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Apple Pie 8

Author: Casey
Story: Nothing is Ever Easy universe, Post NIEE
Challenges: Apple Pie 8 (comfort)
Toppings & Extras: None
Word Count: 1322
Rating: PG
Summary: There are decisions to be made.
Notes: More Paths. My poor babies. I enjoy writing the two of them so much, no matter what stage of their relationship.


Dean shifted, trying to get more comfortable on the stone floor, but his bruises made it difficult to find a position that didn’t hurt. He flopped onto his back again and listened to Jay’s quiet breathing. The man seemed generally unconcerned by his bruises, the bright torch light and the uncomfortable floor but then, Dean reasoned, Jay probably had experience with all three.

Hearing footsteps, the boy rolled out of reach of the door and closed his eyes to a squint, not wanting to incite the wrath of one of the guards by being obviously awake. His orders had been to go to sleep, so that meant he was, yet again, breaking the rules. Shivering slightly, he kept watch.

Sage stepped into view a moment later, looking between them. She let out a breath and sunk to the floor, leaning against Dean’s door. The boy strained his ears and, upon hearing no one else, pushed himself up. Sage started. “Oh, you are awake.”

He shrugged with one shoulder, scooting over to the door, pressing his back against hers through the bars. “Don’t seem to sleep a whole lot these days. Why’re you down here?”

“Couldn’t sleep. I see Jay isn’t having a problem.”

He peeked back over her shoulder. “I think Jay’s an old hat at this.”

Both of them fell silent, Dean reassured by being able to feel her steady breaths. He wasn’t the only one who had caught hell for his escape attempt.

“How’s your arm?”

He glanced down at the consistently bloody bandage and shrugged again, knowing she’d feel it. “Hurts, but then, so does everything else.”

He felt her cringe.

“It’s not your fault.”

“He’s my father, Dean. He’s all I’ve got now, for better or worse.”

He turned and tugged her shoulder until she did the same, putting them face to face. “That’s not true. You’ve got me and Renie and Connor and Dad and Ani. We’re your family too.”

She let out a breathless laugh, looking away. “Deany, I had a direct hand in kidnapping all three of you. I don’t think your parents are going to just welcome me into the family.”

“Do you honestly think you could have stopped Vladimir if you’d wanted? Can you stop him from hurting Renie now? Stop any of this?”

They stared at each other until she flopped back against the door with a huff of breath. “No.”

He settled back in, watching the far side of his cell in the flickering torchlight. Dean was just starting to drift when Sage shifted and spoke.

“Something’s got to give.”

He snorted, ignoring the pain that radiated out from his chest. “Yeah, us.”

“No, I mean, who knows how long it’ll take your father and the others to get here.”

Dean closed his eyes, not liking to dwell on how far away his family was still. “What are you getting at? We both know that even the two of us can’t rescue Jay, Renie and Connor and it’s not like you have the keys to get Jay out.”

“Do you know how to pick locks?”

He frowned. “Yeah. Russ taught me years ago, but I’m not good enough to do it without seeing the lock or else I would have gotten myself out ages ago.” He spread his arms, forgetting for a moment she couldn’t see him. “And it’s not like I’m allowed much. The occasional wooden bowl of water about does it.”

Sage shifted and he felt her back move away from the bars. He sat upright and glanced back at her to find she’d moved to face him, sitting cross-legged with her knees pressed against the bars now. Without actively thinking about it, he mirrored her pose, touching his knees to hers.

“What?” he asked at her look of scrutiny.

“They’d let you out if you joined.”

“They’d never believe me.”

“They would if you passed my father’s stupid little rite of passage.”

“No,” Dean said firmly, barely resisting the urge to draw his knees to his chest and hug them, liking the non-harmful physical contact just enough. “It’s…it’s bad enough I can’t get Them out of my head, Sage, I’m not about to give in.” He held up a hand as she opened her mouth. “Don’t you dare say it won’t matter, because it will. If I do it, that makes me as bad as them.”

