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Forsaken

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Written by: Tara
Words: 703
Summary: There were those that were left behind.
Notes: Set after the finale of season 5

I will no longer turn my head
I will never forget you
You are the one we left behind
You are the forsaken
Forsaken- As I Lay Dying

The first thing Mega noticed as be began returning to consciousness was the heat. It seeped into his body, making him feel like he was burning from the inside out, but at the same time he could help but shivering.
A groan echoed in his ears and it took a few moments for him to realize that he was the one who made the sound. He forced himself to blink blearily and was startled to see a bright blue sky above him. But that wasn’t right, was it? Pain flew through him as he shifted slightly, trying to pull himself up into a sitting position, and gave a hiss.

A hand shot out of nowhere, pushing him back against the grass. “Calm down. You shouldn’t be moving around just yet. I still don’t know how bad your injuries are.” The voice was consecutively female and annoyed.

Mega turned to find a dark haired woman kneeling beside him. “Who are you?” he managed to croak out. His throat was dry and it made his voice raspy. “Wh-,” Cough. “Where am I?” He tried to move again but the hand on his shoulder didn’t let that happen. “Let me up.”

She raised an eyebrow as she looked on at him, amused. “You’re awfully pushy for someone who almost died.”

The hand on his shoulder moved and he started to get up, only to be pushed back down again, a little more roughly this time. “…the city…”

“Pretty much evacuated. You’re very lucky, you know. If I hadn’t have found that bike I would have left you behind.” She looked thoughtful for a moment before shrugging whatever it was away.

Turning, Mega managed to make out a motorcycle half hidden behind a large tree. Familiarity tugged at his conscious but it took him a few moments to place it. “I know that bike…”

She eyed him speculatively, apparently finding his forehead of particular interest. “Really? I never would have taken something like that for a techno toy.”

A frown crossed his face as he glanced around. From the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a mess of blonde hair from the woman’s left. Mega blinked again and continued to stare. There was a poke to his side that made him jump.

“You feeling okay?” She looked down at him for a moment, concerned, then scooting back some. “I’m pretty sure we got out of the city before the virus could reach us but I don’t know what else you might have.” A look of distaste appeared on her face. When he didn’t even glance her way she followed his gaze to the girl beside her. Nothing seemed amiss though and the girl slept on.

Mega shook his head as he closed his eyes. “Where’s the child’s mother?”

The woman shrugged. “No clue. I just found her sitting outside one of the buildings. I guess she wondered away from her, or maybe they got separated in all the chaos. She might have even been left behind on purpose.” A dark expression crossed her face before disappearing as quickly as it came.

“No,” he muttered, frowning. “That’s not right. Trudy wouldn’t have left her child behind.”

The comment gained a startled look from the woman. “Trudy? I guess you and the kid know each other then?”

“Yes,” was all Mega said in reply.

“Hmm…” She was quiet as she motioned to the child. “She yours then?”

“What?” That startled him enough for him to open his eyes again. “No. I’ve never had much patience for children.”

This seemed to amuse the woman as she nodded. “The name’s Amara.”

“Me–,” he paused. Mega. He should just come out and say Mega. But all that would do was cause more trouble. “Josh,” he managed to mutter out. The name tasted strange on his tongue, sounded strange coming from his mouth. It made him feel like he was talking about someone else.

She sent him a questioning look. “What’s that?”

Mega took a deep breath and winced as he leaned up on his elbows. Pain shot through his body, protesting the movement but he didn’t stop. “Josh,” he repeated, a little louder this time. “Just call me Josh.”

Written by: Tara
Words: 1067
Summary: There were those that were left behind.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

He stumbled from the room, gasping. Pain racked his body. Every step, every movement, every breath caused it to intensify. But he couldn’t stop. Not yet.

Maybe, just maybe, if he was very lucky, he might just be able to make it out before the building blew. Then he would only have minutes to get out before the virus managed to make it to the air.

Somehow, he didn’t think he would be that lucky.

Stairs were harder to navigate than he would have thought possible. His hands latched onto the railing in an effort not to collapse. Tears gathered in his eyes as his breath became harsher, more forced.

Last step and out the sliding door. Screams permeated the air, a panicked mess around him. No one paid him any mind, too focused on getting to safety themselves. Following the ever moving crowned seemed like the best idea.

Mega knew he wouldn’t make it. There was no way. Even if he managed to make it out the city someone was bound to recognize him.

