Sorry this is so late folks. I've had a devil of a time trying to keep up with life. I'm trying to plan a mission trip and though it may be fun, it's certainly difficult and time consuming. But on another note, my book will be ready for publishing soon. GO ME! Don't worry, I'm still writing, just a bit slowly though. See you all next time.
Disclaimer and all that in first chapter
Recovery, Recuperation and Pressing On
An Indian knelt next to Jekyll as soon as the doctor had done all he could for the man he was treating at the moment. "Mr. Quatermain say to come, it is urgent." Blinking in surprise, the doctor stood, Mina stood by his side, sticking close lest his legs give out, "Then by all means, lead me to him." Said the ever-well-mannered doctor. The Indian did so swiftly, as he had been instructed. Tom was stretched out on the ground, his coat and shirt - or was left of them - had been removed. There was several nasty looking gashes across his chest and ribs, but he would live. With a bit of rest…and more than a few stitches, he would be fine.
But it was not over Tom that Allan was hovering, and that in itself was strange and concerning. The Hunter's coat was laid over someone else. It was quite obviously Skinner, Jekyll did not know what else it could be since he knew of no other invisible man. The thief was lying as still as Tom, though there was no blood to be seen anywhere on him. The Doctor presumed that he would be able to see the man's blood if he was injured, or at least he might be able to. They had been able to see the burns after all. Anyway, it was over Skinner's cataleptic body that Allan was leaning over and he looked quite worried. At first, Henry was afraid he was dead, but as he drew near, he could hear labored breathing.
Stooping next to the thief on the ground, Jekyll hesitated. It was not going to be easy to locate where he was injured. And if there were internal injuries, it was going to be impossible to do anything. "What happened?" Said Jekyll.
Allan ran a hand through iron gray hair, "I don't know. He had Tom with him and I didn't notice he was injured until he was unconscious." Jekyll bit his under lip in concentration and pushed Allan's coat away from Skinner's chest, if the thief was having trouble breathing it might be something to do with his respiratory system. Internal or maybe broken ribs to judge from the lack of blood. Seeing with his fingertips, Henry felt along felt along the thief's chest. Hoping to feel the shift of broken bone rather than the softness of bruised flesh that indicated internal hemorrhaging. He nearly sighed with relief when a rib moved beneath his fingertips. It wasn't necessarily a good thing, but much better than the alternative.
The thief groaned at the pain and arched his back under the doctor's pressure on his now apparently broken ribs. Murmuring soothing words, Jekyll pulled the long coat back up to keep him warm and turned to Sawyer. They were simpler wounds, but he had still lost a great deal of blood; and even though the bleeding had stopped, he was cold despite the damp heat. The sooner they were moved to the compound the better.
It was dark when Tom first opened his eyes. Many fires burned in various camps dotted around the low buildings that were entrances to the underground storerooms. He was bare to the waist and covered by a blanket. Two other blanketed figures lay close by, bundled up next to Allan, Nemo and Mina as he was. The bundled figures must have been Henry and Skinner. A bandage was wrapped snuggly around his chest and the wounds it covered stung fiercely.
Taking his blanket with him, he joined the others by the fire. Seating himself next to Allan, the Hunter took him by the shoulder and made him lean against him. "You shouldn't be up, Sawyer, Jekyll will have my head." Tom smiled and closed his eyes, "I don't think he'll be up anytime soon though." Allan tried to be stern, "It doesn't keep his advice from being true and sensible, you shouldn't be up."
Tom leaned against the Hunter, closing his eyes and letting the heat from the fire warm his face. In almost no time at all he was snoring softly, taking Allan and Henrys advise whether he had intended to or not. Allan tucked the blanket more securely around the young agent and moved about until Tom was leaning against his chest, his head resting on the Hunters shoulder.
