And the Rain Falls Gently... By: Forlay Author's Notes: Finally, a new fic from me! It's been awhile. Anyway, a few quick warning: this fic could be interpreted as light slash, but also as they're good friends. You choose. The other is that this takes place immediately after #48 The Return. Also, I want to dedicate this to Magistrate. Thanks for showing me that people can still be passionate over fan fics. If you actually take the time to read this, I hope you finally find a story to enjoy :-)
And the Rain Falls Gently...
Rachel stared at me intently with her bear eyes. I'm not sure I can, either, > she said finally. So will you do it? >
That caught me by surprise. How was I supposed to answer that one? I opened my mouth to answer, but closed it again. I looked down and finally whispered "I don't know."
I didn't think so, > was all Rachel said. But she wasn't cruel or harsh about it, like I would have imagined her to be. She'd been going through a rough week, I didn't know why, but I knew she was. And this new David Incident certainly hadn't helped. So I wouldn't have blamed her for snapping at me and being sarcastic. But instead she was gentle and quiet, two adjectives that are rarely applied to Rachel.
As Rachel began demorphing, I began scaling the wall behind me. The staircase had been ripped out, but I still found handholds to support my weight. And David's two idiot henchmen had left the lid off the hole, so I didn't have to try and push that off. I didn't think I'd have had the strength to. I hardly had the strength to pull myself up the wall, and forget about morphing. At the moment I wanted nothing more than to get home, crawl into bed and try and sleep for a week.
I pulled myself up onto the blacktop and took in my surroundings. This exit of David's lair was just below a dark alley. I wasn't sure exactly how long I'd been down there, well over two hours, obviously, and the sky was beginning to grow dark. Mom would probably be serving dinner soon and would wonder where I was, if they hadn't already discovered I was missing. I'd been chased out of the barn by hundreds of rats, I hadn't exactly had time to leave a note. Who knows, maybe the police were out looking for me right now.
I shivered when a breeze gusted through the ally and shoved my hands into the pockets of my jeans. I really should have gone home. Who knew what kind of crazies hung around this ally at night? But I wanted to wait for Rachel. I couldn't just abandon her to deal with David alone. Yes, she'd be able to...do what was necessary easy enough. She'd just barely beaten the two hour clock, she had all of her morphs at her disposal. Her grizzly would make short work of David. Rachel had very few morphs that wouldn't be able to take on David. And Rachel certainly would be more comfortable....
What the hell was I saying?! Rachel was comfortable killing David? I know she loves this war, she gets off on fighting, but the actual murder she can't like...can she?
I shook my head. No, of course she couldn't. Only psychos truly enjoyed killing. And as much as Marco joked, my beautiful best friend was not truly psycho. Yes, she enjoyed fighting a lot more than I did, she didn't have the same worries I had about right and wrong, but I was convinced that every time Rachel had to kill, she regretted it later on.
Except perhaps when Crayak had had control of her. But that creature certainly wasn't Rachel.
I stared back down into the gloom of the sewer. It was getting hard to distinguish where the pavement ended and the hole started. If I was going back down there, I'd have to go now if I didn't want to risk breaking my neck. I'd been standing around debating with myself for what must have been nearly a half an hour, and Rachel still hadn't come back up. Something must have gone wrong.
That thought struck me with a momentary burst of panic. Something must have gone wrong. Five simple words, with a terrifying meaning when strung together.
I sank to my hands and knees and carefully lowered one leg down the sewer hole. When that leg found purchase, I lowered the other one down and began slowly, tediously climbing back down.
It took a good ten minutes, but finally I made it back to David's candle-lit dungeon. It had had some semblance of order when I'd first woke up in the box, but with the battles that had been fought there this afternoon, saying it was trashed is an understatement.
There was no sign of David or Rachel in the room, and in the small tunnels and of the sewer, my wolf morph certainly wouldn't be able to sniff them out. That left only one other morph that was practical in the situation to find them; rat.
The thought of turning into the same vile creature David was was enough to make me feel nauseous. But what else could I do? Rachel wouldn't have hesitated to come help me if I was in a similar situation. Hell, she'd been willing to trap herself as a rat to save my life! This was the least I could do in return. So I swallowed and took a steadying breath of the stinking, dank air and began to morph as quickly as I could, not trying to control the morph, just trying to get it done.