And he was right. He didn’t make it too far before the pain had intensified to an unbearable level. The wall was cold against his back as he fell against it. A groan escaped him but that was all as he gritted his teeth.

Spots danced at the edge of his vision as the world began to spin around him. The last thing he heard was a loud explosion and the growl of an engine before the world went black.

An echo of pain caused Mega to shoot up from his fitful sleep. His body immediately protested the move, his sore muscles turning that echo into the real thing. Sighing, he fell back against the mattress.

A quick glance around the sparse room helped him remember where exactly he was. It was a rented room in a town a number of miles away from the city. Another single bed sat a few feet away from his own, the messy covers showing that it had, in fact, been occupied previously.

There was a soft noise that sounded like a cross between a coo and a giggle that caught his attention. Pulling himself up to his elbows, Mega peered over the edge of the bed. The source of the noise was currently sitting on the floor, playing with what appeared to be a stuffed bunny. “She leave you hear by yourself?”

All he got in response was another giggle as she banged the toy on the ground by its ears.

“Of course,” he sighed.

Brady looked up at him speculatively before abandoning her toy and reaching out to him. Mega stared at her blankly, unsure as to what she wanted. A vaguely annoyed look crossed her face before she crawled to her feet and tried to join him on the bed. There were a few quiet moments of struggling before hands wrapped around her and pulled her up. She giggled as she landed on the bed.

He couldn’t help but be amused as he watched her jump on the mattress. It jarred his already sore muscles but he just shifted aside and gave her more room. “Where is your mother?”

“Momma?” Pausing, she turned and watched him.

Mega snorted. “Not quite.” He shifted uncomfortably as she continued to watch him until she got bored and returned to her earlier actions. A groan fell from him as he pulled himself off the bed to his feet. His legs almost went out from under him but he caught himself in time and forced himself to stay upright.

He made his way over to a mirror that was set above a dresser. It was old and had obviously seen better days but Mega could still make out his own image. His glasses were sitting beside a bowl of water on the dresser and he slid them on. He looked like hell. The red strips on the side of his face were smeared badly and the techno symbol on his forehead was all but gone.

A sponge set beside the bowl and he grabbed it. The water in the bowl seemed clean enough but Mega still paused before it could touch his face. It seemed wrong. He knew it shouldn’t be, but it still felt that way. These were the markings he had worn for years and it seemed almost sacrilegious to remove them. But they also showed his alliance to Ram and made him identifiable.

Taking a deep breath, he began to scrub them from his face. They came off almost too easily.

A knock at the door made him jump. He spun towards the door in time to see it swing open and a large red-headed woman stepped inside, holding a bag.

“You Josh?” she asked him.

“Maybe,” he replied. “Who are you?”

She rolled her eyes. “The owner. Amara told me to give this to you before she left.” She tossed him the bag.

Mega caught the bag, flinching only slightly at the sudden move. He eyed it for a moment before what she said finally registered. “She left?” He got a confirming nod. “And she left the child?” Another one. “She coming back?”

“Couple months, maybe.” The owner shrugged. “Left you the bike though.” She grinned at him. “If you don’t want it, I’ll trade you for it.”

“And the child,” Mega added, glancing over to Brady who was watching the two of them in amusement.

“Left her for you as well.” The woman didn’t even spare the little girl a glance. “You can keep her.”

“What am I supposed to do with her?”

“Don’t know, don’t care. Just don’t leave her here and we won’t have a problem. Think about my offer for the bike.” The woman turned and left, slamming the door behind her.

Sighing, Mega slid down onto the bed and opened the bag. There was what appeared to be a change of clothes for both him and Brady and a few things in the bottom that he assumed he was supposed to use for trade. There was movement from beside him and he turned to see the little girl sitting beside him.

The two stared at each other for a few minutes before she held out the stuffed animal, offering it to him. A startled expression came across Mega’s face before he reached out and gingerly took it.

Written by: Tara
Words: 979
Summary: There were those that were left behind.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

Mega learned very quickly just how much he didn’t know about children. Like the fact that they actually cried for no apparent reason. Luckily, the owner of the inn seemed to take pity on him when she actually saw him interact with Brady. The awkwardness was only amusing the first couple of times; after that it just became sad. Though Mega was pretty sure it was just as much to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t leave her with the child than any real desire to help.

