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20 April 2009 @ 11:56 pm
Lyrical Endings: The End Of The World With Lyrical Inspirations  
Another Lyrical Entry! 19 ficlets this time, all Apocalypse related. One of these is part of a universe you guys have scene before, but it's sort of a prequel... Also, two of these are set in the universe of 'In The Blood', but not canon to that universe (meaning this isn't what will happen in the main storylione)... There's some sex in one of these, and there's one death scene, but it's a not Ryan who dies, and some of these kinda suggest imminent death, but don't show it.

Some of them are kinda... confusing... but if you have questions, just ask and I shall explain where my head was going with it. I'll also upload the reveal of what the songs are and my thoguhts ont eh universe tomorrow or the next day, after I have a chance to write them down...

They're apocafic, people, they are naturally disturbing and dark. But there's some happier moments in some of them.



01. with a loaded gun and a steady hand we just might live through this
"Just keep your eyes closed and hold on to me," Ryan said as he cracked open the front door and slid out, eyes scanning the ground between the house and the rover where it was crookedly parked in the middle of the driveway. He didn't see anything between them and it, and he crept forward, one hand tight around the gun he'd taken from the guard at the gates, and the other reaching back to grasp Kaitlin's hand. As they neared the rover, he froze, spotting one of the creatures less than ten feet away, eating what he thought might have once been Jimmy Cooper.

He hesitated a moment, staring, then started to creep around the rover. There was no way he could get the door open and Kaitlin inside without catching the creature's attention, so he figured his best chance was to go to the driver's side, shove Kaitlin, and jump in after her, hopefully before the creature had time to get close to them. Ryan got to the far side, and moved Kaitlin to be between him and the rover, his hand grasping the handle. He took a deep breath, then pulled the handle up, watching the creature and trying not to make a sound when it didn't seem to hear the door. He eased it open, and was about to help Kaitlin inside when the door started dinging and on the far side of the river the creature's head came up, a low moan escaping past it's lips.

"Move!" Ryan yelled, shoving Kaitlin inside. He thought for a moment they'd make it, but another moan sounded form behind Ryan and he turned, lifting the gun and shooting the creature right between the eyes, then jumping inside the rover to the sound of Kaitlin's screams. "Keep your eyes closed!" he told her, tossing the gun onto the dash and starting the engine. As he glanced up out the front windshield at the creature right in front of them, he froze again, staring at the decomposing but still recognizable face of Seth.

"I'm sorry," he whispered before slamming the rover into gear and hitting the gas.

"Can I open them?" Kaitlin whimpered from the passenger seat.

"Not yet," Ryan told her, stretching one hand over to grasp her hand again and squeeze it. "I'll tell you when."

"I want my mom," Kaitlin whispered.

"So do I," Ryan whispered, watching the decaying bodies that kept turning towards them and trying in vain to catch them, some even being splattered across the front of the rover.


02. i'm just a normal man i wouldn't hurt nothing at all but here we are
Ryan had always hated violence, but there he was, gun in hand, aiming for the head of another human being, reading to shoot at the slightest hostile movement. He didn't like this, any of it. Not being here with a gun in his hand. Not Dean down there making trade deals alone. Not all of those at Thunder Mountain who looked down on them from the safety of the base while they were out here risking their lives to get a flashdrive that would tell them where to find all the breeding camps in North America.

Ryan saw the moment things went bad, saw the man with a knife heading towards Dean's back, and he took the shot, grateful that the silencer kept him from being seen, and knowing that Dean would follow their rendevous procedures and meet him in 6 hours at their fallback point. All he had to do was get to a vehicle, like the jeep a few yards ahead of him now, and get the hell out of town, not to mention lose anyone following him, by then. Easy.

