, confusion clouding her eyes. "Hotshot?" she rasped.
That did it. That single word made his decision.
He had always viewed rules as guidelines anyway.
Swearing ferociously under his breath, he covered the distance between them in a few short steps and crouched down beside her, sheathing his weapon. He was painfully aware of her eyes watching him as he carefully curled his arms around her, avoiding the yawning gap in her stomach.
Without looking at her, he said, "I'm going to pick you up. You need to promise me that you'll tell me when it hurts."
She nodded mutely, looking slightly bewildered. Tenderly, his gathered her in his arms, cradling her to his chest. If it wasn't for the slight whimper that escaped her lips, he wouldn't have noticed her pain. Her face had whitened even further when he looked down at her, watching as she buried her face in his chest.
He didn't have much time. Damnit.
The cool touch of steel touched his neck. He froze.
"Who the hell are you and what are you doing with Sara?"
Slowly and cautiously, Roy pivoted, taking in the sight of the blonde human rebel. He was holding a French Gladius in one hand, aiming it at his neck. That wasn't good.
"My name is Roy West," he told him calmly.
Recognition flashed through Matt's eyes before they hardened considerably. "The assassin? Give me one good reason why I shouldn't kill you now."
"Because I'm trying to save her."
He narrowed his eyes. "You've tried to kill her for the past three years. Why the hell would you want to save her?"
Roy growled impatiently. "I don't have time for this. I need you to cover me."
"Yes, cover me," he repeated, "I'm going to take her to Resistance camp so she can get a healer."
The rebel paused, studying him. Roy tried his best not to merely push the sword aside and sprint for camp. Instead, he stood, fidgeting slightly under the rebel's careful scrutiny.
The rebel stepped aside, weapons lowered. "Go then. I'll cover you."
He nodded briefly and stepped forwards. A hand on his shoulder stopped him though. He turned to see Matt.
"Remember you're holding Josie's adoptive sister," he hissed, adopting a deadly tone, "If you hurt her, you won't have to answer to me. You'll answer to Josephine Crescent."
Roy didn't answer. He was all too aware of the consequences.
He started off at a steady pace across the battlefield, Matt circling him and slicing through anyone who dared step towards them. He was careful not to jostle Beckett, the blood still flowing freely from her wound, as he dodged past fights. He faltered slightly as Matt quickly swerved in front of him, deflecting a fireball with the flat side of his sword.
Roy let out a sigh of relief. He was lucky Matt was good at what he did.
He spared a glance at Beckett as her head turned in his arms. Her breaths were laboured, her chest barely moving. She felt limp, lifeless almost, in his arms and he curled his arms even more tightly around her.
He could see the first few trees of the forest, perhaps twenty or so metres away. Satisfaction flooded him. Eyes still focused on the horizon, he leant down, whispering in her ear, "It'll be alright, Beckett. We're going to make it."
She showed no sign of hearing him but he thought he saw her hand twitch slightly. He felt slightly triumphant with the reaction.
He pivoted instantly, Beckett moaning in his arms. Matt stood a few feet behind them; a deadly looking dagger was lodged in his shoulder. Three Kali were surrounding him, grinning devilishly as they prepared to attack.
Roy took a step forward but Matt waved him off. "Go! I'll be fine!"
It was obvious he was bluffing. His sword was hanging limply in his hand, his injured arm held carefully, but Roy nodded. He would respect a last man's wish.
Beckett shifted, her head turning to view Matt, her eyes only barely open. Roy turned and took off at a sprint, swerving through the battle. He could hear the blonde rebel's cries, Beckett's eyes widening and lips parting in astonishment.
He almost stumbled when an animalistic sound crawled its way from her throat, rasping. He gazed down at her in shock. She was staring at Matt, watching what he knew was the rebel's body being ripped apart.
Heavy, throaty sobs were escaping her mouth, tears streaming down her cheeks. Roy slowed his pace, holding her more gingerly. With each sob, more blood flowed from the wound. The ruby liquid was now staining his hands and clothes as well, mixing his blood with hers.
"Beckett," he muttered, eyes large, "Beckett, you need to stop crying. You're making the blood flow worse."
She didn't seem to hear him, a strangled and tormented sound piercing the air. Roy's eyes widened even more and he shook her slightly.
"Beckett? Beckett! It'll be alright. Stop crying."
Her eyes glazed over, sobs still racking through her body. The blood flow was slowing and Roy let out a low hiss. She was losing too much blood.
"GOD DAMNIT, SARA! STOP CRYING!" he roared.
Her tears ceased immediately, her onyx eyes instead staring up at him in wonder. In the recesses of his mind, he realised that that was the first time he had called her by her first name.