Of course, none of this stopped her from laughing at him.

There was this sense of panic wailing up inside of him as he looked down at the little girl, who was clutching on to him and bawling her eyes out. “There, there.” Mega patted the child on the head.

The owner, Kitty was what she told him to call her, snorted as she watched the scene.

He shot her a dark look as Brady held onto his jacket even tighter. It still felt uncomfortable to wear this new outfit even if it had been two weeks. The matching green jacket and cargo pants, along with the purple shirt was a far cry from the skin tight techno outfit he had warn for years.

And Brady hadn’t left his side in the whole two weeks, apparently refusing to lose sight of the one person who was familiar to her. She sniffled and buried her face into the fabric before letting out another earsplitting cry.

An alarmed expression flittered across Mega’s face at the sound, disappearing as quickly as it came. He glanced up at Kitty. “How do I fix this?”

“She might be hungry.” The woman eyed the little girl as if she would turn and give them the answer.

Mega just shook his head. “Tried it.”

“Bathroom?”

“Tried it.”

“Have you tried,” she paused, unsure, “to hold her?”

“Hold her?” he repeated. “What good is that going to do?”

She gave a long suffering sigh. “She is a child.”

He glared at her. “I’m well aware of that fact.”

An eye roll was the response. “She’s a child,” she repeated. “Children need comforting.”

Weariness filled Mega’s expression as he turned his attention to the child. Brady just looked up at him through watery eyes. Reaching down, he lifted the child up from beside him and held her awkwardly in his arms. “There, there,” he tried again.

There was another snort but miraculously Brady’s cries slowed to a stop as she tried to bury herself in the purple material.

He blinked down at the child, obviously stunned. “It worked.”

“Of course.”

oOoOoOoOoOo

It was dark outside when he stepped outside the inn. The night air was cool against his skin and he barely repressed a shiver. His fingers traced over the railing that lead to the other side of the building. Mega stopped when he reached the stairs. At the bottom, tucked away to the side, he could barely make out the edges of the bike.

His footsteps were silent as he made his way down to it. He brushed a hand over the handles and down to the seat.

“You’re not thinking of taking off, are you?”

Mega jumped and spun around, almost guiltily. Kitty glared back at him from the top of the steps. It intensified when he didn’t answer her, just turning back to the bike. “You’re not going to take off.”

His eyes narrowed at her, at the command in her voice. “You think you’re going to be able to stop me?” Mega challenged her, his hand tightened on one of the handles.

Kitty moved down the stairs, stopping only a few feet in front of him. “Where’s the little girl?”

There was silence for a few moments before, “Sleeping.” Her expression told him that she didn’t believe him. “Really. Promise.”

She snorted in response. “Look, I don’t know what went on with you before you got dumped here and I don’t rightly care. But whether you like it or not, this little girl is your responsibility. She has no one else.”

“A lot of us have no one,” he muttered back.

When she spoke next her voice had softened perceptibly and Mega almost had to strain to hear her. “She’s a child, Josh. Are you just going to abandon her?”

He froze at her words. They echoed in his head, unbidden, unwanted– dragging back memories he would have rather avoided.

I trusted him. Thought he would look after me. Instead he just walked out of my life.

You left me. Abandoned me.

He turned and looked back. “I’m not abandoning her.”

For a second Mega thought he saw something that looked like approval in her eyes. “Good.” She gave him a grin, a slight wave and disappeared back inside.

oOoOoOoOoOo

By the time he returned back to his room Mega was ready to sleep. He slipped through the door and silently tiptoed over to his bed as quickly as he could. Unfortunately, his attempt not to wake Brady was worthless because the moment he laid down on his bed, which gave a loud unsteady creak in reply, he saw the blankets on the other bed rustle through the moonlight in from the windows.

A head popped out and he had this eerie feeling that he was being stared at. There was this sniffled whimper from her before it became silent again. Mega hoped if he stayed quiet and still the child– Brady would fall back asleep.

“Mega?” A small voice called out, causing his eyes to widen. This was the first time she had referred to him as anything other than ‘he’ or ‘you’. “Mega leave?” Brady sounded genuinely confused.