Except two guards spotted him on his way out and the chase was on. Ryan wasn't used to the sudden turns in the road, but he could have handled them if they hadn't also been icy and he hadn't had to go so fast to try to outrun the truck. Instead, he wound up sliding right off the icy road and rolling down a small incline before slamming into a rock outcropping and ending up on it's roof. His training and instincts kicked in, and he was trying to crawl out when the guards' truck came after the stolen jeep, slamming down on top of the jeep and twisting the metal down, pinning Ryan's arm as he screamed in agony before loosing consciousness.

~~~

When he woke up, his entire body felt numb, and for a moment he thought he was dead. Then he shifted and pain tore through his leg and arm, one broken and the other pinned within the wreckage. He moved his free arm to try and brace himself, sobing in pain, and felt something sticky and wet pooled aorund him, the smell telling him it was blood. He tried to keep calm, keep conscious, as he began to work his trapped arm free, using a knife in his good hand to lever bits of metal away and create an opening. But still, when he pulled his arm out, it was shredded, the hand limp and numb.

He closed his eyes for a moment, squeezed them shut and cradled his injured arm against his chest, considering just giving up and staying right there to wait to die.

"Hard part's over, the rest is nothing," he heard in Dean's voice, as clear as though it had been whispered in his ear by the man himself.

Ryan opened his eyes again and started using his good arm to pull himself along, his good leg helping and his injured one dragging uselessly. He could do this, the hard part was over and now he just had to get out of the wreckage and find somewhere to wait. Dean would come back for him. He and Dean always came back for eachother. "The hard part's over, the rest is nothing," Ryan whispered to himself ina shaky voice as he got out of the wreckage and used his good arm to pull himself up, trying not to scream at the pain in his leg as he gripped a tree, then slowly moved to the next tree, injured leg dragging behind him.

Dean would come, he just had to wait it out.


03. i'm being haunted by a vision it's like the morning never comes i feel the burden of confusion always searching... on the run
The visions got worse by the day, until Ryan spent most of his time curled in a corner of a hotel room, head in his hands, trying desperately not to scream at the images of death and destruction flooding his mind. Millions were going to die if he didn't do something, but he didn't know what he could do. He didn't know what those things he saw doing the killing were, and he wasn't sure he wanted to know.

What he wanted was to be rid of the images flooding his mind at all times. He'd had to sell the rover for scrap in New Mexico when the visions started coming while he drove, and he started hitching rides instead. But the problem with that was, he started getting visions of things that had happened in some of the vehicles. Like the truck he climbed into only to see the owner molesting his daughter in the back seat. Or the car where he saw the female driver's thoughts, and how she wanted him to fuck her across the hood of the car.

Or the big rig where the visions didn't come until the truck was back on the road. Visions of the five boys the driver had picked up and then raped and murdered, right in the sleeper section of the truck. Visions of victim number six, tied up and locked in a secret compartment in the back of the truck. Visions of he himself becoming victim number seven. Lucky number seven. There was nothing he could do while the truck was moving, so he waited. And when the driver started suggesting they pull over and go in back, Ryan agreed, pretending he didn't know about the knife tucked between the bed and the back wall of the cab. He pretended to be eager to 'repay' the man's 'generosity' by offering up himself, stripping off his jacket and shirt, trying not to feel sick as those hands... the hands that had killed five boys and had numbers six and seven within his grasp... ran over his chest and stomach.

He felt a sick sense of satisfaction as he yanked the knife free of it's hidden spot and slammed it through the killer's throat, shoving the body away and watching as the man took several gurgling breaths before dying. Ryan grabbed his shirt and jacket, yanking them on before he grabbed his stuff and the keys to run back and open up the cargo compartment, which was mostly empty. He pulled himself up inside, heading straight to where he'd seen the hidden spot in his vision, and unlocked it, revealing a terrified boy, no older than 14 and completely naked, bound and gagged.

"It's okay, you're safe now," Ryan said, untying the boy's hands and feet, then dropping down to open his bag and get some of his spare clothes. "We've gotta get out of here fast," he continued. "Before someone comes to investigate the truck."

"But the guy..." the kid began.

"He's dead," Ryan said, looking up. "He can't hurt anyone else every again."

"Good."

Ryan passed the kid his clothes, noticing for the first time that blood was coating his hands and staring at them long and hard as he remembered the vision from a week ago, the one that came in a dream. He'd been somewhere dark and enclosed, his hands covered in blood he knew wasn't his, and he'd been shaking, just like he was now. "No," he whispered, jumping up and running out the back to stare up at the night sky, waiting for what he knew was coming next.

"What is it?" the kid asked.

The stars begin to disappear, one by one as the sky turned completely black except for flashes of red lightening, and Ryan grabbed the kid's arm to pull him off the road and into the forest surrounding them, not wanting to be out in the open and hoping that whatever was in the woods wouldn't be as dangerous as what was in the skies.

"What's happening?!" the kid yelled as the wind began to roar around them.

"The end of the world!" Ryan yelled back.

This was going to get very bad, very fast, and all he could think was that he didn't know how to protect the rest of the world, but he could protect this kid.


04. if tomorrow falls asleep can you hold me first
Brooke found it hard to believe sometimes that Ryan had ever been cautious and slow to deal with feelings. They'd known eachother a week before he told her he wanted to spend the two years left before the end with her and they'd gotten engaged. A month after that, they were married, and no one in either of their families objected because everyone knew there wasn't time to take things slow and that they had to live while they could.

During the final few days leading up to the end, they spent a lot of time alone in their apartment, trying to make up for all the time they'd never had. They talked about what they still wanted to do but never would, and Brooke showed him the bright pink hair dye she'd bought to do Sophie Rose's hair the next day when they went over to spend the final two days with the Cohens, making Ryan laugh and tell her about girls once wanting to dye Summer's rabbit pink.

But when they got to the Cohens the next day, they found bags on the front porch, and Kirsten getting Sophie ready to go somewhere.

"What's happening?" Ryan asked, clasping Brooke's hand tightly.

"We didn't know if it would go through, so we didn't want to get anyone's hopes up," Sandy said. "We've got places in one of the shelters."

"What?" Ryan asked.

"The big one in Colorado," Sandy continued, shoving thick enveolopes at each of them. "We'll have to drive nonstop to get there in time."

"A shelter?" Brooke asked, tearing open her envelope and pulling out the pass that had her picture, name, and the words 'Atlantis Project' on it.

"An old friend of mine pulled some strings," Kirsten said. "Seth and Summer landed in Denver a few hours ago, they should already be there."

