A big thank you to Wikkid X for BETAing this for me =D Thanks also to tlep for your good advice! I don't own the Unit :(

Chapter 1

It was early and cold, the wind adding a piercing chill to the air. There was no brightness to the morning; the sun had been obliterated from the sky by the thick, black clouds that threatened to pour with rain at any moment. Lucy hated the rain; in fact, she hated any form of precipitation at all.

It was a miserable Tuesday. In the distance, office workers could be seen hurrying to and fro between huge buildings, glad that Monday was over, but depressed that it was only Tuesday, and not even half way through the week.

It had been sunny only the day before, but as it was May, British weather was somewhat unpredictable, and it was as likely to be gloriously brilliant one day as chucking it down with rain the next. It was best to be prepared, so a spotted umbrella, still slightly damp from the previous day's downpour, was currently residing in the bottom of her bag.

The street was deserted apart from the solitary girl making her way up the road. She was a pretty fifteen year old, small for her age with long, light brown hair, and dressed formally: hair pinned back neatly, blazer wrapped tightly around herself to try to keep out the wind. As she passed the mouth of a dark alley, she tripped, and was about to tumble down onto the puddle-riddled tarmac when someone caught her arm and held her steady, ensuring she didn't fall.

"Thanks," she muttered in the general direction of the person who had stopped her falling, and carried on walking, thankful that she hadn't damaged her new work clothes. She didn't get far: whoever had taken hold of her hadn't let go. She looked backwards over her shoulder and saw a man, tall and scruffy, slightly fat with a stubbly beard. She yanked her arm away from him, gratitude turning to disgust at the sight of this tramp-like creature.

"I said thank you." she snapped, wanting nothing more than to get as far away from the unpleasant smell as possible.

She started to walk away again, but the man grabbed her, this time around the shoulders, and pulled her back. She pushed him, trying to get away, but he didn't let go.

"Now, now, is that any way to treat a friend?" His words were slurred. He was drunk, even at 8 o'clock in the morning.

She looked up at him again. He was leering down at her, with an unpleasant look in his eye. Suddenly she was frightened. She struggled harder to get loose, looking around desperately for anyone nearby that might be able to help her.

"I don't know you! Get off!" The panic in her voice was audible now, and the man grinned even wider, crushing her against his chest. She could feel his putrid breath on the top of her head, and she pushed against him, scratching at his body with her nails. With one huge hand he grabbed both of her wrists, pinning her against him. She trembled as she felt him whisper in her ear.

"Feisty, hey? The boys will love you." He giggled, and licked her cheek. He stank of alcohol, and his bristles rubbed against the side of her face uncomfortably. She let out a sob. She had never been more frightened.

He thrust her away from him now, looking her up and down as if she was a horse at a market. No matter how hard she struggled, she couldn't break free. She drew in a breath to scream, but he covered her mouth with a fat, dirty hand. She bit down, hard, and he yelped and let go of her mouth, long enough for her to let out a loud scream. Instantly his arm was around her throat, cutting off her air.

"Naughty naughty," he slimed as he started dragging her into the depths of the alley. She was struggling for breath, and everything was going dark. Stars erupted in front of her eyes as she was dragged into an empty car park.

Figures slipped out of the shadows and from behind parked cars. It had grown steadily brighter as the clouds thinned, and she could see the unpleasant expressions on their faces.

"What have we here then, Davey? Gonna share with your mates then?" one of them leered, licking his lips as he looked at Lucy, who was now drifting in and out of consciousness.

"Bagsy first," another one said, "You had first go on the last one."

"You'll get what you get given," growled yet another loathsome voice. "There's plenty to go around." The arm around her throat loosened enough for her to breathe again, and she drew in deep breaths as tears coursed down her cheeks.

There was a circle of them surrounding her, and now she was being pushed around from one person to the next, being poked and prodded and groped as she went. They were pushing her faster and faster, until she became dizzy, and felt sick. Her blazer had been ripped off, her bag thrown to the side.

"No…please…" she whispered as one of them tore at her shirt, but she could do nothing to stop them.

Suddenly, there was a yell, and she was falling. She hit the floor as bodies tumbled to the ground all around her, like a strange new type of rain. The rest of the gang were running away, and someone helped her to her feet. She looked up to see who it was, only to find another circle of men around her. The one who had helped her up looked really tough, with short red hair and a large scar on his cheek. He looked dangerous, like a criminal. She struggled to get away from him, pushing him back as she stumbled into another man.

"Dirt Diver, give her here."

"Sure thing, Cool Breeze." he said, moving away. The new man took hold of her, and put his arms around her gently, cradling her as if she were a small child. She could tell he meant her no harm, so she relaxed and sobbed into his t-shirt, as the other men moved the fallen bodies and retrieved her things.

"Shhhhhhhh," he whispered. "Be strong, you'll be okay, you'll get through this." She sniffed a final time, wiped her eyes, and stepped back. She looked into the eyes of the man who had allowed her to ruin his t-shirt with her tears, and saw concern there, but not pity, for which she was thankful. She didn't want to be branded a victim. He was handsome, also with closely cropped hair.

"Sorry," she said, "I messed up your top."

He smiled slightly. "No problem. You okay now?" he asked.

She wiped her eyes again. "Yeah. Yeah I'm fine now. I'm not usually this…messed up, you know?" she replied.

"I'll take your word for it." he joked. She laughed, and he smiled again.