He rubbed his face and gave a sigh. “No,” Mega’s voice was sure, as sure as he could be. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Written by: Tara

Words: 794
Summary: There were those that were left behind.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

There was this long drawn out silence that permeated the air as Mega stared out at the town from his place on the stairs. From behind him there was faint giggling that he knew immediately came from Brady, who was happy to be out in the fresh air for the first time in a few weeks. He didn’t want to dwell on the fact he could recognize it. There wasn’t much activity outside, it was still early and most people were still in bed.

Not all, he noted, as he saw movement up on the porch.

Mega glanced up and relaxed as he caught sight of the familiar light skinned teen playing with Brady. It was someone whom Kitty had said was a regular in to the town and mostly harmless. The mostly part had made him a bit uncomfortable, as did the communication barrier, which was really more frustrating than anything, but the fact the Paul was deaf was easy enough to look past. Brady seemed to like him well enough and that meant she didn’t have to be under Mega’s constant supervision.

The town was quiet and peaceful. As far as he could tell, everyone seemed content enough. Life was slow here, as long as people had had food on their table and a roof over their heads they were happy.

There was a loud ‘squawk’ as a chicken appeared from the side of a building, being herded by a child no more than seven.

Mega hated it. The silence, the lack of noise, grated on his nerves and he found himself with absolutely nothing to do more often than not.

God, it was going to kill him. Slowly, too, like everything else in this godforsaken town.

Now he sounded like Ram. Hell.

With a groan, he dropped his head into his hands.

He had to get out of here.

oOoOoOoOoOo

“MOMMA!”

Brady’s screams could be heard throughout the inn. Thank god they were the only customers other than Paul that Kitty had at the moment, otherwise Mega was sure that there would be more trouble than he already had.

“WANT MOMMA!” She was bawling,

Mega tried waving the stuffed bunny in front of her again but she just ignored it. She just sat on the floor crying and he groaned from where was kneeling in front of her. “I know you want her, but she’s not here.”

If it was possible the crying got louder.

“What the hell is going on here?”

He turned and glanced up to see Kitty standing in the doorway, hands on her hips. She was glaring at him. “She misses her mother,” Mega offered, turning back to the little girl.

Brady, who had been startled quiet by the sudden intrusion, was soon crying again.

“I kind of figured as much.” Kitty frowned at the girl, and then back at Mega, who had gone back to unsuccessfully trying to quiet her down. She sighed and reached for the little girl, only to have Brady jerk away, almost throwing herself at Mega.

Mega just looked befuddled, and a little distressed by all of it.

She curled herself into him, clutching his shirt and he could feel her tears soaking through his shirt. “Momma,” she cried.

His arm snaked around her and pulled her closer. There was some more sniffling and tears but Brady was slowly calming down.

“Huh,” Kitty looked amused, “maybe you aren’t as bad at this as I thought.”

oOoOoOoOoOo

“Mega! Mega! MEGA!”

There was a small multicolored blur that soon wrapped itself around his legs the moment he entered the inn. Blinking, he stared down at Brady who was grinning up at him, clutching his leg. “Hi,” she giggled. “Look, look! Duck!” Brady proceeded to bring her hand up to her mouth and make a weird motion he assumed was supposed to represent ‘duck’.

She beamed up at him, obviously expecting praise. “That’s very… good,” he answered, reaching down to pat her on the head.

There was a snort from behind him and he didn’t have to look to know that it was Kitty.

He caught sight of Paul shaking his head out of the corner of his vision. The boy was looking harried but Mega guessed that was to be expected. He had been watching Brady since breakfast and mid day sun was already over head.

A tug on his green jacket caught his attention. Brady was staring up at him, holding out her arms. It only took him a few seconds to realize just what she wanted this time.

Small arms went around his neck and Brady yawned, laying her head on his shoulder. “Mega,” he heard her mumble, her arms tightening.

So maybe he didn’t completely suck at this after all.

Huh.

Written by: Tara
Words: 1194
Summary: There were those that were left behind.
oOoOoOoOoOoOo

It had only been a matter of time.

That was all Mega could think as the fist connected with his face, causing him to stumble back from the sheer force of it.

“Techno scum!” The man didn’t even give him time to breathe before he was on him again, pinning him to the table with an arm against his throat.

Mega could see blood on the man’s fist as he struck him again. It was blow after blow after blow. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear panicked crying. It had to be Brady, he thought, idly. Crying from where she’d hidden the moment the man had come at him. But she sounded far away and that was good. She really didn’t need to see this.

The arm pressed down against his windpipe and it was getting harder to breathe. There was a faint trace of copper in his mouth which he realized with a start was blood.