~~~

They were closing in on Zero Hour when they pulled up outside the gates of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Brooke took Sophie Rose while the others grabbed bags, and they all showed their badges before being hustled inside to an elevator that swiftly headed down, even as alarms began to sound around them. Suddenly, the elevator stopped abruptly, and they were hustled out again, this time at a run down a corridoor.

"Last ones," the soldier leading them said as he entered a room with an enormous stone ring that was slowly beginning to spin, catching the attention of the 50 or so people gathered in the room.

"Cutting it close, Kirsten," another soldier said as he walked over to greet them. "Seth and his wife went through earlier today, so they're safe already."

"It's really safe, John?" Kirsten asked.

"Safer than here," John replied, looking up as what looked like a wall of water whooshed out fromt eh ring then back to form a glistening surface. "Come on, people, let's move it!" he called, herding people up the ramp.


05. as the fuel goes down, stops the car, puts her feet outside in the rain
Brooke cursed and slammed her hand on the wheel as her car sputtered to a stop in the middle of nowhere. As tears begin to slip down her cheeks, she opened the door and climbed out into the rain, looking for anywhere she might be able to take shelter for the night that was fast approaching. It wasn't safe in the open, even locked inside a car, and the landscape around her looked barren. Except... in the distance there was a dim light shining through the ever thickening fog.

Brooke opened the back door and grabbed her backpack, slinging it over her shoulder and making sure her extra clip of ammo was tucked in her jacket pocket, the gun itself fitting securely into her hand, before started off towards the light at a run. As the outline of a house began to take shape, she heard the enraged howls of the creatures that came at night and put on an extra burst of speed. There was someone outside, sealing shutters over the windows, and Brooke felt a twinge of hope.

"Hey!" she yelled when they moved towards the door. "Please!"

"Hurry up!" the man yelled back.

She put on one last burst of speed, almost feeling the breath of the creatures tickling the back of her neck, and ran up the steps and fell into the house, the man stepping inside and slamming the door right after. No sooner was the door locked tight then the howls began to surround the hosue, muffled by the shutters, but still loud and painful. "Thank you," she said, looking up at the gristled man.

"What the hell were you doing out there, girl?" the man asked as he helepd her up.

"My car broke down. I was trying to get to Mitchellson before dark," Brooke explained. "I heard there's an enclave there that knows how to keep those things away."

"Enclave's dead and gone," the man said, shaking his head. "Damn fools thought they were invincible and it got them all killed."

"So there's no where safe?"

"It's safe here," the man said. "Bobby Singer," he introduced himself.

"Brooke Davis," she replied.

"You're welcome to stay as long as you want. If there's anything left of your car in the morning, we'll tow it in and I'll try to get it running again for you, but it might take a few days."

"Okay," Brooke said. "But just to make it perfectly clear? There will be no repayment of your kindness with sex."

Bobby looked at her for a moment, then laughed. "I like you," he said as he hearded into the kitchen. "I've got stew if you're hungry," he called back.

"Starving," Brooke said, putting her stuff down and heading into the kitchen.


06. i lay dying and i'm pouring crimson regret and betrayal
Ryan could feel more blood seeping out of the ragged tear in his neck with every beat of his heart, but he couldn't make himself get up and move, his limbs felt too heavy and his mind too foggy. As everything sunk into darkness, he took a final breath, his mouthing moving in a prayer of their names.

He woke up somewhere else, laying on a bed in a dark, windowless room. The door was cracked open a bit, though, and through it he could hear people talking in hushed, but urgent tones. As he sat up, he felt a twinge of pain in his neck, and lifted his hand to find the wound had been carefully bandaged, most likely stitched too since the bandage wasn't wet with fresh or stiff with dried blood. He slowly surveyed his surroundings, realizing he was in a pair of sweatpants that were way too long for him, the cuffs rolled up so he wouldn't trip, and as disturbing as it was to think someone had stripped him down while he was unconscioius he was glad that he wans't in his blood stiff clothes. Which weren't so blood stiff when he found them folded over a chair. He grabbed his wifebeater, pulling it on and hissing between his teeth as his neck flexed.

"You'll tear your stitches," a man's voice said.

Ryan spun quickly, then stumbled, his vision blurring as a wave of weakness and nausea washed over him. "Fuck..."

"Sit down," the man said, guiding Ryan to the bed and carefully, but firmly, pushign him down. "You lost a lot of blood."

"Where am I?"

"Underground," the man replied, wrapping a blanket around Ryan's shoulders. "I lived here before everything went to hell, and now we're using it as a base."

"They don't like the underground," Ryan agreed.

"They were trapped underground for too long," the man explained. "Now that they're free, they never want to come back."

"Who are you?"

"My name's Angel," the man said. "I fight things like the one that attacked it."

"I think I was attacked by a fucking vampire."

"That's because you were," Angel said.

"Huh."

"Angel, the kid okay?" a woman called, and then she stuck her head into the room.