Positive she wouldn't begin crying again, he dashed the last few metres and entered the forest. It was then and only then, that he realised he had no clue where he was going. Without Matt, he had no one to guide him to the camp site. Wincing slightly, he kept running, ignoring as the shadows seemed to pool like ink around him, slithering and following them as if excited by the prospect of death.
A blur ran past him, an ebony bow in her hands and quiver of arrows strapped across her back.
"Wait!" he yelled, "I need a healer!"
The blur froze, turning to face him. He blanched.
It was a girl, no older then eighteen. Scarlett ringlets fell to her shoulders, highlighting the vibrant emerald eyes that widened as she took him in. Her small, lithe body looked barely capable of the heated battle they were in the midst of.
Lightning quick, she strung an arrow, aiming it for his heart, posture perfect. All doubts he had of her fighting abilities vanished.
"You're a Kali," she stated, "We don't heal Kali."
She was fingering her arrow carefully, as if mentally berating herself for allowing him a chance.
A wisp of a smile flew past Roy's face. "Was. I was a Kali. I've gone local now."
She narrowed her eyes, her gaze lowering until she saw the body in his arms. Sara chose that precise time to whimper.
The rebel was by his side in an instant, her arrow locked safely in her quiver. In that moment, she looked exactly like the scared eighteen year old Roy had originally mistaken her for, her ringlets bouncing nervously.
She placed a pale hand on Sara's cheek. "Sara?" she whispered. Her voice grew stronger as she addressed him, "Come with me."
Before he had time to react, she darted into the forest. He was barely able to keep up with her, her limber form only just within his line of sight. She leapt through the forest effortlessly, and once, though he could've been hallucinating, Roy thought he saw a russet coloured wolf take her place.
Humans soon began to swarm past him. It seemed he had finally entered the Rebel camp. Weapons were hanging from make shift racks, Archers perched in the branches of trees and watching like hawks for intruders. The crowd barely spared a glance his way, to occupied with yelling for medics or obtaining a new quiver of arrows to notice the Kali carrying Saralene Beckett. He saw faces he only knew from Wanted Posters. Bronze haired Darren Cresta was bent over an unconscious Annie Gills, a blonde healer telling him quietly, "I'm sorry Darren. We don't know if she'll make it."
The twins, James and Jordan Pryce, were selecting an assortment of knives from an impressive array of weapons, adding them to their already full belts. Their eyes, unlike everyone else's, followed his movements, horrified by what they were seeing. He pitied them. They were probably close to Sara.
Bodies, covered by white sheets, littered the ground, the cries of loved ones piercing the air. He had never seen so much suffering in his life.
He stopped beside the scarlet haired rebel in a miniature clearing. She gestured for him to place Sara on the ground while she shouted into the forest, "Connie! Go fetch Melissa!"
He leant Sara tentatively against a tree, oddly protective. Her eyes were glazed over, a slight trickle of blood dripping from the corner of her mouth. He resisted the urge to wipe it away.
A girl, twenty at the most, burst from the bush, a double bladed quarter staff strapped securely to her back. Her coiled wheat coloured hair was strung into a ponytail, her sapphire eyes immediately zoning in on Roy.
"Who the hell are you?" she snapped.
The crimson haired girl stepped in front of him. With shock, Roy realised she was protecting him. "Mel, he saved Sara. He's gone local."
She glanced at her in surprise. "Local, Maggie? Another one?"
"Another one?" Roy repeated. He was obviously missing something.
Mel gestured to both of them. It was then that he noticed the large leather flask of water at her hip. "We're both Powers who sided with the humans," she announced proudly, "I'm a Water Elemental, and Maggie is a Metamorphosis. You're not the first, newbie. There are hundreds more where you came from."
Hundreds. He was merely doing something that hundreds had done before. It was reassuring in a way.
Mel's eyes found Sara and immediately gasped. "Is that Sara? It looks like she's been disembowelled!"
"Can you help her or not?" Roy's tone was pleading almost.
Mel bit her lip before turning to Maggie. "Mags, I'll need a lot more water then what I have. And I'll need my sister. Hopefully she'll be able to lend me some of her energy."
Maggie nodded, the air shimmering slightly. When the air cleared, a beautiful russet coloured wolf stood regally. A wolf with emerald eyes.
As it leapt away, Mel turned to him. "You're going to be here a while, Kali. Are you up for the wait?"
He settled against the tree across from Sara, his eyes never leaving her. "You're not getting rid of me anytime soon, Elemental."
There were no other feelings, no other emotions that Sara could feel, besides pain. Her limbs were heavy and lifeless, and, no matter how much she wanted them too, they wouldn't respond. It was as if she was bound by an invisible chain, a heavy stone holding her in place. The darkness was pulling her in, caressing her, smothering her. She couldn't breathe.
