Outside Houston, Texas, 7:30 am
"And with Breaking news out of San Angelo, Texas tonight. What started out as a routine response by emergency services turned out to be the discovery of the year." The perky blonde news caster reported. "In this home, belonging to City Councilman Sergeant Christopher Corbin, overwhelmingly large amounts of evidence have linked him to the disappearance of now 15 year old Rion Paige Hickenbottom of San Antonio. An attic room was bolted shut, windows boarded up, and names were carved in the ceiling, all names of people known to have been searching for the teen. .
A dark haired man continued with the story. "Also in the house was a man identified as Daniel Armstrong. He appeared to have suffered second and third degree burns all over his body, and was also suffering from severe smoke inhalation. He is in poor, but stable condition at a local hospital. Both men are in Police custody at the time, and are being questioned. As for Rion Hickenbottom, there was no sign of her, and fire marshals believe that she may have started the fire to make her escape. If you have seen, or have any information on Rion Corbin, please contact your local authorities." The man gave a bit of a sad smile before switching subjects. "And now on to Sports with Ollie Jamison. Ollie, how about those Texans?"
Mark Calloway shut off the news. The cup of coffee he'd been drinking almost didn't seem strong enough now. That little girl was stronger than anyone gave her credit for. She was smart, tough and damn sure resourceful if she set a house on fire to get out of it. She would find her way home soon, he was sure of it. Feeling a lot lighter than he had in months, he made a call up to San Antonio to see just how Mike was handling things.
Paul Levesque was watching the same CNN report in Los Angeles where Raw was being hosted. His goddaughter was on the run. Not completely out of danger, this country was full of sick bastards, but free from whatever those rat bastards had been doing to her. He wasn't about to pretend that he wasn't worried, he'd gotten a call from Cena just hours ago saying that the Kid wasn't trying to come right home, but he understood her paranoia. Walking out on to the balcony and letting the morning air stimulate him, he thought about the feisty little brunette girl that he'd grown to love.
"Good Luck, Kid…but we're gonna find you somehow…" he spoke into the wind.
City after city rolled past her, but none of them felt right yet. She wanted a city big enough that she couldn't be found easily, but still small enough that she could find her way around without problems. There were plenty of stops left until New York, and she knew for a fact, that wasn't the city for her. It was way too big.
So there she sat, munching on a large bag of Cheddar Fries that she'd bought at a rest stop in Indianapolis, wondering what city would strike her fancy.
She started to get off in Indianapolis, but it was way too big. Little Rock was way too close to Texas. Cleveland was definitely far away enough; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a big selling point. And Columbus was pretty cool from what she'd seen of it. But no, it just didn't feel right to run away to Ohio…who ran away to Ohio?
But this city, this city was pretty cool. Sure, it was cold as shit right now, but the city was kind of pretty, she knew that the WWE traveled there at least once a year, sometimes twice, and it was just big enough. This wouldn't be too bad.
Rion pulled the stolen coat back on, stuffed her snack and bottle of Gatorade into the pockets, and when the bus was being boarded, she snuck off while the bus driver was helping a lady stick a giant suitcase down below.
After she walked into the bus station, she grabbed a map of the city and after checking local time (4:15 am) she started to plot.
She had a little over 400 dollars in her pocket. She was 15 years old, and had no sort of ID, birth certificate or identification of any sort. Her best bet was definitely lying about her age. Saying that she was 17 would pass, and people would be more likely to hire her for work.
Rion stiffened when she noticed eyes on her. Keeping casual, she glanced up at the clock again. As she looked back, she noticed a pair of teens looking at her. The boy was tall, with brown hair that just brushed his collar but fell into his eyes. The girl was blonde, and thin with an air of toughness that her delicate looks opposed.
Their clothes were over sized, but clean. And they were looking at her a little too intently for her tastes. So Rion did what she did best; she ran.
She ran out of the bus station, turned right and bolted down the street. At the next corner, she turned again, and kept running. She could hear their feet pounding behind her.
She darted into an alley and hopped up on a dumpster and started climbing a fire escape. The two came down opposite ends of the alley and met in the middle.
"Where do you think she went?"
"I don't know, but that wad of money she flashed was huge. It would feed us for a while," the girl answered with a dark grin.
Rion growled under her breath before letting herself fall back on top of the dumpster. She was pissed and quite honestly rearing for a fight. The boy was taller than her, and obviously didn't take her seriously. The girl though, she was a different story.
She made a swing at Rion's head and all of a sudden, Ri was in the ring again. She could hear Coop's voice shouting at her in her ear. A fight was her element. She could always use a good one.
She ducked, punched, blocked and even kicked. Soon the girl was on the ground, Rion's foot planted in her throat, holding her there. The boy was glaring at her hard.
"You take one more step towards me, and I'll crush her fucking windpipe."
The boy no longer looked upset. Now he looked impressed.
"Not bad kid. Not bad at all." He smirked. "I'm Damien. That's Tanner."
"So the fuck what?"
"Will you let her up? She's turning blue." He grabbed her by her shoulders and pulled her away. Tanner stood up, rubbing her neck as she gave Rion an unreadable look. "Look. You're new around here, right? No offense, but you're lucky we tried to rob you and not someone else. Other people like guns, and they wouldn't heisitate to shoot you."
"What's your point?"
"Look, you should stick with us." Tanner spoke finally. "You have enough money right now that we could be fed well for at least a couple of months. And we have a place to say. We know this city, and you need us just like we need you. What do you say?"
"What's to say you two don't steal my money while I'm sleeping and disappear on me anyway?"
"Damn, she's good." Tanner laughed. "Look this is a win, win for the three of us. You can fight your ass off, and we know where to find everything. We have about 15 bucks right now, and resources for more. What do you say? What's your name, Kid?"
Rion almost replied, but thought again. New city, new name, new person. She could be whoever she wanted to be.
"My name's Roque." She said coolly.
And just like that, she was somebody else. Her old life was just that, and no one was going to tell her any different.
But what happens later on, when the years have rolled by, and she still hasn't contacted any family? What happens when her past catches up with her? Who will she be able to run to after all of her bridges have been burned.
All of a sudden, when it all comes down to it being stuck between A Roque and a Hard Place is never any fun.
A/N: And just like that, it's all over! I know it's really open ended; but that's just the way I wanted it. And the first chapter of the sequel will be posted in time for Christmas. It's tentatively titled A Roque and a Hard Place and will bring back most of if not all of your favorite characters from Darlin'. I really hope you guys liked this fic, I hope you guys stick around for the continuation of Rion's journey, and more than anything, I hope you review.
Thanks for sticking with me through all of this guys,