Dying

"Quinn!"

Hadley's anguished cry had Quinn rolling off the bed and into battle ready position, switchblade at the ready. Despite having been forcefully roused from sleep, the usual lethargy was absent. Veteran eyes expertly inspected the vicinity for any possible assailants, his body growing rigid when the blonde stumbled into the room, tears streaked down her cheeks.

Quinn closed the distance swiftly, kneeling before her. He planted firm hands on her shoulders, scanning her for injuries.

"What happened."

His tone was flat, inflectionless, to disguise the blossoming anxiety. Who hurt you is what he didn't say. Who do I have to kill.

She sniffed wetly, lower lip trembling as fresh tears sprang forth in fat droplets.

"It's Zach!" she wailed. Quinn's tense fingers loosened immediately. Zach. Of course. Quinn ran a frustrated hand through his hair, breathing evenly through his nose. Honestly, what had that idiot done this time?

"I think he's dying," she babbled, mopping her face with oversized sleeves.

Quinn suppressed a sigh. "Dying how?"

He could already see how this would end. Likely in violence and barely repressed anger. And a very sorry Zach, if he had anything to say about it.

"Well, he was lying on the couch, and he was moaning like one of those whales we saw on tv the other day, and he wasn't moving at all, even when I poked him a bunch, like not at all, and, and-" She hiccupped, snorting loudly. Quinn hid a disgusted grimace.

"And he's dying! You have to come quickly!" Hadley latched onto his hand, tugging at him urgently. Quinn reluctantly allowed himself to be toted along by the distressed 8 year old, annoyance already prominent. Surely the oxygen deprived moron was exaggerating. Again. Zach always did have a penchant for being dramatic. It drove him up the wall when they were children, and it continued to do so now. The monkey never seemed to learn.

Upon entering the living room, Quinn dragged his eyes over to the brunet's still form. And he froze. Sure enough, Zach was situated on the couch, groaning loudly, red staining his lips. He felt his heart skip a beat, stomach curdling. Hadley tugged at his hand, peering up at him with watery eyes. Quinn nodded, slipping his hand out of hers. Two steps, and he was kneeling once again, fingers already at pulse point. It was at that point that he smelled it. a vein pulsed angrily in his forehead.

Quinn roughly smacked Zach upside the head, eliciting a whine from the pathetic lump. Said lump shot up like a rocket, shit eating grin firmly in place. He licked his lips gleefully.

"Hey, Q!" He said cheerfully, absently rubbing the back of his head. Nervous eyes slid over to the sniffling blonde. "And Hadley, my favourite munchkin!"

Hadley's jaw dropped, staring for a moment before flinging himself into his arms, bawling loudly.

"I thought you were dead!"

"Zachary," Quinn growled, slipping the switchblade out of his pocket. Zach visibly gulped. Quinn grinned savagely. "I'm giving you to the count of 10, and that's only because we were friends once."

"Once?" Zach squeaked, eyes wide in horror. "Come on, man, it was just a joke-"

"10," Quinn started, eyes narrowed into slits. "9… 8…"

Zach scrambled off the couch in a tangle of awkward limbs, Hadley falling off his lap with an irritated huff. She glared up at him from the floor. Zach didn't seem to notice, attention solely on Quinn. Good.

"You wouldn't really…"

"7."

Quinn bared his teeth.

"I'm sorry!" he screamed, scampering down the hallway frantically. Quinn cracked his knuckles, mood darkening as he laid eyes on the vacant couch.

"There's tomato juice on my bloody couch, you stupid arse!"