Author's note: Finally the last chapter. I finished it a long time ago and I guess I forgot to post it, pretty stupid eh? Fortunately a reviewer reminded me of it so here it is. I hope you all enjoyed the story, I had fun writing it.
Chapter 12: Ray of Light
"Please tell me you know where they are.."
Alex cut right to it when Rachel entered the hotel room their two male colleagues shared in Ireland. As soon as they had reached Connemara, they had split up, Alex going to find their hotel while Rachel was going to ask around. Finding the hotel had been easy, the only other Inn this little town possessed had been closed after Rachel's attack and Julia's death five years ago. Unfortunately, the room contained everything the men had taken with them, safe the men themselves.
"I was hoping you could tell me." Rachel replied, glancing around the room. She had heard the same story everywhere she asked, the two strangers hadn't been seen since last night. One body had turned up again this morning but it had been a local man, thank god for that.
"Then there's only one place they can be."
Alex said it grimly, as if she never had doubted it. It was the fifth day, and it was close to evening, that meant they had little time before either Derek or Nick was going to be sacrificed as the last one. She handed one of Derek's notes to her blonde friend, the one with the place of ritual. Rachel made a disapproving noise in the back of her throat.
"I always have the hardest time deciphering Derek's handwriting, and he keeps blaming it to the fact he's left-handed."
The Afro American researcher smiled, taking the note back. She had learned to read his notes earlier on and had gotten quite used to it by now.
"Obviously you never saw any of Nick's scribbles, and he's right-handed!"
The two women shared a smile though it wasn't completely sincere, talking about their friends made it all the more clear they weren't here. At least they know knew that they're fears of them being in trouble were true. Hopefully they were in time to get them out of said trouble.
"Maybe we should call Sloan and ask for back-up."
"We are the back-up Rachel. Besides, by the time others get here, they're too late. We're on our own."
Never before was that cause for alarm, but now they shared a look of dread, fully aware it was them against a band of ghostly druids who managed to murder four innocent men already and capture a Precept and an ex Navy Seal. Grabbing the needed supplies to stop the druids the women set off to where they would hopefully find their still alive friends, the stone circle in the middle of the green fields outside the small town.
It was raining again, like the sky itself was crying down on them, soaking everybody who dared to go outside. Not that they had a choice in the matter, Rachel mused as she squatted down beside Alex, both hiding from view. Ironically and unknown to them, almost the same spot their friends had hid less then 24 hours ago.
"They don't have Nick."
She whispered softly so only Alex could hear her as they watched a struggling Derek being pinned to a stone slab in the middle of the circle. The coldness was slowly seeping through their wet clothes and Rachel wrapped her arms around herself, for warmth and comfort. She found it hard being here, so close to where she had been attacked. Alex understood what was going through the other woman but it was something she was going to have to bare.
"He'll be around here somewhere. Right now we have to get Derek free and the only way for us to do that is to destroy their power centre. You'll have to distract them."
Rachel's eyes widened, she wasn't sure if she was up for that task. She wanted to help, of course but this...
"Do you know how to work with these bombs?"
"No, I still can't believe you can."
Alex had a hard time believing that herself, but she had to try. Nick had showed her once, insisting she had to learn how to use different kinds of weapons. She could only hope enough of what he showed her was still there. The Druids were now standing in a circle, softly chanting while their robes flowed in the wind, one of them holding what seemed to be a dagger.
"Confront them Rachel."
Rachel shook her head, tears pouring down her face while she wrapped her arms around her torso even tighter, trying to comfort herself and to draw strength so she could do what was asked. But all she could see was Shamus Bloom, leering at her with his forked tongue.
Alex was fairly wet, her hair dripping while she ran a hand through it, started to look panicked. The one with the dagger was stepping closer to Derek who was struggling even more now that the ritual had begun.
"You have to Rachel, they have Derek and Nick's missing! I can't do it alone!"
Just as the trembling Psychiatrist was ready to do what was asked of her, a small figure covered in what appeared to be mud and blood rushed into the circle and it took a moment for the two women to recognise him as Nick. Rachel was immediately worried about him and gave a nod to Alex, both sprinting into action. One to help Nick while the other was going to set the bombs.
Meanwhile the young security chief had reached his friend, just in time to see the knife swinging down, about ready to stop Derek's heart once and for all. He knew from experience that only the knife was corporeal and so far the only thing he could touch since Derek was tied to the stone slab. And that wasn't the only problem, his body was near the point of collapsing again. His probably concussion combined with the previous blood loss and the steady stream of blood running from the deep wound in his stomach made him dizzy and extremely tired. The only thing keeping him on his feet was the danger Derek was in.
Derek saw all that was happening but couldn't do a thing to prevent or help. He had caught a glimpse of Alex and Rachel but his attention was entirely focussed on the knife that came flashing down in an alarming speed. In reflex he squeezed his eyes shut, bracing himself for the pain and death that was about to come...only, it never came. Something soft collided with him and there was a grunt of pain but not coming from him. Then all Hell broke loose.
Bombs were going off in a very close proximity, the druids were screaming in pain and he was aware of Rachel cutting his bonds. But all that chaos never took away his attention from the figure lying atop of him, the one that had used his body to protect him and had taken the knife instead. As soon as his hands were free he gathered the unconscious form in his arms.
"Leave the knife, it'll stop the blood flow."
Horrified hazel eyes looked at Rachel as she said that, how could he leave the knife in? The thought of it still sticking into Nick's back was enough to make him want to loose whatever he had left in his stomach. Gentle brown eyes looked back.
"Not here Derek, we have to.."
Hearing Alex scream like that was enough to start running, no matter what words she used. Derek was exhausted but somehow the adrenaline surging through his body right now was enough to keep running, even though he had the added weight of Nick in his arms. Behind them more bombs started to explode, chunks of stone whizzing past their head. The three of them ran, never once looking behind them, not anymore. As the spirits of the druids were drawn back into the box Alex had left, an ember from the explosion fire landed on the lid, burning softly as the old wood caught fire. Soon it would be nothing more then smoke and ashes, the only remnants of a struggle that had taken five years for the Legacy members to complete.
We all have to fight our own personal demons from time to time, but for once I have the feeling that I actually won this round. It took me weeks to recover from Ireland and even a few more weeks to convince Derek and the others I really was okay. I was okay the moment I took that knife for Derek, realizing that whatever happened in the past, it didn't matter. I'll always miss Julia, but I still have family left to fight for. People who care enough about me to carry my ass all the way into Connemara and never letting go of me until I woke up again. I forgave Derek a long time ago...now I finally forgave myself.