Jekyll stirred as the first rays of light hit his eyelids. Stretching and yawning widely, he let the blanket fall around his waist. A baggy shirt hung loosely around his lanky frame. Last nights activities came rushing back and he had jumped halfway to his feet before he realized there was nothing to get excited over. The Hydes were…dealt with, and now all that was left was a clean up job and then to hunt down Mina and Skinner's alter ego's and anyone who had been involved in the purchases of their less than desirable traits. A wry smile tugged at the corner of his mouth at the thought. He also remembered Tom and Skinner, it had a bit difficult transporting them to the compound, but they were out of danger now. Tom had been feverish and his pulse unnervingly slow from blood loss, but otherwise he would live, albeit he would be a bit weak and dizzy for a while. He had been worried that one of the thief's ribs might have punctured a lung, but thankfully he was able to wrap them without difficulty beyond the problem of not being able to see exactly where the injuries were located.
Glancing about, he noted that Tom was not in his original resting positions he had been in last night. And unless he had sleepwalked, he could not have moved to his current location sleeping against Allan unless he had walked there. Irritation faded away though, as he saw Tom shift and curl up closer next to Allan. Tom and Skinner had done well, the rest of the League might still not know about the compound if it hadn't been for Tom's overly inquisitive personality and Skinner's quick thinking. The thought of the thief drew the doctor's gaze toward his form lying next to the fire not many feet from his own resting place.
Catching a movement out of the corner of one eye, Jekyll turned to find that he wasn't the only one awake. Mina rose gracefully, smoothing her wrinkled skirts as best she could. "Good morning Dr. Jekyll. How did you sleep?"
Henry gave a courteous half bow, trying to ignore that he looked absolutely bedraggled. "As well as can be expected, Mrs. Harker. I hope we will be able to return to the Nautilus today, I would like to get Tom and Skinner aboard as soon as possible."
The Vampiress nodded in agreement and looked to where the scientists were being held captive by Nemo's crew. Jekyll wasn't clear on exactly what they were going to do with them. They were not a immediate threat now. They merely worked for a higher power that had given them the means to create destruction. More than likely they would be set free. They had no where to go now that their labs were destroyed and the formula gone. Warren had said that only he had been present when the other samples had been purchased. It seemed that Skinner's skin samples had been sent somewhere in Latin America and Mina's Genetic material had been bought by the Cairo Government in Egypt.
That was where they would be heading now, Cairo that is. Henry had a feeling that they would fine M in one of those spots. It all weighed on his shoulders, but it also felt that a weight had been lifted off. He was once again the only one who had a monster trapped in his mind and body. And, while it not actually being a good thing, was for the better if anything else. Mina seemed a bit troubled. She seemed to be feeling the same weight he borne until previous events. Tucking in his shirt, Henry could not help feeling a bit guilty that he was glad that he was not the only one to be feeling it.
Not many more words passed between them. It was a solemn morning, many men had given their lives the previous night and a dismal ambiance seemed to hang about in the heavy humid air. Jekyll and Mina began to awaken the others. They were not the only ones who would feel more at home on the Nautilus. In a way, the immense vessel was their home now. Mina and Jekyll had homes to go back to, but there was no family waiting there.
Allan too had no family to go back to either; indeed, it seemed that Tom was his family now, as was the entire league. Tom had family, but he seemed to enjoy their company and give the impression that he wasn't in a hurry to leave his adventures yet. Jekyll wondered if Tom knew how much they enjoyed having him around. Their youngest member often felt that he was incompetent next to the rest of the League; but in truth, he made the rest of them feel the acceptance they were deprived of in society. Because of his lack of extraordinary qualities it said that he saw them as friends and not monsters and it meant more because he was not exceptional as they were. He made all their dark times a bit brighter.
When Nemo and all his men were roused and the scientists were on their feet, Jekyll tapped Allan on his shoulder, "Wake up Alan, we need to leave." The Hunter jerked awake, jostling Tom in consciousness along with him. Allan glared around him, "Didn't bother to wake me sooner? Did you already question them?" The doctor could sense the humor behind the gruff exterior and he rolled his eyes, "Of course we wouldn't, not without you. Come on Allan, I'll not be the only one glad to leave these shores."
