Disclaimer: I don't own anything from The Maze Runner movies and I'm not making any money from this fic
Summary: A man and a woman are reunited with their son
Chapter Summary: Vince has some words for Thomas
Warning(s): Spanking; violence; descriptions of a virus that turns sufferers into zombie-like creatures; AU; minor spoilers for The Maze Runner and The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; major spoilers for The Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Pairings: Janson/Ava; eventual Newt/Thomas
Author's Note: This is probably completely contradicting the book canon, but I'm just using the movies as a basis
When Thomas woke, the first thing he realised was that he didn't hurt. He'd been shot in the stomach...had been stabbed in the shoulder. And he'd been given innumerable bruises. So he should have really been in more pain than just the emotional.
Slumping back on the makeshift bed, Thomas tried not to think about everyone he'd lost. Teresa's death was painful enough, but if he was honest with himself, the loss of Newt was what hurt him in the worst way possible. He'd failed to save his best friend. He might have got Minho out, but it felt like he'd made a choice. Sacrificed Minho for Newt.
"You're awake." Vince's voice sounded from next to his bed. "How are you feeling?"
Thomas rolled his head to one side, wincing at the sharp jolt in his neck that indicated he'd slept at a weird angle. He rubbed at the sore spot as he focused on Vince, sitting on a wooden stool next to the bed. "How long was I out?" he whispered, having to clear his throat to sound anything approaching human.
Instead of answering straight away, Vince held a rough-hewn cup to Thomas' lips, helping him to take small sips of the water inside. The liquid was warm, but Thomas was thirsty enough that he would have guzzled the entire contents if Vince hadn't kept careful control of the cup and only allowed him to take small sips at a time.
Finally, the water was gone and Thomas let his head drop back with a sigh. "How long?" he whispered again.
"You were unconscious for the entire journey here and through most of the building," Vince said. "You lost a lot of blood. I thought I would lose you there for a while." He reached out and gently squeezed Thomas' shoulder.
Thomas couldn't help it. He leaned into the touch and sighed, closing his eyes. Had he ever had someone touch him in a truly paternal way before? Without an expectation of what he or his blood could do for them? He honestly couldn't remember. And then he took note of Vince's possessive words and opened his eyes to look at the older man. "You didn't." It was all he could think of to say. Maybe he should be offended at the possessiveness, but he wasn't. He couldn't remember any adult who'd wanted him for him before.
Vince nodded slowly, still gently squeezing his shoulder. "When we were going to move out, with what remained of the Right Arm...with those kids...you let me believe you wouldn't try to go after Minho."
"I agreed you were right about reaching Safe Haven with the kids," Thomas replied. "I never said I wouldn't go after him myself."
Vince kept his hand on Thomas' shoulder, looking into his eyes. "You sneaked out when everyone else was asleep. You took Newt, Frypan, Jorge, Brenda..."
"I never asked any of them to come with me," Thomas protested. "I didn't tell them I was going either." He winced, remembering Newt attacking him. Remembered stabbing his best friend. His voice lost its defensive tone as he whispered, "I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt." He swallowed, tears beginning to well in his eyes. He hadn't truly grieved for Newt; hadn't had time to mourn Teresa's death. And he was alone with Vince right now. There was no one else around who he needed to be strong for.
Vince shuffled forward onto the bed and wrapped his arms tightly around Thomas.
Thomas began to shake, wrapping his arms tightly around Vince in return. "I could have saved my best friend," he whispered numbly.
Vince didn't say anything, transferring his full weight onto the bed and shifting back so he was supported. Gripping Thomas under his arms, he pulled him across his lap.
Thomas let out his breath in a tiny, "Oomph," as he landed across the man's knees, his legs and upper body supported by the bed. He lay there for an instant or two, winded; long enough for Vince to divest him of his pants underwear, yanking both down to expose his bare backside. He shivered as cold air ghosted over his naked flesh and then jumped as Vince's hand smacked down firmly on his left cheek, leaving behind a warm sting that was then repeated on his right cheek.
Vince didn't waste any time covering Thomas' entire backside in stinging swats down to his thighs before he started over from the top.
Thomas very quickly began squirming as Vince continued to steadily warm his backside and thighs. While the man probably wasn't smacking nearly as hard as he could have been, the swats were loud enough that anyone passing by outside would have no doubt about what was going on.
As a third circuit of swats began, Thomas' squirms became more vigorous and his legs started to kick in response to the sting. As Vince's palm began to address smacks to his sit spots and thighs, he couldn't help but throw his hand back to protect his bottom.
Vince didn't miss a beat as he took hold of Thomas' hand, holding it against his back and beginning to swat harder and faster.
Thomas let out a quiet sob, his eyes watering so much, it was nearly impossible to see. "I'm sorry, Vince!" He wasn't sure if the man was actually looking for an apology, but that was all he could think of to say to make the spanking stop.
If anything, Vince began swatting a bit harder and faster. And then he began to speak. "I know I'm not actually your father, Thomas, but that doesn't mean I don't care about you. You shouldn't have sneaked out without a word."
Thomas began to sob. "Newt wouldn't have died," he whispered. "I wouldn't have...lost my best friend. It was my fault."
"It might have happened anyway," Vince disagreed. "You wouldn't have had any more information if you'd stayed and Newt could still have been exposed anyway. It wasn't your fault."
Thomas' breath hitched as he listened to Vince's words. "It wasn't?" he whispered, unable to keep the hopeful note out of his voice. Was Vince telling him he didn't have to hate himself for failing Newt? He slowly curled his fingers around Vince's hand, gripping on tightly. "I'm sorry I sneaked out," he whispered. "I'm sorry...I made you worry about me."
"I'm going to worry about you, kid," Vince answered. "Maybe I don't need to worry about you so much now, but I'm still going to. I know you don't have a parent, but..."
Thomas held his breath, trying to slow the tears. Finally, he was able to prompt, "But...?"
"But I want to be your father," Vince said, without hesitation. "I want you."
Thomas breathed in deep and slumped over Vince's lap, tightly squeezing the man's hand. "Just...for me?" he whispered. "You want me to be your son because of me, not because of what I have or I can do?" He swallowed, blinking away the tears.
"Just for you," Vince agreed. "Not because you're immune or because your blood can cure the virus, but because you're Thomas. And I love you."
"I want that," Thomas whispered. "I want...I want to be your son," he added, his voice firm.
"Good." Vince let go of his hand, but brought Thomas up into his arms on his lap, wrapping his arms around him and hugging on tight.
Thomas breathed deep and hugged just as tightly, blinking back his tears. "Thank you...Dad," he whispered, an uncertain smile tugging at his lips.
Vince tightened his hold. "As soon as you're ready, we'll go and join the others...son," he said firmly.
"Yeah, okay." Thomas was reluctant to pull away immediately, instead nestling in close to Vince and letting the older man comfort him. It still hurt...but the pain was getting bearable.