"He's good," Angel replied.

"Not just good, he's fine," the woman said with a smile. "I'm Faith."

"Ryan."

"You hungry, hot stuff? We've got some halfway decent stew. As long as you don't ask where the meat came from."

"I'll be sure not to ask," Ryan said, getting to his feet slowly.

"I'll make sure no one tells," Faith promised, opening the door wider. "Everybody, meet the new guy, Ryan."

Ryan's eyes skimmed over the eclectic group of people gathered in the main room, including a man with green skin and red hornswearing an off white suit, then closed his eyes and shook his head. If he could handle Newpsies, he could handle whatever the hell this group was. "Hey," he said.


07. what ever happened to the young man's heart, swallowed by pain, as he slowly fell apart
Ryan didn't let Kaitlin open her eyes until they were well outside of town and he stopped seeing the creatures every few minutes, and even then he made her close them again if he saw anything that might be bad coming up. He was grateful for the full tank of gas as he drove straight through until he couldn't keep his eyes open, then pulled into an abandoned but still powered gas station, turning off the engine and glancing over at a half asleep Kaitlin. "I'm gonna see if I can get the pumps going," he told her. "Lock the doors and do not get out under any circumstances, you understand?"

"Yeah," Kaitlin agreed.

"If I don't come back, you take the rover and keep going as far as you can, try to find someone, anyone, alive and stick with them. But if they try to hurt you..."

"Kill 'em," Kaitlin whispered.

Ryan reached over to grasp the back of her head and pull her close so he could kiss the top of her head. "I'll be right back," he said.

Luck was on their side for once, and Ryan got the pumps going and the rover filled up, along with a half dozen gas cans he found for sale inside, then climbed back into the rover and tried to get comfortable enough to sleep. After a few minutes, he felt Kaitlin lift his arm and looked down as she slid under it and laid her head against his leg, holding onto his arm for dear life. "I'm not going anywhere, Kaitlin," he promised.

"Better not," Kaitlin whispered sleepily.