Jay shifted behind Sage and both of them froze, looking that way, but the man merely let out a breath and his breathing evened again. She returned her gaze to him. “Do you see another way that doesn’t involve you and Jay dead, and Renie and Connor pummeled into mindless drones?” she asked. “You said it yourself. We can’t do anything with the situation the way it is now. If you were out, you could get Jay out too. You could snatch our cousins and go.”

His eyes narrowed. “What about you?”

She looked down, spreading her hands palms up in her lap. “I made my bed, Dean. You’ll need a distraction.”

“First, that’s bullshit. Second, I haven’t even decided on this yet and third, don’t be stupid. If we’re smart about it, we can be long gone before they notice us missing. That goes for all of us. I…” he trailed off, feeling troubled. He knew what the rite of passage was and he knew Sage did too and they both knew the obvious outcome. “I won’t do it. It’s a dead point. I won’t do it.”

“And what if it’s the only way?”

“Dad, Russ and Morgan will get here.”

“In time?” she shot back. “I’ll ask you one more time: Do you see a way out of this that doesn’t end up with some combination of you brainwashed and at least Jay dead? My father will not stop. We both know this.”

Dean closed his eyes, burying the palms of his hands into the sockets. “You don’t know what you’re asking.”

“I know exactly what I’m asking.”

“I can’t do it.”

Her fingers closed around his wrists and pulled his hands away. Reluctantly, he met her gaze. “You have to,” she said flatly, that scary, almost vacant look she had every so often back. Dean hated it. Hated it almost as much as Vladimir’s Rules. He also knew it was at least partially in reaction to both Vladimir and his right-hand man.

“Tourn knows there’s something between us. He’ll pick you, since Renie’s off limits.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time.”

“That’s what scares me. You’re my cousin, Sage, and that means something to me.”

“I’m willing to make that sacrifice.”

Dean had to look away again, mind racing. He wasn’t too surprised to lock gazes with Jay instead, who lay without moving in his cell, watching the cousins closely. The boy was only able to hold it for a moment before staring at his lap and hands. What would his dad think? Could he live with himself if he let Vladimir win even that much? He was well aware of the fact he was still coming back from a perilous edge, thanks to both Sage and Jay, and he had no desire to toe it again. “There must be another way,” he whispered.

“We’re running out of time to find one.” She smiled faintly, the expression, as always, tinged with an edge. “Try and get some sleep,” she said as she rose, “but don’t wait too long to decide. Night, Dean. Night, Jay,” she added without turning around.

“Night,” Jay said, pushing himself up.

The two watched her walk away, listening to her footsteps fade.

“What was she asking?” he asked as soon as silence fell.

Dean looked down at his hands. “Maybe too much,” he said softly. “Night, Jay.” Not wanting to talk about it any longer, he curled up with his back to the other man and, after a moment, he heard him settle down too.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
lauriempress
Jul. 8th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
Ouch, on many levels. I'll be looking for more.
niee87
Jul. 12th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yeahh, lots of ouch and this is a fairly light piece from this time period. ^^ Thanks for reading!
ichthusfish
Jul. 9th, 2012 10:37 am (UTC)
Aww, poor Dean :( I'm hoping Sage is wrong about the timings, but I think maybe she's right. Also, slightly amused about Vladimir's guarding arrangements for those boys if Sage can just up and walk straight into the cell block at will in the middle of the night; though it looks like she's not without her perceptive skill set to help her out :) Nice piece :)
niee87
Jul. 12th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Sage is pretty much right on that one :( Haha, Vlad hasn't got much guarding them. He's not to concerned, but he also doesn't realize his daughter has pretty much switched sides at this point so he's not worried about her. Thanks!
smoothiegarten
Jul. 10th, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
Dean and Sage deserve ALL THE HUGS :D I so don't blame Dean for not wanting to do this. I hope they'll get there in time D:
niee87
Jul. 12th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Ugh, tell me about it D: I don't even fully know what THIS is but I agree with him - he doesn't want to do it!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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