A/N: Hey, guys. Thanks so much for all the reviews! I honestly didn't expect anywhere near that many :) But you guys are so epically awesome! This chapter is pretty short, and not too much happens, and next chapter I'm probably doing a little time skip (a few weeks, I think). I hope it's not too fast? I've had a bad headache for 3 days now (well, technically 4, I guess, since it's 3am...) so my writing hasn't been the best, exactly, but this is written simply for fun. I will try to fix any and all mistakes whenever I get around to it.
Chapter length: 1665
Song listening to: Patience by Guns N' Roses
Chapter Five: Welcome to Captivity
With a groan, Alec woke from a sleep too deep to be natural, and found himself in an unfamiliar – even by his wandering standards – dark room. The scent of something wet wafted up his nostrils – it reminded him oddly of the lakes he used to visit with his dad when he was younger, back when he fished for fun and not for survival. Lips a thin line, he pushed himself into a sitting position, pausing momentarily as a wave of dizziness crashed into him.
The floor he sat on was damp and cold. Slowly, his eyes began to adjust and he found himself in what looked like an old cell. Bars clung to the only side of the room which did not contain a wall, but the hallway was dimly lit and silent. Carefully, he got to his feet and edged toward the bars. Fingers curled neatly around them, but he knew he couldn't open it.
Memories returned easily enough. He remembered handcuffs, and being led away by a group of guys. He wasn't alone then, though. Now he was.
Alone in the dark with no sense of time, and his head was burning.
"Hello?" he asked quietly, voice rough with misuse.
"Ah," came a refreshingly familiar voice, and Caleb appeared at the bars of the cell across from him, just barely in the light. "Finally wake up?"
Alec grimaced. "What's going on? Where are we?"
"Old jail cell," Caleb replied. "I don't know what's going on, exactly."
"But you have a hunch," Alec said, and he wasn't entirely sure how he knew that, but there was something in the guy's voice which led him to believe he was hiding something. He'd barely known the guy a week and already, he knew when he was hiding something? How did that happen?
There was a moment of silence, before Caleb sighed and shook his head. "Trust me – you really don't want to know."
"But you know," he said. "And I'm stuck here anyway. It's going to happen."
"I don't know exactly what they're going to do – each group is different," Caleb explained, "but I do know it's pretty bad if we're in cells. How bad? Could range anywhere from being used for hard labor, being used as bait for nearby mutations, or, hell, even being used for sex!"
Alec stared across the hallway as the guy's faint outline. He could only barely see his face, but he'd notice that look anywhere.
Caleb was scared.
Thus far, the guy hadn't shown anything except annoyance and a positive – albeit annoying – outlook on anything that happened. He took down zephroes single-handedly, when Alec screwed up and let his guard down, knew how to handle an AK to a degree it was embarrassing to Alec's utter lack at firing skills, and knew first aid.
But now he was scared – because of humans.
Alec wasn't sure what that said about their situation, but now he felt the dark knot of fear easing around his heart.
"Take your pick of those options," Caleb said.
Alec sighed and closed his eyes. "I'd rather not."
"Yeah – me neither."
He looked at the bars and felt around until his fingers slid across the keyhole. He might be able to break out if he-
With a growl, his fingers brushed against air as they slid over his belt. The gun was gone, but most importantly-
"Where the fuck is my knife?"
"A…? We're in cells waiting for them to do God knows what with us, and you're worried about a damn knife?" Caleb asked, incredulous.
Alec shot a glare across the small hallway. "That knife is fucking important! Where the fuck is it?"
"They stripped us of weapons before they threw us in here," Caleb said, moving to the side. He turned so his back was to the side wall and slide down it with a sigh.
With a growl, Alec kicked at the bars, but of course they didn't give way. Jails may have not been in use the past few years, but that didn't mean their ability to hold prisoners had diminished at all. The bars were still thick and round, too solid for him to have any hope of breaking.
And they had his knife. Fingers kept scratching at where that knife was supposed to be, where it should be. Where it always was. But it wasn't there, and he felt strangely…naked, without it. Vulnerable. Lost.
"What the…? Si, you didn't have to get me anything."
"Just open it and smile, idiot."
"Si…where'd you get this?"
"You wouldn't believe the old man I had to fight to get this. Last one there! He wanted it for his collection, can you believe that? We're trying to fight these mutations and he…well, anyway, smile!"
"Si, don't! Damn it, I hate having my picture taken!"