Ryan smiled tiredly, letting his eyes fall closed as he drifted off.

~~~

He woke with a start at the same time as Kaitlin, who screamed as she saw the creature banging on the passenger side window.

Ryan immediately started the rover's engine and hit the gas, hearing the enraged scream of the creature as they escaped, then stretched out an arm to pull a sobbing Kaitlin close, holding on tight and whispering reassurances.

"I want my mom!" Kaitlin wailed.

"I know, me too," Ryan said. "We're gonna look for her, okay? We're gonna go to Texas to look for her and The Bullit. And I'll bet we'll meet them halfway because they're coming for you."

"You think?" Kaitlin asked, sniffling.

"Yeah, I'm sure of it," Ryan replied, hoping he wasn't lying to her.



08. watch it as the stars disappear to nothing, the day the world is over, we'll be lying in bed
The stars started to go out one by one starting in mid-April of 2009, and by December 20th, 2012, every single star had gone dark. And when it came time for the sun to rise on the 21st, it appeared in the sky for less than five minutes before it suddenly, rapidly, dimmed until it was completely dark.

Six months later, Brooke Davis straddled Ryan Atwood on their makeshift bed, both of them under three layers of comforters for warmth and privacy as Brooke moved against Ryan, biting her lip to keep from making noise that would draw attention and wake up those trying to sleep around them. Outside, the temperature was, at least as of three hours ago, -35 degrees farenheit and seemingly holding stable for the moment, so Brooke had decided they should celebrate with a nice slow fuck before bed.

"Brooke," Ryan whispered against her shoulder.

"I know," Brooke replied, grinding her hips in a circle that made Ryan let out a low moan. She giggled, pressing her mouth to his to swallow the sounds he was making as she moved, her fingers tangling in his hair while his were splayed across her back.

Ryan tugged his head away, panting slightly. "Brooke..." he repeated.

"I know," Brooke insisted, biting her lip as she moved faster. "I know," she repeated, ducking her head down to kiss him again as he gasped, sparks running through his body. When he relaxed again, sated, Brooke released his mouth to kiss his neck and shoulder as she moved, letting him slide out of her before she curled against his side momentarily.

"Brooke," Ryan said, his tone sad.

"I love you," Brooke replied, whispering it in his ear. "And they're saying families are getting priority over anyone esle for the Atlantis Project. That includes pregnancy as families."

"And if it's a rumor?"

Brooke ignored the question as she stretched down to grab her clothes and get dressed again. "If it gives us a better chance of getting you somewhere warmer, it's worth the risk," she finally said.

"I'll be fine," Ryan insisted.

"Yeah, that's why you're still running a fever and you can't stop shaking," Brooke said, moving to help him get his own clothes back on. "That's why you need help to get dressed."

Ryan sighed, grabbing her hand and pulling her back down beside him. "I love you," he whispered.

"We'll be okay," Brooke said. "They say Atlantis is warm and safe and the sun shines there during the day and the stars light up the night."

"Atlantis is a myth," Ryan said.

"Wherever it is, it can't be worse than here."


09. looking at my own reflection, when suddenly it changes, violently it changes
Brooke finished washing her face and looked at the mirror to pat the skin dry. As she looked, she saw something on her cheek, a raised line and leaned in closer, her fingers running over the spot and feeling nothing, even though it looked like a large bump, bright red and inflamed. After a moment, she saw the reflection of her hand digging into the skin and yanked her hand away, only to still feel fingers digging in, tearing at the skin. As Brooke began to scream in pain, her reflection suddenly stopped tearing at the skin to smirk at her, then slammed it's fist into the mirror, shattering it.

"Brooke!" Ryan yelled as he ran in.

Brooke covered her bloody face with her hands, staring in horror at the shattered mirror and the dozens of reflections of them, each doing something different. One Brooke was holding a knife to the other Ryan's throat, slowly sliding it across in a shallow cut, and Ryan's hand flew up to his own throat as a thing line of blood welled up. Another Brooke was back to tearing at her own skin, this time on the arms and the scratches appeared on Brooke's arms. Another Ryan was hitting a third Brooke, then grabbed her and threw her against the wall. makign Brooke's back and shoulder explode in pain.

Ryan grabbed Brooke's wrist and yanked her from the bathroom, trying to escape the images and the pain, but every reflective surface they passed cause a new bit of agony, and they could hear agonized screams elsewhere in their building as more people were injured by their reflections.

Ryan threw open the door to the closet and shoved Brooke in before getting in with her, both of them huddling on the floor as the screams around them continued, but no new pain came. The dark was safe at least.


10. hear the trumpets, hear the pipers, one hundred million angels singin'
Ryan felt something inside him surge to life suddenly, and he could hear the chorus, all of them, calling the soldiers to battle. It was irresistable, and he got into his jeep that night and started driving, not stopping until he was in South Dakota, pulling up outside a junkyard already over run by vehicles of various makes and models. Ryan knew him when he saw him, the human commander who would lead them into battle against his demonic brother.

But while some of his fellow soldiers went down to one knee when the commander exited the house, Ryan strode up to him, nodding once and taking his place beside him. Everything in his head was fuzzy, but he knew that was his place, at his commander's right side, ready to help make sure orders were carried out precisely. On the commander's other side was Castiel, though Ryan wasn't sure how he knew that name, and the man nodded severely to Ryan, but with a hint of hope in his eyes.

"This is fucking crazy," the commander said.

"I don't think the bible every mentioned the commander of an army of angels swearing like a sailor, Dean," a woman said from behind them.

"If they don't like it, they can pick a different commander," the commander snapped back. "And I'm swearing like a Marine, Ellen, not a sailor," he added.

"They'll learn to appreciate it," Ryan said. "War changes you."

"It's been a long time, Gabriel," Castiel said.

Ryan smiled as the sound of the name, of his name, made the memories slipped into place and he felt his non-existant wings stretch out behind him. "Are you ready to win a war, Castiel?" he asked.

"Yes," the other angel replied simply.

"Then let's get started," the commander said, looking first at one of them and then the other.


11. when you dig my grave, could you make it shallow so that i can feel the rain
It was an irony Dean didn't particularly like. He'd fought for a decade to end the Demon induced drought, and just as he succeeds, just as the rain suddenly comes back to soak the ground and bring life back to it and he was about to step out into the cool storm, he was grabbed from behind and flung across the room to slam into the wall, something snapping in his neck. He lay there gasping, unable to turn his head but able to see the fight out of the corner of his eye. He saw Ryan going flying out a window, and heard the demon's enraged scream as Faith cut it's head off.

And then Faith was leaning over him, a look of grief on her face thaty was mirrored as Ryan came in, limping, but alive, dripping rain all over the floor.

"It worked?" Dean rasped out.

"Yeah," Ryan replied.

"I wanna... bury me shallow... I wanna feel it..." Dean begged.

Faith looked up, exchanging looks with Ryan and holding an entire conversation with their looks, Then, the two stooped down, carefully picking up Dean's limp body and carrying him outside.