Tom groaned as Allan helped him to his feet, fending off Jekyll's attempts to check on his bandages and started to walk along with Allan to question the Scientists. He had been out for the entire of the aftermath and had almost no idea of what was happening. But his eyes fell on Skinner's motionless body and he tottered towards the thief instead, all other thoughts vanished. "What happened? Is he going to be all right?" He sunk down set to Skinner, glancing up towards Jekyll with a questioning shimmer in his eyes.
"He will be quite well soon enough. He has a few broken ribs, all he needs is rest now." Tom nodded, "I'm going to stay with him." Allan rested his hand on the agent's shoulder before he let Jekyll and Mina direct him towards Nemo's men that were holding the scientists.
Skinner shifted about, unable to find a comfortable place to lay. He wasn't really aware, everything was rather foggy and muffled. And not in a warm sleepy way either, much the opposite. He gasped softly as a sharp lance of pain took his breath away, but a soothing voice cut through the fog. The thief couldn't hear the words, though it might have been better that way. While the voice may have been comforting, the words certainly weren't.
"Damn you, Skinner, I'm going to kill you if you aren't alright. At least I get to hold this one over you, and, at any rate, I have a few more scars to show next time." The agent smiled lightly and laid a hand gently on the thief's shoulder, though he had to feel about for a minute because he wasn't exactly sure where it was located.
"Tom?" The hoarse voice caught Sawyer off guard and he jumped, accidentally jarring Skinner in the process. The thief groaned and swallowed convulsively and he heard Tom's worried apologies fade into a low buzz and then gradually become coherent once again. Skinner blinked his eyes to clear away the dizziness and tried to sit up. Tom pushed him back before his abused ribs could protest too badly. "Yeah, it's me. How do you feel?"
The thief rested a hand carefully across his stomach, "Like Hyde decided to use me as a rug. 'ow about you?" Tom smiled faintly, "A bit better I should think." The thief grunted and winced, "Well you're lucky then, I guess. Where are the others? Did we, er…complete the mission?" Tom sighed softly, "We did for this part, the others are squeezing information out of our prisoners. Hopefully they know something important, it would save us some trouble in any case." Skinner nodded, then remembered himself and spoke aloud for Tom's benefit, "Well, that's good, I guess. A very small trouble taken care of, but a problem no less." His voice sounded a bit more apprehensive than he had meant it to be and Tom gave him a curious look but decided not to say anything, besides, he might have just heard the thief wrong.
They sat in silence for a while, the gashes on Tom's chest stung brutally and no doubt Skinner was in pain. He hoped that Allan and the others would be done soon. Somewhere in his blackening thoughts, Tom knew that it was a very selfish thing to think, but he didn't care right then. Tom felt about for Skinner's shoulder and, after a moment, found that he was asleep…or passed out. Tom was sure that he wasn't far from the same state himself. His foggy thoughts already confirmed it. It was seconds before Tom slumped besides the unconscious thief, welcoming the warm blackness.
Skinner awoke with a yelp of fright. His heart was beating painfully fast and his ragged breaths triggered a more physical throb in his chest. Pressing a hand lightly to his bandaged ribs, Skinner slowed his breathing and tried to recall what had woken him up. Looking about, the thief realized that he was completely alone. Now, why was that an odd thing? Taking in that he wasn't in the infirmary, nor was he lying somewhere on the ground in the middle of the bloody jungle, Skinner concluded that he must be in his room and therefore alone unless Jekyll or Tom decided to shack up with him. Skinner finished his ramblings, resolving that it had been a bad dream which woke him, and nothing more.
The door opened, which only made Skinner start again before he realized that it was only Henry. He glowered at the doctor, not caring that he wouldn't be able to see it. "You scared me 'alf to death, Jekyll. What do you mean by burstin' in 'ere and disturbin' a chaps rest?"