"You'll thank me one day."
"Very seriously doubt it."
"You'll thank me when you're a bitter old man looking through old photos."
"Yeah, well…thanks for the knife, man."
"Hey, someone has to make sure you can defend yourself."
Alec closed his eyes, leaning his head forward, resting it against the cool touch of the bars, fingers still curled tightly around them. His knife was gone. The knife was gone. The last link to Silas was gone.
No. I'm getting it back. Don't worry, Si, I'll get it back.
"Where'd they take the knife?"
"How should I know?" Caleb asked. "I was tossed in here just like you. I have absolutely no idea."
There was a long pause. "Hey, maybe it won't be so bad," Caleb said quietly, almost thoughtfully. "Maybe it'll be okay and you'll get your stupid knife back."
"Or maybe you're a liar."
"Yeah," Caleb said with a bitter laugh, "or maybe that."
The day passed in a blur. Alec slept little, and only actually laid down when his head got to throbbing too much. He'd asked Caleb why it hurt, and the blonde told him it was because he'd been resisting too much, so they clocked him over the head with the butt of the gun and he passed out. That would explain his confusion about getting here.
No one came to the cells. There were no windows, and the area was always dimly lit. He had no sense of actual time, and didn't know if it was day or night. Occasionally Caleb called over to him, but for the most part, they stayed quiet. They had nothing to say to each other.
Alec leaned heavily against a wall and sighed. His knife was gone. That last, vital connection…was gone. And he had no way of getting it back, because he was trapped in this cell and completely outnumbered. Not to mention the fact he had no idea where the knife was, where they took it.
I'm sorry, Si. I didn't mean to lose…I didn't want…I'm sorry.
"So why's that knife so important?" Caleb asked, startling Alec from his thoughts. He opened his eyes and glanced toward the bars. In the other cell, Caleb sat on the floor much as he himself was, not looking at Alec but instead down at the ground.
"It just is."
"It was a gift, huh?"
Alec frowned. "Yeah."
The last gift I got from my best friend. The gift I fucking murdered him with.
Caleb nodded slowly. "If I see it, I'll let you know."
Alec stared at him for a moment, because that was…oddly touching, coming from a guy he barely knew, yet he felt like, on some level, Caleb understood.
"Thanks," he said roughly.
For a moment, they were surrounded in silence. While it wasn't exactly wanted, it wasn't entirely uncomfortable, either. It was welcome as a silence could get given the circumstances, and Alec felt like maybe, just maybe, he could breathe again. Hope seeped through him slowly.
He could get out of this, and get the knife back. Everything would be okay.
A door creaked as it opened and footsteps echoed down the hallway. Alec frowned and slowly got to his feet, because this was the first time anyone else had joined them. Three men stopped between their cells and looked at both of them, as though calculating.
"That one," said the shortest of the three, and Caleb was hauled out of his cell and forced down the hallway.
Alec watched as the guy disappeared from view, and for the first time in a long time, felt concern seep through him, but not for himself – for a guy he barely knew. He clutched at the bars and stared down the hallway long after everything returned to silence, and to his surprise, actually hoped Caleb would come back.
Don't know you very well, but…I don't really want to be alone.
Being alone out in the world was one thing – being alone, trapped in a cell, prisoner of crazy people…that was another story entirely.
Thankfully, though, soon enough, Caleb did return. He was thrown back into his cell and the two were left alone, and whatever happened, Caleb didn't talk about it. He simply shook his head and tossed him that lopsided smile, and completely changed the subject.
"Don't worry about it, babe," Caleb said, voice a little rough but otherwise, Alec was actually relieved he sounded okay. "I want ice cream."
Alec stared. "Ice cream?"
"Mm, Blue Moon. The best."
"Let me guess – you're more of a vanilla person, am I right?"
Alec sighed and shook his head. "Chocolate, but I'm not really a fan of ice cream." In fact, he barely remembered what it tasted like.
"Ah, well – I won't hold it against you."
For a while, things were okay. They were taken from the cells and put back in them, and nothing out of the ordinary – was this seriously ordinary? How was this his life? – happened. And everything was relatively okay.
Until suddenly, it wasn't.
A/N: And there's that chapter :) It's kind of short and kind of fast, but I hope it sounds okay? Like I said, there's a time skip next chapter (otherwise this story would be really long and probably kind of boring, so...) Anyway, thanks for reading and please review!