His body was numb, but he felt the raindrops on his face and smiled. "Thanks," he whispered as they set him down in the mud.

"We did it," Faith repeated, one hand on his chest as each breath he took got shallower. "You did it."

"Shallow," Dean repeated.

"We will," Ryan promised, Clasping one of Dean's hands, then putting his other hand against the side of Dean's neck, Faith echoing the position with her free hand, letting him feel the connection.

Dean smiled again, eyes wide and peaceful, as he looked up at the gray sky that, finally, would bring life back to the earth instead of more death.


12. so let mercy come and wash away what I've done
Ryan stood under the showerhead, fully clothed, his hands flat against the wall in front of him, letting the water pound down over him, washing away the dirty and grime, the... the ashes... He let out a choked sob as he thought of the people who had died that day. The people he had killed in order to complete his mission. 715 people, dead within 5 minutes because of his bomb setting off the fuel stored in the warehouse. 715 people burned to death as their screams echoed through the otherwise still and empty streets of the city. 715 people turned into ash that filled the skies and fell down on him, and everything else, like a a pale gray winter snow.

Ryan let out another sob, turning to leaning against the wall as he sank down to the floor, head in his hands. He'd killed 715 innocent people because someone had ordered him to. He had followed orders blindly, only seeing demons and not the innocent human beings they inhabited, but the demons had fled as soon as the fire started, leaving the poor people to die in the blaze that Ryan could do nothing to stop once it had begun. The flames had burned too hot for him to get the locks off the doors, and he'd followed orders when he'd been told to get out of there. He'd numbly accepted congratulations for completing his mission, then escaped to the shower block to try and clean off the ashes that covered him from head to toe, not even bothering to take off his filthy clothes before stepping under the stream.

"Doesn't feel so good, does it?" came a voice.

Ryan looked up to see Faith standing in the door of the stall. "I killed them."

"There was no other way to drive the demons out before they opened the portal," Faith replied, turning off the water and stepping inside to sit down on the floor in front of Ryan, mindless of the water soaking into her jeans. "You know that."

"Doesn't make it any easier," Ryan said.

"Never does," Faith agreed. "But now you know why I improvise so much. Blindly following orders leaves you feeling like you should have known better than to follow 'em."

"Fat lot of good that does me. Harris doesn't like his people questioning orders."

"Good thing you're getting transferred then, huh?" Faith asked. "Report to Barracks 666 when you're cleaned up."

"You seriously call it that?" Ryan asked, brushing his wet hair out of his eyes.

"We're hellraisers, Atwood. Most of us knew about this stuff before things went to hell, and you've got a lot to learn, but I think you'll catch up quick." Faith stood quickly, walking out. "There's clean, dry, stuff out on the shelf for you," she added, glancing back.

"Why are you doing this?" Ryan called after her.

"Because you seem to have the sense to have learned that sometimes, you've gotta question, because there may be a better way."

"Was there?"

"Not in the time frame we had," Faith said. "But next time, they might be."

"I'll be in the barracks soon," Ryan said, nodding.

"See you then," Faith agreed.


13. it's something sacred, something so beautiful something quiet to ease my mind when the pressure's taking me over and over
It was getting harder to keep going, and more and more Ryan thought about just giving up and walking away. He'd go straight to one of the machine factories and give hismelf up to await whatever fate was intended for him. And when he felt like that, he walked away from the table in the so-called war room, ignoring the calls for him to come back, and went into his attached quarters, lockin the door tight behind him and leaning against it for a moment to catch his breath before crossing to his bed and pulling the two photos he kept under the thin mattress out.

One was a copy of the Chrismukkah photo his first year in Newport, all the Cohens smiling and him sitting in the midst of them, happy and at ease for once. They were all gone now, except for Kirsten who was most likely keeping the others from barging into Ryan's quarters to make him focus on whatever insane plan they expected him to strategize and finalize. Sandy had died quickly, protecting Ryan from the machine that had come through the door of the motel room they were camped out in after the bombs had gone off, intent on killing Ryan. And Seth... Seth had been captured and taken to the work camps. Seth had caved and given up information to stop the torture. Information that had killed dozens of good men and women. Even fi they ever found Seth alive, Ryan would put a bullet in his brother's head himself, because they couldn't trust Seth anymore.

The other photo was a more recent one, though not by much, taken in Ryan's old quarters, back when he had just been another soldier, relatively high ranking considering his youth, but still, just a soldier, not the man in charge of the camp. A pretty girl with dark hair tied back in a loose braid sat on the bed, holding a little blonde girl who had streaks of colors in her hair from the fingerpaints she'd been playing with. Brooke and Lily. Ryan's wife and daughter. They were gone, too. Ryan had been in touch with John Connor, and had sent half his people, among them Brooke and Lily, to Connor's base at Crystal Peak. The caravan never made it, and Ryan never heard from Brooke or Lily again, not once in the 11 years since he's last seen them.

Ryan looked up as a knock sounded on the door. "Come in!" he called.

"Alpha Team just came in with some refugees from the Cheyenne Mountain Camp," Kirsten reported. "Ryan..."

"What?" Ryan asked, looking up.

"One of them's Brooke."

Ryan felt the photos slide out of his hand, but was halfway out the door before they hit the ground.


14. disenchanted, lets go down together, with the fatal wound
It was the end.

They all knew it as they huddled inside the walls of the Hyperion, demons and monsters slowly, relentlessly, fighting through the hotel's defenses.

Ryan slowly looked around at the mass of frightened teenagers and searching again for any sign of another teacher, another grown up. Instead, he found dozens of faces looking up at him for guidance, and he took a deep breath.

"We all know that short of a last minute save, this is it," he said, looking over the sea of faces. "So we have to make a choice, each of us has to make a choice. Do you stay and fight? Or do you take the sewers and get the hell out of dodge? It's a choice every one of you has to make for yourselves, no one can make it for you, especially not me. But I'm gonna tell you this much, if you have any brains, you'll run while you can, because the second those things get in, the battle is on and there will be no escape. In all likelihood, everyone who stays will be dead by morning. So make you choice, and make it soon."

"I'm staying," Gaby said, moving up beside Ryan. "Moon's full tonight, my inner animal's ready to play."

"I don't know what I can do to help, but I'm not running," Niko agreed as he joined them. "I'm not giving up my home without a fight."

Slowly, one by one, nearly everyone joined Ryan on his side of the room, though a few left for the sewer entrance.

No one questioned whether Ryan would stay, they all knew the answer.

Finally, only Kaitlin remained on the floor in front of Ryan.

"Go," Ryan told her as he stepped forward. "Julie can't lose another daughter."

"I can't lose my brother," Kaitlin replied.

"Go," Ryan repeated, kissing the top of her head.

