Author: pucktofaerie PM
One of them had to die so that the other could live...what if fate had chosen a different path? AU ending to LXG. Same story as Chances Lost, but under new title. RR!Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst - Words: 2,939 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 2 - Published: 05-22-04 - Status: Complete - id: 1873983
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Okay, for once I'm not going to say anything first. This is just a pesky little one-shot that I had to write. Enjoy!
"I think you trained him about as well as you trained your son." Allan Quatermain stared in shock and confusion into M's silver mask and saw Agent Sawyer being held captive by a half-invisible man. For a moment Quatermain though that perhaps Skinner really had betrayed the League, but then he realized that Skinner was shorter and probably couldn't best Sawyer in a fight, and that this must be M's flunky Sanderson Reed. The man had a knife to Tom's throat, and the American was standing stock still in fear of slitting his throat.
Suddenly, M grabbed Quatermain's pistol from his hand and shot the American in the chest. Both Tom and Reed fell, the bullet passing through Tom and lodging itself into Reed's body. Quatermain watched in horror as Tom slumped to the floor, confusion clear in his bright green eyes.
Allan ignored M as he rushed forward. Tom lay on the floor catching himself partially on some boxes. Quatermain shrugged off his vest and pressed it against the wound.
"Hang on, boy," Quatermain said. "We'll get you to Jekyll; he'll fix you right up." Allan tried not to let the severity of the wound show on his face. His brow crinkled in confusion as a hand latched onto his wrist.
"No," wheezed Tom. His breaths came in short, labored gasps, and Quatermain guessed that he had punctured a lung. "Get him."
Quatermain stared at him in confusion, then turned and looked back to the crevice through which M had escaped. He looked back at Tom and shook his head. "There'll be time for that later," he said.
"No!" Again, Tom's hands prevented Quatermain from trying to stop the flow of blood coming from the wound. Instead, Tom pushed his Winchester into Quatermain's hands. "Get him!" Seeing the look of hesitation on Quatermain's face, Tom's expression became desperate.
"Please," the young man begged. Quatermain looked up into Tom's eyes. "For Huck."
A flash of understanding flooded Allan's face, and he stood to his feet, squeezing Tom's shoulder. The hunter strode broadly across the room, pulling out his spectacles as he went. He put them on, then carefully took aim. This one he could not afford to miss.
Quatermain focused in on the rapidly retreating figure of M. He carefully watched and waited, making the necessary adjustments automatically as he had a hundred times before. He waited, feeling out the shot, until the right moment came. He let out a single shot, and the bullet broke free of the chamber and covered the distance to its target in the blink of an eye. Just as a smile of victory broke out on Moriarty's face, the bullet struck him in the back, felling him instantly. Quatermain smiled at his victory, took off his spectacles, and returned them to his pocket as his turned to face Tom.
"Got 'im," the old hunter said. Tom smiled.
"Good." The young American was breathing heavily, a pang of regret on his face. He realized that his time was almost up. "Tell Becky…tell her I'm sorry that I didn't keep my promise." With that, Tom Sawyer closed his eyes and breathed his last.
Allan Quatermain stood frozen in place for a long moment, head bowed, and eyes closed. His thoughts drifted back to a few years before, and again he saw the death of his son before his eyes. The sudden bullet, the cry of pain, the look of fear and desperation and confusion, and finally the look of acceptance. Harry had died in his arms, and now it had happened again. He had let it happen again.
Allan stood in a graveyard in Missouri, head bowed as the minister spoke over the newly dug grave. As the prayer ended, Allan uttered his 'amen' along with the rest, even though he had never been a very religious man. The humid heat of the summer made sweat run down the back of his neck, a different kind of heat than what he was used to. He was vaguely aware of the crowd thinning behind him, anxious to get to the cool shade of their homes.
Soon all that was left in the graveyard was the League and a few individuals from the town. The League waited patiently to say goodbye to their friend, allowing Tom's family room to grieve.
An old woman shakily knelt by the grave, a woman in her early thirties helping her. Both of the women's eyes were red from crying, but now they shed no tears. A young man a few years younger than Tom stood with them, the blank expression of shock on his face. The old woman knelt for a few moments, placing a few white lilies tied with ribbon at the foot of the polished tombstone. As she stood, with the help of the young man and woman, as well as her cane, Quatermain felt the League come up behind him. He looked to his right and saw Mina Harker looking on at the sight before them.
"Someone should go and speak to them," she said softly, looking and meeting Allan's gaze. She obviously thought that he was the one to do it. He looked to his left, and Nemo nodded and gestured with a wave of his hand for Allan to go ahead. Taking a deep breath, he walked forward, till he was standing next to the old woman.
"I'm terribly sorry for your loss," he said. The woman looked up at him and turned to the young people at her side.
"Sid, Mary, why don't you go back to the house. I'm sure that most of the folks from the church are already there." Without a word, they turned and left. The woman walked slowly to the foot of Tom's grave, Quatermain walking with her.
"I keep expecting him to come waltzing up from the river, laughing at the great joke he pulled over everybody," she said softly, a southern drawl coloring her voice. She sighed heavily. "This is the second funeral I've had for that boy. I liked the ending of the first one better."
Quatermain looked down at his feet, not entirely sure what to say. "Your son was an extraordinary man."