“Hey!”

Suddenly, the man was gone and Mega slipped off the table on to the floor, gasping hard. His hand flew to his throat as he coughed. Mega wiped at his face, blinking the tears from his eyes, and came back with blood on his fingers.

That probably wasn’t good.

The man was struggling against Paul’s hold when he looked back up. Kitty was standing in front of the two, clutching something in her hand. Mega had to blink a few times to clear his vision before realizing it was a butcher’s knife.

“Give me one good reason,” Kitty said to the guy, waving the knife threateningly. “Why I shouldn’t gut you right now and dump your body in the street.”

“He’s Mega!” the man growled in response, struggling against the hold with more vigor as the knife got closer to him. “The leader of the technos and the one who destroyed the city!”

Kitty shot him a startled look before turning back to Mega’s attacker. “So you thought that it would be a good idea to come into my inn and attack one of my guests?”

The man just sputtered.

From the corner of his eye, Mega saw Brady approach him skittishly. He blinked, surprised. Brady was normally one to throw herself at him, clutching to him like some sort of blonde leech. But she seemed almost scared now.

He frowned. That was wrong. A part of himself whispered that he was getting soft when he lifted an arm and held it out to her. He ignored it.

Brady threw herself into his arms, holding on. “Mega hurt.” She sniffled, against him, tightening her in his shirt. “The bad man hurt Mega.”

“I’m fine,” he tried to reassure her.

“Hurt,” she said again, reaching out to touch his face. He grabbed her hand before she could and pulled it back away. Brady looked like she was going to cry again.

“No, no, no, no…” Mega mutter, rocking her against him.

Brady didn’t start crying but she did send him a look like she thought he was crazy.

A clearing of the throat caught his attention. Mega glanced up to see Kitty standing in front of him, her red hair fluffed up around her like angry cat, hands on her hips with the handle of the knife sticking out of the top of her pants. She looked like some sort of psycho avenging angel.

“We need to talk.”

oOoOoOoOoOo

“So it’s true.”

Mega just shrugged and turned to look out the window. They were in Mega’s small room, Kitty leaning against a table, Paul sitting on one of the beds, and Brady napping on the other. She had seemed exhausted, emotionally drained, and fallen asleep almost immediately once he had picked her up.

“Well, I knew you were hiding something, but nothing like this.” If Mega didn’t know better, he would have said Kitty sounded impressed.

“I’m sure you can understand why I choose not to advertise it.” He turned back to them. There was amusement in Kitty’s eyes and it seemed that Paul wasn’t sure what to think.

Kitty nodded. “You know you can’t stay here right?”

Paul gave a start at her words before making motions with his hands, moving faster than Mega could follow, even with what he had learned the past few weeks. All he caught was ‘no’, ‘crazy’, and ‘safe’.

But apparently Kitty could follow. “No it’s not safe for them here. He wasn’t the only former city resident here and honestly, I’m surprised he hasn’t been found out before.” Paul made more frantic motions and Mega was beyond trying to follow now. Kitty rolled her eyes. “I let the man go alive. He’s going to come back and he won’t be alone. People aren’t happy with him. Are they, Josh?”

He ignored the shot. “She’s right,” Mega said, even as Paul continued to shake his head. “It was only a matter of time. We should have left sooner.”

‘But you have nowhere to go’ was all Paul replied with and he had a point.

But there was still the bike and there were other cities out there. “We’ll find somewhere.”

“It’s a dangerous world out there.” Kitty ran a hand through her loose hair, looking thoughtful. “There’s no way to know where you’ll be safe.”

“I can take care of myself,” replied Mega, darkly.

‘Obviously, not.’ Paul motioned toward his face and Mega reached up and pressed, flinching when sharp pain shot from the inflamed skin. ‘And what about the baby? Can you protect her?’

Mega didn’t say anything.

“I know somewhere you can go,” Kitty spoke up, her voice cutting through the silence of the room. “It’s not an easy drive and your bike wouldn’t make it over the terrain.” She paused, uncertain, and for a moment it seemed like she wasn’t going to continue. “But I have a vehicle that will. Which I’ll trade for.”

Mega snorted.

“You’ll be safe there. I’m sure of it,” She shot back. “You helped run the power in the city. That makes you useful.”

“And where exactly is this place?”