~~~

Ryan's vision was starting to black out as the vampire squeezed his throat, cutting off his air. Then, suddenly, the hand disappeared, dust flittering down around him, and Ryan hit the floor with a thump, looking up to find Kaitlin standing with a stake poised. "I told you to go," he rapsed out as she pulled him up and shoved a sword into his hand.

"I did," Kaitlin said. "To get back up."

Ryan looked over her shoulder to see that dozens of fighters had joined the fray, ranging from the familiar faces of Dean and Faith, to almost three dozen unfamiliar young slayers. And there, slicing off a demon's head was Josef, backed up by a red head throwing balls of sunlight at attacking vampires, but avoiding friendlies. "We'll talk later about you not knowing how to follow directions," Ryan said, hefting the sword and readying himself to re-enter the fight.

"Look forward to it," Kaitlin said, moving up beside him.


15. there'll be peace when you are done, lay your weary head to rest, don't you cry no more
It was quiet on the field when the battle was over, and Ryan stood in the middle of the carnage, one of the few still standing, though only barely. It didn't seem like it, but they'd won. Somehow they'd won, a group of 50 hunters against a Demon Army of thousands. They'd won.

"We did it," Dean said as he came up, one arm hanging useless at his side.

"Yeah," Ryan agreed.

"How's your leg?"

"It'll be okay," Ryan said, starting to walk, picking his way through the field of bodies towards the spot he'd seen Samuel fall and knowing Dean was trailing silently behind him, maybe not knowing where they were going, but Ryan susepcted that Dean had watched the demon that was once his brother the whole battle and knew exactly where he was. As they got close, Dean reached out with his good hand and gripped Ryan's shoulder, confirming it.

"I gotta do this alone," the other man said.

Ryan nodded. "I'm gonna go find Bobby, see if he has something strong to knock me out for a couple days," he said.

"Save some for me," Dean agreed before continuing forward into the mass of bodies.

Ryan didn't move as Dean moved forward, then stopped of Samuel's body and slowly sank down to kneel beside it, good hand going out to come through the shaggy hair. He stood silently vigil as Dean hunched over, sobs wracking his body for the little brother he'd lost long ago, and now lost any hope of getting back.


16. these wounds they will not heal, fear is how I fall, confusing what is real
Ryan clasped his hand to his side, feeling the blood seeping out between his fingers, and shifted his other hand's grip on his sword, eyes squeezed closed as he heard the sounds of the Vampire trackers growing closer. He was losing a lot of blood, and he knew they were tracking him because of it, leaving him no good way to escape, not when he didn't stand a chance of holding out for sunrise, not when the sun wouldn't be rising thanks to Nyx. He'd failed, the entire plan had failed, and the Darkness wasn't going to end anytime soon.

Taking a deep breath, Ryan moved his hand from his stomach to grip the sword and swung it as he stepped out of his hiding spot, managing to decapitate and dust to vampires in one swing as he did.

If he was going down, he was going down fighting.


17. you're sitting down to dress, and you're a mess, you look in the mirror
Brooke passed a mirror as she walked back to their makeshift home in the furniture store after taking a bath in the fountain in the center of the mall, and she froze, not even recognizing herself for a moment and thinking it was one of those creatures that had gotten inside. Her eyes were almost dead, and she was rail thin, not even in an anorexia-chic way that some designers used to love. She looked more like the concentration camp victims she vaguely remembered seeing pictures of in history books when she was in school, bruises marring her paul skin even though she didn't think she'd hit herself with anything lately.

"Brooke?' Ryan questioned as he came up.

"I didn't realize I looked this bad," Brooke whispered, one hand slowly coming up to her face.

"It'll get better now," Ryan promised, and for the first time she noticed how much he had changed since they met a few months ago. He was gaunt, too, eyes bloodshot, lips dry and cracked. She wasn't sure how she'd missed it, except that maybe it had happened so gradually, and they'd been so busy staying alive, that she hadn't had time to really see him.

"We're dying," Brooke whispered.

"We'll get better now," Ryan repeated, gently pulling her away from the mirror. "We've got shelter, it's safe, and warm, and there's lots of food and vitamins... we'll get better now."

"Where's Sam?" Brooke asked.

"Sleeping," Ryan assured her. "Which is what we should be doing," he added, gently guiding her to the makeshift bed they'd made on the floor out of a king size mattress, lots of pillows, and piles of comforters. Sam was curled up inside the nest already, huddled in a ball, and Brooke climbed into lay behind the girl, feeling the tension in her foster daughter remain until Ryan laid down behind Brooke, his arm stretching across both of them in a futile, but still appreciated, gesture of protection.