The woman smiled. "He wasn't my son." At Quatermain's look of confusion, she explained, "My nephew. My sister's boy." She pointed to a tombstone near Tom's. "Suppose they're together now. I always thought I'd see her before he did. I raised him like he was my own after she died."
"Ah," Quatermain said. "The 'Aunt Polly' that he spoke so fondly of." His statement caused her smile to widen and fresh tears glistened in her eyes.
"That's me," she answered. She looked up at him, shielding her eyes from the sun to see him better. "You're the one who brought him back, aren't you?"
"I am," Quatermain answered, a strange heaviness in his voice. "Allan Quatermain, at your service."
"Well, thank you for bringing him home, Mr. Quatermain." Polly looked past him to the League. "I see Tom's been makin' some very unusual friends." Allan glanced back over to shoulder.
"He helped save to the world," he said, a hint of pride in his voice. His thoughts went back to Venice, and how Sawyer had bravely been the target for Nemo's rocket. If not for the boy's ideas, and his optimism after the bombs on the Nautilus, the world would very likely now be at war.
Polly's gaze fell in the direction of the tombstone, though Quatermain doubted that she really saw it. "That's my Tom. Jump in with both feet and don't think twice about the consequences." She looked up and saw the troubled look on the hunter's face.
"Don't let his death trouble you too much, Mr. Quatermain. We each have our time to go; some of us just sooner than others. It's always hard to see the young ones go first." She turned and started to hobble away.
"Ya'll are welcome to come up to the house and get a bite to eat," she told him. Quatermain shook his head slightly. She turned to keep walking but stopped when he called out to her.
"Miss…uh…Polly, Tom wanted me to give a message to someone, a lady named 'Becky'?" Allan hoped desperately that the old woman would know whom Tom had meant, as he had nothing more than the name to go on.
Polly's face lit up immediately. "Becky, yes. That'll be Becky Thatcher; well, Harper now. That's her over there, with her husband Joe." Polly pointed to a couple standing near the edge of the graveyard. "They grew up with Tom," she explained, then kept walking. "Ya'll just come up to the house if you get hungry."
Quatermain watched her hobble off with her cane as the League began to move towards the grave. He left them and walked towards the couple who were beginning to move towards the entrance to the graveyard.
"Mrs. Harper? Becky Harper?" he called. The couple stopped moving and turned to face him.
"Yes? I'm Becky." The man stood with his hands on Becky's shoulders and Quatermain could see that the young woman was several months pregnant.
"Mrs. Harper, my name is Allan Quatermain. I, uh, I was an associate of Agent sawyer's."
The young woman merely stared up at the hunter with slightly widened eyes. "What can I do for you, Mr. Quatermain?"
Allan looked down briefly, then raised his gaze to meet Becky's again. "Mrs. Harper, Tom wanted me to give you a message, just before he did."
Becky's eyebrows rose and she answered in a shaky voice, "Oh?"
"Yes, uh, he wanted me to tell you that… that he was very sorry, he couldn't keep his promise." Fresh tears sprung up in Becky's eyes and she let out a sound that sounded like the cross between a sigh and a laugh.
"You…know what he meant, Mrs. Harper?" Quatermain asked quietly.
Becky nodded quickly, blinking and wiping away the tears from her cheeks. "Before he left, I, I made him promise that he would come home safely. Told him that I wanted him to be here, when his godchild is born." She absent-mindedly rubbed her protruding belly. "Suppose that won't be happening now." She lowered her head, more tears falling onto her cheeks.
"I'm sorry," Quatermain said softly, his voice catching in his throat. Becky looked up at him.
"It's alright," she answered. "It's not your fault." Joe tugged slightly at her shoulders, and Becky looked back over her shoulder at him.
"We'd best be going," she said softly. She smiled at Allan. "It was nice to meet you, Mr. Quatermain."
Allan nodded in return. "And you, Mrs. Harper. I hope that everything goes alright with your baby."
Becky nodded her thanks and she and Joe walked off. Allan turned and walked back to the League, who were now gathered around Tom Sawyer's grave.
"Poor bloke," Skinner said softly. "He wasn't bad, for a Yank."
"No, Mina said softly. "No he wasn't." The League stood there silently before murmuring their goodbyes and walking off. Soon Allan was the only one left. He stood there for a moment, head bowed, with a Winchester rifle in his hands. With a heavy sigh, he propped the rifle up against the tombstone, numerous thoughts running through his head.
"I'm sorry, boy," he said softly, before walking off to join the rest of the League. They walked off to where the Nautilus was docked, leaving behind their youngest member and ending their first adventure as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
A/N: hides in a trash can to avoid angry mob I know, I know, I've done the unthinkable and killed off Tom. But I couldn't help it. My muse has gotten a taste for one-shots, and I'm about to start a four-part series of one-shots. I've also got another full-length fic on the way. BTW, Bloodlines is officially on hiatus, due to lack of reviews and an odd case of writer's block. My muse has given me so many ways to introduce my OC that I've decided that I can't continue with Bloodlines at this time. I don't know if anyone really cares, but if you do, there's your answer. If you wanna flame this piece, go ahead, just so long as you review. So go ahead, and review. Yes, right now. Stop reading my ramblings and press the pretty little blue button, and review!