Henry smiled gently, obviously glad that Skinner was feeling well enough to be in a bad mood. "Glad to see you awake, Mr. Skinner. I was afraid you would sleep all the way to Cairo. Skinner gave a start, and groaned as it jostled his aching ribs. "'Ow long 'ave I been out, and 'ow long before we get to-er, where is it that we're goin' again?"
The doctor groped about until he located Skinner and pushed the thief back into his bed. "'Cairo' is the capital of the country Egypt; and you have been 'out', as you put it, for nearly two days." Jekyll snorted softly, "Though it seems longer, I have had a devil of a time keeping Agent Sawyer out of here." Skinner tried to breathe lightly and grinned, he could imagine Sawyer trying to sneak away. No doubt Jekyll had confined the agent to his room as well. Though for the life of him he couldn't imagine why Henry hadn't just shut them both up in the infirmary like he normally would have, and he told the doctor so.
"I thought that you both would appreciate the comfort of your rooms before we proceed to out next mission." Replied Jekyll, taking a seat next to the thief's bed and snatching up his wrist to take his blood pressure. "Besides, I didn't feel much up to the task of trying to force either of you to stay put. Heaven knows you both need to rest as much as you are able and you would have been trying to reach your rooms the minute my back was turned. Though I see how that idea failed seeing as how Agent Sawyer has demonstrated that it is not the location at all, you both merely wish to drive me into an early grave.." Skinner nodded and grinned, knowing that Jekyll wouldn't see him, but it was more of a gesture to himself than to the doctor.
After Henry had been satisfied that the thief was on the mend, he took his leave from the room with the dire warning to stay in bed. Skinner grunted his compliance, not really wanting to get up anyway, though he was now thinking about it just to annoy Jekyll. Settling for taking a nap, the invisible thief let the Nautilus's whirring engines put him to sleep.
Tom sat wide awake in his room. Unlike Skinner he hadn't been injured near enough to stop him from getting into mischief, though nor was he well enough to be in a good mood. He flopped back with a small wince and huffed in frustration. He was running out of ways to get out of his room, and the agent desperately needed some sort of activity to curb the bone shattering boredom of the day. Of course he had been forbidden to go see Skinner, and Allan had only time for several hasty visits before he was called away. The agent had tried to fiddle about with a deck of cards, but it was boring to have no one but oneself to play with and it grew old very quickly.
Rolling his eyes, Tom threw off his covers and climbed to his feet, hopping slightly on the cold floor until he located his stockings and began pulling them on rather ungracefully. He had finished the last button in his shirt just as he reached the door, and was surprised to find that it opened before he could reach the handle. It seemed that Allan was just as surprised to see him. Dragging the hunter through the entrance, Tom closed the door swiftly. "Thank God you've come, now I don't have to sneak out."
Tom could see that Allan was trying to look stern, but failing when the agent cast a pleading stare up at him. "Jekyll won't be happy." Tom scuffed his socked feet on the floor and shoved his hands into his pockets, "Of course he will be, he's always happy when he's got somebody to doctor up and boss around." Tom raised his eyes from where he had positioned them on the floor for a quick look at Quatermain. He was smiling reproachfully. "That's not very nice." Tom, however, was sure that he caught the Hunter mutter an addition of, "Though you're probably right."
Shrugging in easy defeat, Allan pushed the door open once again, "All right, but nothing strenuous, and certainly no shooting. We'll take a walk and nothing more else I'll be the one staring down the barrel of a gun." Tom snorted at the mental image of the stately doctor holding Quatermain's elephant gun.
Fortunately enough they didn't encounter Henry at all on their jaunt around the Nautilus. Though of course it could have been because they were trying their hardest to avoid him. Tom was glad he agreed to take it easy, after a while he began to feel the ache in his chest and his breaths came a bit quicker than they would have normally, not to mention he was a bit dizzy. He would have been hard pressed to actually do anything that required more physically activity than a simple stroll. Tom eventually led Allan to Skinner's room, it had been his first goal to go see the thief, but he had momentarily forgotten his aim due to the exhilaration he felt to be out of his room. He was surprised to see that Skinner hadn't already caused the mayhem he was so fond of by trying multiple escape plans.
