A/N: This may seem a bit cliche. That's because it kind of is, but it was fun to write. There is probably going to be M/M in later chapters, just to warn you in advance. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this!

"I think, maybe, she was off-base when she said that Caleb was crazy."

Ryan's voice is quiet, because he hates suggesting that. Especially to Michael, especially now, after what just happened—it could mean death, but he really doesn't think Caleb's crazy, not completely. Just unstable.

Michael's silhouetted against a window, blank white light turning him into nothing more than a shadow. His back is turned to the bed where Luca's lying on bloody sheets. She's unconscious, but not at peace.

When Ryan tells him this, he slams a palm against the window in frustration. "Oh yeah, she was off-base. Maybe that's why he did this to her. We have to…we can't let this keep happening."

"There could have been something we didn't see?" Ryan's voice is getting weaker by the second, he's scared of Michael right now. No one messes with his sister and gets out alive.

And if Luca dies, Michael is probably going to devise the most painful death for Caleb that there is. Or maybe keep him alive as a torture monkey.

"We were there the whole time, Ry." Michael takes a deep breath, the breath that Ryan recognizes as an attempted restraint. Ryan knows Michael won't hurt him. Well, not bad. "What could we have possibly not seen?"

"I don't…I don't know," Ryan says, even though he does know. He doesn't want Michael to get madder, though.

"Thanks for wasting my time. Could you get Spence up, or something? I'm not—you're not…"

Michael doesn't finish the sentence, but Ryan understands. He's not advocating for Caleb's immediate murder, and that's what Michael wants.

Right now he wants to be mad. That's understandable.

"Yeah, I'll tell him you want him," Ryan says. He starts to walk out of the loft, but turns back to Michael. "I'm sorry, I didn't…I don't think Cay should be—"

"I know."

Ryan nods, and continues out of the room.

When he gets to street level, someone runs into him. Spencer.

Both he and Ryan start talking at the same time. All Ryan catches of what Spence is saying is the name Caleb. Which probably isn't good.

"You first," Spencer says, after they're both done. "I heard Michael, that's gotta be important. Not more important than what I've got, but right now nothing's more important than what I've got. Is it about Luca? Did she—oh God, Ry, did she…"

"No, no! Not important. I was pissing him off. He wants you up there." Ryan jerks his head back toward the fire escape that leads to Michael's room. "What about Caleb?"

"I can't go up, because Caleb...mm. This isn't going to be easy to explain to Mike. Not at all. He…we had him trapped, but he…uh, there was a skylight, and we had the doors locked, but we had….I won't name names, but a few inefficient guards who were taking a break, and then…boosh, glass everywhere, escaped madman on the loose," Spencer says, picking at his cuticles and barely stopping for breath.

He's really upset, and naturally Ryan understands why. They're not a big community. They value each other.

What Caleb did was inexcusable for multiple reasons. He harmed Luca. Everyone loves Luca, and none more than her brother, who happens to be the democratically elected leader of their crew.

But that's not the only reason.

He broke a law, betrayed the rest of the community. It's like a family, and what he did to Luca kicks him out.

Michael never liked Caleb, but Ryan did. Spencer, too, but mostly Ryan. Before all of this, before the riots, before Them, Ryan and Caleb had been friends.

Best friends.

And now Ryan doesn't even know what to think, because sure, he and Caleb had gotten a bit estranged in the process of trying to survive the new world and meeting new people, but he never thought that Caleb would betray him like this.

"You'd better go up and tell Michael," Ryan says, after a long silence.

"I love you too," Spencer mutters, wincing as he starts up the ladder.

"I'll help look," Ryan calls after him, turning away from Michael's building and looking at their small town.


Not all of them were from there, not even most of them. But a lot of them ran without looking back, and the first safe place they found was Blackstone, lovingly nicknamed BS.

Michael was the first to find Ryan and Caleb, who were hiding in a tunnel slide in the park, unsure of what these newcomers' intentions were.

Caleb's sneakers were in Ryan's face, and he kept trying to calm Ryan down by telling him stories that he'd heard a million times before.

And then there was a fist banging on the hard brown plastic of the slide, and Ryan nearly pissed himself with fear, but Caleb was whispering that everything was going to be fine, even if They got the two of them, it would be okay.

Because Caleb would never leave Ryan.

Ryan just balls his hands into fists thinking about it, because it hurts, because now Caleb's fucked. At least Ryan tried, at least he tried.

But that's not going to do much to change Michael's mind.

A/N: All feedback is appreciated!