For a few moments Kitty didn’t speak. Then she took a deep breath and said, “Valhalla.”

There was a beat before Mega spoke. “Valhalla?” he repeated, incredulously, letting out a sharp laugh. “You’re talking about the Forsaken.”

Paul looked confused before signing ‘Who?’.

“It’s said they’re a group of people that no other tribe wanted. Sociopaths, killers, criminally insane… They’re also a myth.”

“No, they’re aren’t.” Kitty rolled her eyes and let out a frustrated noise. “Look, you have a choice. Stay here and get caught and probably killed, leave to wonder out there and probably starve to death if you don’t get caught by slavers first, or you can listen to me and find somewhere safe.” Her heels could be heard clicking on the wooden floor as she approached him. “The choice is yours. But before you make your decision, think about the kid.”

Mega frowned, catching the sight of Brady stirring from the corner of his eye. As he turned to look at her, she curled up against the stuffed bunny and fell back asleep.

“We’ll leave in the morning.”

Written by: Tara (Solarbaby614)
Words: 512
Summary: There were those that were left behind.

oOoOoOoOoOoOo

The sun was just beginning to rise when Mega found himself loading up a jeep the next day. Morning dew still clung to the grass and the air was cool. Brady had still been curled up in bed asleep when he’d woken up, but Paul had already been wide awake stretched out on a couch in the lobby with a book open. Mega had to wonder if Paul ever slept.

‘I still think this is a bad idea.’ Paul signed from where he was sitting in the passenger seat, a foot resting on the open door.

“Probably,” Mega muttered as he tossed a bag of food into the backseat. One thing he had to say for Kitty, it didn’t seem like she was about to let them starve.

‘That’s why I’m going with you.’

That caused Mega to stop dead. “Now why would you want to go do something like that?”

Paul gave him a look that spoke volumes about what he believed about Mega’s intelligence level.

It didn’t surprise Mega. He was beginning to wonder about it himself.

oOoOoOoOoOo

“No. You’re not driving.”

‘Why not?’

“Because I don’t have a death wish.”

“MEGA! MEGA!”

“SIT DOWN!”

‘Don’t yell at her!’

“How do you know I’m yelling?!”

‘Don’t be stupid. And pull over before you kill us all from lack of sleep. You’re cranky enough as it is.’

“MEGA!”

It was all Mega could do not to slam on the breaks as he stopped the car.

Brady started crying.

Paul glared at him.

Mega wondered if it was too late to go back to the city.

oOoOoOoOoOo

They pulled the jeep over when the old dirt road abruptly disappeared into the forest. Mega frowned and glanced over to Paul who looked down at the directions, confused. The light skinned teen shook his head.

“Damn it!” His fist hit the dashboard, causing Brady to look startled from the backseat. “I should have known better than to trust her.” Mega shoved open the door with frustration and climbed out of the vehicle, taking a deep breath.

Paul stepped out with him, once it seemed like the techno had calmed down. He held out the map for his inspection, as well as the directions. He had followed the directions that Kitty had given them but they had to have made a wrong turn somewhere. The map got snatched out his hand in response.

Mega spread it out on the hood of the jeep, following the path they took with his eyes and comparing it to the directions given. Paul just rolled his eyes and grinned at Brady, who had moved up to the front seat and was watching them through the window.

“Well,” Mega said, his voice controlled. “I definitely know where we are.”

‘Where?’

“We’re in the middle of nowhere.” He shoved off the hood and it fluttered to the ground. “Exactly where the directions led us.”

“You’re definitely lost,” a voice came from behind them.

Mega turned around to find himself face to face with the barrel of a shotgun.

“Welcome to Valhalla.”

Written by: Tara

Two Months Later

There was a creak, followed by the sound of feet running across wood above his head. A muffled giggling reached his ears and he turned, glancing in time to see a blonde head of hair through the railing.

Shaking his head, Mega turned back to the schematics in front of him. The giggling could be heard again, this time more prominent. When he glanced over, Brady was standing there at the top of the stairs, staring down at him.

Then she blinked, giggled once again, and ran off, disappearing through the door to her room. He rolled his eyes and had to bite the inside of his cheek to stop a small grin that was starting to form.

He was becoming attached. Mega froze, the hand hovering over the paper tightening into a fist. It began to shake and he pressed it against the table, shutting his eyes tight.

Stability. Routine. That’s what was important right now. For Brady and for all of them. And it was his responsibility to provide it; at least until he could find the child’s mother.