But then again, broken ribs were nothing to sneeze at…literally. Allan stood by the door and let Tom creep up to the thief's bedside. He hadn't said anything when they opened the door, so the agent figured he was either sleeping or unconscious. Hopefully it wasn't the latter, Tom knew that Skinner had been pretty beaten up, but he hadn't thought it to be that bad. After a moment, Tom decided not to shake the thief, he was better off sleeping anyway. Jekyll hadn't been lying when he said they would need all the rest they could get.
So the agent settled for settling himself down in a chair next to Skinner, maybe he would appreciate the company when he awoke. Tom knew he would if Skinner or Allan was by his bedside when he woke up, it was a good feeling knowing he had been missed. Though slightly uncomfortable to think he had made them worry.
He didn't have to wait long, after a while a slightly sleep slurred voice announced that the thief had awoken, "So, your room ain't good enough for you all of a sudden?" Tom grinned, "I thought I'd move in, seeing as how I'm here all the time anyway." Tom had the distinct feeling that Skinner was smiling. "'Elp me up, I think I'll go to your room. Huh, that'd really make 'em think we was off our rockers. Just up and change rooms for a bit, eh?" Tom laughed, "I suppose it would."
Tom's laughter quieted when he saw that the thief truly needed a hand up. The agent could practically feel Allan boring a hole in his back with his eyes, mentally informing him that Skinner should stay in bed. Tom didn't need the Hunter's silent stare to know that the thief was worse off than he was. Pulling out the pack of cards still in his shirt pocket, Tom shuffled them nonchalantly. "How about a game. I haven't played in a while." If Skinner noticed that he was being misdirected, he didn't let on.
Tom was pretty sure that he had caught the concern in his words, however, because even if the thief was surly about being sent back to bed like a child, he didn't complain. He may have even been grateful for it judging by the unevenness of his breaths that hinted they might be a bit painful. "I'll come back in an hour or two, all right, Tom?" Both the agent and thief jumped as Allan's voice rang out from by the door. Tom had temporarily forgotten he was there. Nodding, and throwing a smile over his shoulder, Tom began to deal out a hand to himself and Skinner.
Faust: I have to admit that I have a soft spot for him too…come to think on it, I guess I have a soft spot for every thief. I do so love thieves.
Silent Bob 546: Sheepish grin It was kind of confusing for me too, how embarrassing, the next fight scene will be much clearer. Don't worry, I didn't kill him, I need him alive to torture him later.
Sawyer Fan: And there's plenty more father/son moments to go. Thanks for reading, reviews keep me going.
Diablocat: I know, isn't funny. You'd think people would love to see their least favorite's get fatally or near fatally hurt at every twist and turn…but sadly no, I'm doomed as we all are to torture that ones we love. Hmmm…isn't there a good quote by some old famous dead guy who said something along those lines? Oh well, I'll look it up some other time. Thanks a bunch for your reviews!
Sky Bird/Wing: So sorry this is late, I'm so terrible for updates. You should all stone be or burn me at the stake. Or you could read this and think up deviously delightful deaths for my next late update. Wow, that's a tongue twister if I ever wrote one. Just to let you know, frantic replies make me feel really guilty about not writing so feel free to let fly .
Ten Mara: Yeah I know, but being invisible helps the angst a bit, I'm a fan for angst but for some reason I can never write it. I get all sad and have to write something humorous or comforting because I get all sorry for the characters. I dearly love a good father/son moment, and even more do I love friendship fics…which this is by the way…Anyhoo, thanks for reading and reviewing, I appreciate it.
Claire: Yeah, they're my favorite too, they just seem to go together so well…as friends that is, I'm not a fan of slash. Sigh friendships fics are so much fun to write.