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[personal profile] psychette
[from here]

He was chained to the wall. Quite literally. Both arms, both legs in restraints. And his shirt and vest were in tatters. There were various devices scattered about the cell, and none of them looked pleasant.

His head lifted as he heard the door open.

"Trying to use the car battery again? Didn't that go very badly wrong last time?" He was grinning, then his face fell into a look of confusion.

"What the hell are you doing here? A, you are not the cavalry I was expecting, B, how the hell did you find me and C, what the hell took you so long?"

--------------------------------------

It wasn't easy, that's for sure. But Jackie had insisted on keeping looking for him when he went missing. They'd finally tracked him down after a week of looking.

So there Jackie stood in the doorway, twirling the keys on her finger, chewing gum, and a huge gun up on her shoulder. "Nice to see you too. Should I go rescue the guy next door instead?"

--------------------------------------

"Nah, he's an ass," he replied, "also pretty sure he's imaginary, but I needed to pass the time."

He paused a moment, looking at her.

"Wait, how'd you get the keys."

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"Good to see you're making friends."

Jackie puts down the gun to come over and start unlocking his shackles. "I asked the right guy. Amazing what you can get with one of those laser gun things." Yes, she said laser gun. It looked impressive but really, it was just a toy. They wouldn't let her have a real one.

--------------------------------------

He was staring at it, and as she unshackled him he looked at it more carefully.

"Does...does that say Hasbro on the side?!" He said, with some incredulity.

He sighed.

"Ok, no, gift horse in the mouth, not going to do that."

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"Hey, it was the biggest gun I could get. Just because I'm not qualified doesn't mean I can't look the part."

The jokes though are covering the fact that he's been here awhile. And tortured too. She's trying not to be worried about him. "You hurt anywhere?"

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"I'm fine," he said, taking a step forward - and promptly falling flat on his face.

"Ok," came the muffled voice from the ground, "haven't walked in over a week. Been hanging there. May need some assistance."

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Jackie tries to grab and fails, wincing as he lands. That looked painful.

She gets down by his side. "Y'know, we could wait till backup gets here. They probably have stuff to help. Like bandaids. Or doctors."

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"Hmm? No, no we can't. Door was rigged. They know it's open. Hasn't set the alarm off yet, but somebody's going to notice."

He pushed himself up to his knees, and then shakily upwards, reaching out in a flailing gesture in her general direction to give himself some stability. Hopefully he hit her arm, or something, and didn't miss entirely.

"Don't need bandaids."

It wasn't as if there were any visible wounds. Vampiric healing was a wonderful thing. But it didn't exactly help 'being chained to a wall for days upon days'.

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Jackie quickly gets down to loop one of his long arms around her shoulders and help him to his feet. Staying there to steady him, her other arm around his waist. It was a little disconcerting he seemed thinner than usual.

"Are you okay?" The teasing was gone, she's got a very worried and concerned expression as she looks up at him in earnest.

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No food - and more importantly, no anti-bloodlust medication - would do that to a man. Granted, he was holding together for the moment.

"Oh, I'm just dandy. Ready for a stroll down the boardwalk. How do you think I feel? Been hanging from a wall for the better part of a week getting prodded with various sharp implements."

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She swallows a smile, helping him take a few steps forward. "Some people and their weird hobbies..." Hopefully they wouldn't run into the people responsible for sticking him in here and poking him.

"You must be feeling better to be this cranky already. We haven't even gotten to the stairs yet." Jackie keeps her arm around him to keep him upright. Probably unaware of his lack of blood problems but she wasn't going to run out on him now.

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"Ah, wonderful, stairs. Then again, after they drugged me, I seemed to remember changing altitude a little bit."

He shook his head, as if to clear it.

"Y'bring anything from Helen? Small, white, round?"

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"They come standard with the dungeon. I think the more stairs, the cheaper they can install it or something." Must be, there were scores of them going up and down this place.

Jackie isn't sure what he means at first but then remembers, "Well she did give me a small box to give to you. You want it now?" She's trying to dig it out of her pocket, a flat metal box that used to hold cigarettes back in the 1920's.

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"Yes," he said, with a raspy voice, "I definitely do."

He took the box from her with a scrabbling hand, taking a double dose quickly, and then a few, deep breaths.

"Just...give me a minute."

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She's not sure what the rush is about, "She said to only take....one." Too late, he's already downed two. "What are these?" Jackie takes the container back, giving the white pills a sniff.

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He winced, breathing heavily.

"They're all that's keeping me from wanting to rip your throat out," he responded hoarsely.

"They control the bloodlust, haven't had them in days..."

He shook his head, blinking rapidly.

"Without them I might have killed you."

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Either they just went through a time dilation...or Jackie just froze in place, no expression on her face. Sort of a full body version of that sound a record makes when you yank the needle off of it.

".....okaaaaay...." Putting the pills away now. "Good to know." And now it's awkward. Jackie's also a whole lot more tense about helping him up the stairs. What do you even look for if your friend might suddenly turn vampire on you?

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Namely, if he were asked, you look for a way to direct him elsewhere. And given that alarms had just started going out, that might have been precisely what was on the way.

"Oh, wonderful," he said, but he straightened up, cricking his neck from side to side. "Here I was thinking it'd be nice and easy."

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Jackie tries to help him go a little faster once the alarms kick in. "They said we'd have fifteen minutes!" That might have been twenty minutes ago though. They had to get up these stairs and into the waiting vans that were idling outside.

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He grimaced.

"Clocks can be off," he replied, looking up the stairs. "Oh, great. These. I'd forgotten about them. Shitty part about being imprisoned deep underground. Sure there's no elevator? I could do with some muzak right about now..."

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"Come on, one foot up," she's urging him to keep going. "Then the other." Her own heart is pounding, trying not to worry that they might get ambushed at any moment. And her only with a squirt gun.

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"Yeah yeah, I heard you," he said, starting up the stairs with a few labored breaths.

"Give me a minute, I'll have my balance back. Then, joy of joys, we'll try running."

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"They say running is good for you. I've always wanted to give it a try," she says without missing a beat, looking back the way they had come. There were shuffled running footsteps but fortunately they hadn't come their way just yet. She thought they had more time...

"Hold it right there!" Jackie freezes, a gun pressed to her temple as they've come to a landing. There was a guard who hid long enough to make a surprise appearance.

--------------------------------------

He found, in the moment, that he didn't want her to see what had to happen.

"Jacqueline," he said, calmly, "close your eyes. And don't open them until I tell you to."

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He even used her full name. Jackie knew how bad this was. Her eyes flick over with a worried look before she shuts them. Tight. Not daring to move or even breathe.

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Jacqueline Ann Spencer

2017

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