Within minutes I was a tiny white rat. A bundle of barely contained nerves. My nose twitched frantically and I began to scurry around, searching for Rachel or David's scent. It didn't take long, by some chance I had morphed right next to a pipe both of them had run into.
It was all I could do to keep my rat mind controlled. The rat's instincts kept wanting to be sidetracked down side tunnels. It kept sniffing food and other rats, but I concentrated on the only rat scent that mattered: Rachel's.
Just as I was beginning to tire, the adrenaline rush brought on by fear for Rachel beginning to wear down, my rat nose picked up a new scent: fresh air. The pipe ended soon, and while today's events proved I didn't know David nearly as well as I had thought, I was sure he'd have scampered out the pipe. And as much as I loathed David, I knew he was a good strategist. Just like Marco, he saw the way from point A to point C was directly through point B, no matter who was hurt along the way.
And I'd been right about David this time. Just minutes after I first detected the fresh air, I followed Rachel's scent right out of the tunnel and into, as far as I could tell, another alleyway.
A light rain had begun to fall, so once out in the alley I couldn't smell anything anymore, and Rachel, if she was there, was too large for my rat eyes to really accommodate. So I took a risk and called out to her in thought speak. Rachel? >
Out of the corner of my eye I saw something move suddenly. The rat took over then and moved into a defensive position, thinking the movement was a predator. I was glad for that, actually. I didn't want David to catch me unprepared if he was still here. But it was a human voice, not thought speak, that answered my call. "Cassie?"
Oh, thank God you're alright! > I demorphed quickly, silently promising myself to never use that morph again. When I had my human eyes again, I could faintly make out Rachel in the darkness. She was sitting on the ground, her knees drawn up to her chin. She sounded like she'd been crying.
I knelt down next to her and put my hand on her shoulder. "What happened?"
Rachel gulped in air and turned her face from me. "Nothing," she whispered.
I put a hand on her cheek and forced her to look at me. I noticed that my hand came away damp. "Seriously, Rachel. What happened with David?"
"I was serious when I answered. Nothing happened. He...he asked me to kill him, Cassie. He asked me to kill him. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine being asked to kill someone who had no power to fight back?" She sniffed and looked down again. "No, no, you can't imagine that. You're one of the good guys, like me. But you're the nice good guy, the good guy everyone loves for what she does...I'm the one they love for the results she gets."
That statement left me puzzled. What did she mean, I was the good guy loved for what I did, but she was only loved for the results she got? But there'd be time for questions about that later. I needed to know what happened to David. "So what did you do?"
"I was going to take him back to the island. It was the only option that one of the good guys would take. It was the right thing to do, wasn't it?" She looked at me pleadingly. "Wasn't it?"
I wasn't so sure. David had put all of us through hell and back, but he'd taken Rachel down twice. What he'd done to me today wasn't nearly as bad as the torture he and Crayak had put Rachel through, so I'd have thought Rachel would have jumped at the chance to have David exactly where she wanted him. And what had we been talking about before Rachel went after David? I told her to let him go, but she wanted to go after him. How had we ended up on opposite sides?
Rachel was still staring at me, her eyes bright with tears. I had to answer. "Yes, Rachel. You had the right idea."
"But he insisted I kill him. He told me to 'do the right thing.' But I couldn't. I couldn't do what he wanted. I didn't even want to take him back to the island at that point. I wanted him to go away, leave me alone. And eventually he...he left."
My heart dropped into my stomach. David was on the loose? What was to stop him from going to the Yeerks? Perhaps he only wanted to die when Rachel first caught up with him because there wasn't any other way out. But with Rachel giving up...he might change his mind.
"Rachel, get up. We need to tell the others."
"Rachel, David's on the loose. What's to stop him from finding Visser One?"
Rachel half laughed, half sobbed. "He won't be telling anyone anything. I heard him scamper out of here, I don't know where, I wasn't paying attention. But I did notice the owl that came by looking for an early dinner. And I did hear his screams when...when...." She started sobbing again, unable to talk anymore.
I wrapped Rachel in a hug, it was the only thing I could think of to do. We sat like that for awhile, Rachel with her head on my shoulder, and my arms around her. Two girls sitting together in an alley, letting the rain fall gently upon them.