Her chest ached for breath but each time she inhaled, pain slashed through her like a knife, running the length of her entire body.
It felt as if she was been burnt alive, dipped in acid, stabbed again and again and again. She couldn't find a name for the things she felt. But she did know that, somehow, she wouldn't get out of it.
It lasted for what seemed like an eternity, floating in a vast, dark emptiness, where she could never escape. Slowly, ever so slowly though, it began to fade. What had originally felt like stab wounds became nothing but needle pricks. A coolness began to wash over her, absorbing the pain and taking it away.
The darkness was, little by little, lightening, the eternal night turned to day. She could hear things then, the steady sound of someone breathing, the tick of what could only be a clock.
She could feel too. There was nothing smothering her, anymore, nothing restricting her breathing. Something, linen maybe, was wrapped securely around her waist but she couldn't be sure.
She opened her eyes.
The room was dimly lit, only barely illuminating the small space. It was enough though to recognize the more basic silhouettes. She was lying in a bed, the frame simply being stainless steel. The walls were also gleaming steel, and the door, heavy and secure, also being the same metal. A dark figure was dozing lightly on a chair across from her, head bent.
She knew instantly where she was.
She was in her room in Resistance Base, below the college grounds of what was once Stanford University. The question was, though, how did she get there?
She let out a hiss as the memories came flooding back. The battle, the explosion, her finding Matt, the stabbing, her black knight. She shuddered.
Ripping off the rough sheets, her eyes found her waist. Someone, probably Josie, had put her in a sports bra, her waist thoroughly secured by white bandages. She moved her body gingerly.
She sat up slowly, testing her strength. Once again, no pain. Had she been healed?
Sara's head snapped towards the speaker of the voice, a wide grin breaking out over her face. Josie was leaning forward in the chair, only a mere outline. Sara barely had time to breathe before Josie was beside her, smothering her as she enveloped her in a ferocious hug. She felt as if she was being furiously hugged by a lioness, a lioness who wouldn't think twice before squeezing her so hard, she would faint.
Quickly, she disentangled herself. "What happened, Josie?"
Josie gave her a wary once over. "You were stabbed, Sar. The sword pierced both your intestines and lungs. We weren't sure if you'd make it.
"I'm here though."
"Because Melissa healed you," she explained, perching herself on the edge of the bed, "That's why we were so worried. We don't usually use Elemental magic on a human. We weren't sure what would happen."
"What do you mean?" Sara whispered. Her voice was barely above a breath.
Josie opened her mouth cautiously, obviously choosing her next words carefully. "You've been out for a while, Sara. About three days."
Sara sat up abruptly, eyes wide. "Three days?"
"You're completely healed though," Josie reassured, "Mel kept a constant eye on you and Roy never-"
"-wait," Sara interrupted. Her head was spinning, "Roy?"
"The Kali who saved you. He's gone local."
Sara blinked slowly, stretching her memory. She could remember being hurt, Matt bending over her anxiously. She pressed forwards, urging herself to remember. There. Her black knight.
She could almost feel the blinding pain that had flashed through her when he gathered her in his arms. He had been whispering things in her ear, telling her it would be alright. She could recall seeing the darkening forest appear around her as he sprinted towards the camp, following someone with crimson hair. She could also see him, seconds before everything faded to black, watching her, his eyes never wavering.
"Roy saved me," she muttered, rolling it around her tongue. It was strange to hear. She was so used to having to say that he was an assassin, the one that constantly tried to kill her.
Josie sensed the question and shrugged. "Who knows why he did it. The point is, you're alive."
"And you trust him?" Sara asked, folding her legs beneath her.
A smirk played across Josie's face and Sara narrowed her eyes.
"I guess you can say that." She leant back on her hands. "He didn't leave us much choice. He's the reason you're alive, Sara, and he has barely left your side. We had to force him to go to the kitchens. Usually, it's only Maggie who can get him away from here. I can't control him at all."
Sara repressed a smirk, batting her eyelashes mockingly. "I bet you're taking that hard," she cooed, "A loose cannon? You must hate not having total control."
A laugh bubbled out of her mouth as Josie slapped her playfully across the forehead. Josie stood, stretching. "Seriously. He's quite taken with you, Sara," She grinned widely, "Only you could ever snag a Kali."
Sara blinked. "What?"
Josie shook her head. "Never mind."
A knock sounded at the door, echoing across the small space. Josie gave Sara one last lingering glance before turning to face the door, just as it swung open. Light streamed in from behind a dark figure, brightening the room.
Roy stepped inside.
He seemed to have changed since she had been out, his usual black attire switched out for jeans and a T-shirt. He looked highly uncomfortable in his clothes, fidgeting restlessly with the hem of his shirt.