18. on the ground i lay, motionless in pain, i can see my life flashing before my eyes
Ryan stared up at the ceiling of the Baitshop after he landed on the ground floor, having been tossed off the balcony by a girl who's face had suddenly gone very strange.

He could hear the screams around him, the cries and sobs and yelled orders and taunts, but he couldn't make his body move.

"This one'll make a good snack," another girl with a messed up face said as she leaned over him.

"Think again, bitch."

The girl disappeared, and a moment later, Alex was leaning over him. "Snap out of it Atwood, we've gotta get out of here now, before they seal off all the exits."

Ryan slowly shook his head and let Alex pull him to his feet then back towards her office. "What the hell are they?"

"Vampires," Alex said simply. "A place like is a god damn buffet to them. Lots of young fresh blood."

"Vampires?" Ryan said, still trying to wrap his head around what was happening.

"Vampires," Alex repeated. "Come on," she added as she pried open a window and gestured for Ryan to climb out first. "We've gotta get help."



19. these clouds we're seeing, they're explosions in the sky
Ryan didn't know why he was still alive. Everyone else had died within hours of the explosions, but somehow, he had lived, the only one left in Berkeley, as far as he could tell. Millions of people all reduced down to one man. One man who couldn't think of anything but getting out, getting away from the city that had killed his parents and his sister, killed his wife and his daughter, killed his hopes and his dreams and his future.

He kept trying to give up and sink to the ground to wallow in pain, but he heard Brooke's voice in his ear every time and he got bakc up.

"Don't give up, Ry. I'm waiting for you."

So he kept moving through the empty city as it burned down around him. Not knowing where he was going or what he expected to find when he got there, but knowing he had to keep moving.

~~~

He got to the Science building on Campus three days later, and followed the sudden strange flashes of lightening into the basmenet of one particular building, where they all joined together into a sphere of light.

"Go, touch it," Brooke whispered in his ear.

Ryan slowly approached, hand stretched out, until his fingers brushed the surface and he felt a hard jerk pulling him inside the sphere.

~~~

He woke with a start, gasping for air and panicked that he'd been pulled in. It took a moment for him to realize he was in an unfamilair bedroom, and another moment to recognize it as he and Brooke's guest room, though something was different about it. Namely the fact that all his stuff was in it. He had vague, tickling, memories of a life he knew wasn't his, though some things were similiar, and one memory inparticular about he and Brooke fighting and him storming out of their room to take over the guestroom while they worked out the details of a seperation.

Ryan tossed aside the comforting that covered his body and jumped up, running from the room and down the stairs to find Brooke in her studio, sketching baby clothes. "Brooke?"

"What?" Brooke snapped, looking up. "I told you, Ryan, this is not something I'll compromise on. I want kids, and if you don't, then this marriage isn't going to..."

"I want kids," Ryan said. "I know what I said before, but I... I was scared. I want kids, and I want kids with you. I love you, just... please give me another chance."

Brooke's expression suffered slightly as she looked, really looked, at him. "What's wrong, baby?" she asked, walking over to cradle his face in her hands.

"This is going to sound crazy..." Ryan began.

~~~

Brooke didn't believe Ryan's story at first, and wanted him to see a shrink about believing some crazy dream was real, but then she noticed that he had become a different person. He was still an amazing architect, and he was smart and charming, but... he was suddenly more content to be at home with her, curled up on the couch watching a movie, instead of at some business party making connections. Her Ryan had never wanted to cuddle and watch movies anymore. Her Ryan had been adamant about not wanting kids, insisting their own histories were too fucked up to raise kids properly, but this Ryan... this one embraced the idea of being a father, even if he got sad when she suggested the name 'Lily' when she found out she was expecting a little girl and told her about the other Brooke and his Lilly with her.

When he correctly predicted that their little girl, their Lily, would have a crescent shaped birthmark on top of her foot, Brooke began to wonder about his story, but she didn't really care anymore. She'd long since fallen out of love with the old Ryan, but this Ryan... this Ryan she couldn't imagine living without.

~~~

As he walked through the hell that Berkeley had suddenly become when he'd woken up in a basement of the university, Ryan wondered if this was his punishment for telling Brooke she wasn't good enough to be a mom. He'd wandered back to he and brooke's house, only to find it collapsed in on itself, Brooke's corpse huddled protectively over the body of a little girl with blonde ringlets who looked so much like the both of them that Ryan felt his heart constrict and decided this must be hell.

His own personal hell.

End Of Ficlets


That last one enough of a mindf*ck for you? lol Like I said, I know some of these are kind of confusing, so if you need me to clarify anything, let me know.

Can you guess which one was inspired by a recent horror movie I watched? lol
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Aim For The Head - Creature Feature
 
 
 
garnigalgarnigal on April 21st, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
These are really awesome. Incredibly evocative, and the mental images of Ryan and Dean and Castiel etc....

Yummy.
fifimom on April 22nd, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Wow,just...wow. Amazing. Heart breaking.