Mega took a deep breath and went back to work, ignoring the slight tremor in his hands.

A shadow fell over him as Paul sat out on the front steps of what had once been a church. He very pointedly didn’t not look up, not letting his attention waver from the book in front of him. It wasn’t particularly interesting but it was better than dealing with him.

The toe of a shoe poked him in the leg once, then again when Paul didn’t react. It came harder the third time, not quite a kick but almost there and Paul glared up at him.

He grinned back down, pleased, not even fazed, and sat down beside him. “Good book?” Paul saw him say.

He just turned back to the book, hoping that he would get the hint and go away.

He didn’t, choosing instead reach over and pluck the book from his hands, keeping it just out of reach when Paul tried to snatch it back. “I’m Helix,” he offered, as if he hadn’t introduced himself to Paul every day for the past two weeks. There was an expectant pause where he pulled the book back farther, and Paul lost his balance, ending sprawled across Helix‘s lap. “Still not talking to me, huh?”

‘Idiot,’ motioned Paul, jerking back, but Helix just blinked.

“That’s fine. I can wait,” he said with a small grin. “I’m very patient.”

Hell.

“And,” Helix leaned back, stretching, “I can talk enough for the both of us.”

Paul glanced back longing through the church doors, wondering if getting away would be a good enough trade off for no doubt getting wrangled into Mega’s work.

Helix was looking like he might physically try and stop him if he tried.

Sighing, he settled in for what would no doubt would be a long next few hours. Helix seemed to take his defeat for acceptance and looked pleased.

“Where have you been?” Mega will ask later, as Paul tries to slip in unnoticed.

Paul responds by flipping him off as he marches into his room, slamming the door behind him.

“I could teach you to use those,” Helix said as Paul glanced over at him.

His attention turned back to the swords hanging from the booth’s display, under the very watchful of its owner. The man seemed to get even more agitated when he caught sight of Helix, almost starting to shake when the boy reached out to caress one of the blades and then the one at his waist.

Helix must have read the interest on his face because he grinned, managing to look sheepish and triumphant at the same time. Reaching up, he plucked one of them off the wall and offered the hilt to Paul.

His grasp on it was tentative and apparently wrong because Helix reached over and repositioned grip before moving behind him. Paul couldn’t see what Helix was saying but he could feel the vibrations against his back. A hand was wrapped around his wrist and he let Helix guide his arm.

Paul could feel a flush start to creep up his neck as Helix pressed himself closer to guide him through another move. Then he felt him freeze and back away and he turned to find Brady staring at them, wide-eyed. He sent her a reassuring smile and shoved the sword into Helix’s hands, which she eyed with trepidation.

Helix watched, looking a little stunned, as Brady shot forward and wound herself around Paul’s legs. “Um… hello.”

She just waved and buried her face into his leg.

‘What are you doing?’ he motioned when he finally caught her attention.

‘Almost done.’ she returned, which was a little vague but she was learning and he pretty much got the gist of it.

At least she wasn’t as bad as it as Mega was, he thought with a grin as he bent down to pick her up.

“I’ve been trying to get him to talk to me for weeks,” he caught sight of Helix saying at Brady, grinning at her conspiratorially.

Brady just looked at him like he was stupid. “Paul don’t talk.”

That caused him to give a start and he blinked. “Why not?”

She shrugged. “Paul can’t hear?” she offered.

The grin dropped from his face in an instant. “Shit,” Helix said, his eyes wide as he stared at Paul, who was watching the exchange between them with amusement. “I didn’t even…”

Paul just reached over and patted him on the shoulder.

‘Silly.’ She told him.

He signed back with a, ‘Very.’

Then, suddenly, she started squirming and took off running when he sat her on the ground. He made a move to follow her but then stopped when he saw her nearly tackle Mega, who still tended to look alarmed every time it happened. She appeared to be talking a mile a minute as she pulled him toward them.

“Right,” Mega said, his face betraying no sign of what he was thinking as usual, the bastard. “Let’s go Paul.”

Paul rolled his eyes, an action that Brady mirrored, because he was an awesome influence, and grinned when he saw Mega’s eye twitch in response. Giving a wave to Helix, he followed Mega, Brady waving over his shoulder.

Helix watched them go, his gaze narrowed in on Mega, as his hand clutched the handle of his blade.