Josie hummed in contentment. "You're wearing Ian's clothes, aren't you? I knew they would fit you. You're both around the same size."
"Doesn't he own anything besides jeans and t-shirts?" he asked, scowling.
Josie arched an eyebrow. "Not unless you want to wear his battle gear. Be happy I didn't put you in one of Maggie's dresses."
Sara knew she was being absolutely serious.
Roy shrugged. "Fine. Is Sar-" His face went slack as his eyes found Sara. "Oh."
A deadly looking smirk had filled Josie's features as she watched him stare at Sara. "I'll leave you two alone, then."
She walked to the door, pausing at the frame to glance back at them. "Play nice."
With that, she disappeared, shutting the door behind her.
The room became dim again, the steel reduced to only a dull gleam. Slowly, as if he was forcing himself too, Roy found the chair Josie had been sitting on and lowered himself onto it.
He sat there, watching her, his eyes hungrily taking her in.
Sara hated it.
In that one moment, she had no mask, no facade. She felt like was completely bare underneath his gaze, him seeing who she truly was. She didn't like it. She wasn't used to people knowing her. In fact, she wasn't even sure if anyone truly did know her. She was always acted exactly the way people thought she was, cold and emotionless, a liar and a cheat.
And yet, here he was, staring at her as if he had finally unravelled each and every one of her secrets. It was different.
When she gathered he wasn't going to speak anytime soon, she asked quietly, "Why?"
When he didn't answer, only watching her silently, she continued. "Why didn't you kill me? You had a gun to my head. You could've achieved everything you had been fighting for but you didn't. You saved me and I want to know why?"
She waited patiently for him to answer. She couldn't see him entirely, only his dark outline in the dully lit room. He clasped his hands behind his head, leaning back in the chair.
"I don't know."
Sara tilted her head to one side, urging him onwards.
He expelled a long breath. "Do you remember when we both got caught in the Forest of Shadows?"
She nodded slowly then, realising he couldn't see her very well, whispered, "I do."
"You told me that it was because of us – us being Powers – that you became killers. You said that it was never your intentions to kill us but we forced your hands. I can't help but think what if we were wrong? I've always thought that humans were the cold, vicious killers, not us. But we made you that way, didn't we? We're the bad guys."
Sara remained silent as a ghost of a smile swept past his lips. "It's not a good feeling to know that you're the cause of that. That you're the one that caused so many people to leave their homes, give up their families and kill to survive. You could've been anything you wanted to be, Sara, but I took that opportunity away. Saving you, I guess, was like my chance at redemption. I thought that if I helped the Resistance, it would almost be my chance at redemption."
He went silent, allowing Sara think over what he had just said. She was slightly shocked by his sudden reaction. This was the first time she had ever heard him reveal something about himself to her that seemed genuinely real. He probably knew everything about her but Sara barely knew him. His outburst made him seem all that more human.
"You're not the bad guy anymore," her voice was calm, as if she was talking to a frightened animal, "That's what matters."
He glanced at her sharply. "But it does," he snapped. Sara blinked away her surprise. "You can't escape your past. You should be bothered by being in a room with the man who had spent the past three years of his life trying to kill you. But you're not!I don't understand how you can just sit there and act so calm!"
She bit her lip, a habit she had been successful to hide around him until now. "Because you saved me. To me, that's all I need to trust you."
She knew it was right as soon as the word left her lips.
He groaned, resting his head in his hands. "You're suicidal."
She smiled slightly at this, leaning back onto her hands. She observed him carefully, the way he held his head almost delicately, as if it hurt him. She could only see the dark scarlet of his hair, dulled under the weak light.
"Why don't we just start over?" she offered.
He lifted his head, blinking wearily at her. "Are you joking?"
She batted her eyelashes flirtatiously, rolling onto her stomach and kicking her feet into the air. "I don't joke, hotshot," she said coyly.
He scoffed. "Of course you don't."
A devilish smile worked its way onto her face. "Oh, but I don't. I mean everything I say."
He laughed, a forced sound that had no real joy in it. "So you really want to start over."
She swung her legs, cocking her head to one side innocently.
Roy glanced at her in disbelief. "You do, don't you?" He sighed. "Fine. Do what you want."
A victorious smile lit up Sara's face. She reached out her hand towards him, fingers spread. "Friends, hotshot?"
He stared at her fingers cautiously before taking them in his own. He nodded. "Friends."
Sara extracted her hand in triumph, smirking. "I only have one condition."
"You can't try to kill me."
So, whatcha think? I decided that I couldn't just have them leap at each other in lust as the end because Sara and Roy just didn't seem like the people who would rush those kinds of things. Instead, I will be doing a FOURTH AND FINAL chapter. Warning though, it may involve some making out. Just to warn ya.