Rating: UK15 or M for language, violence and adult themes.
Word Count: 4095
Summary: A killer explains. To them, it all makes perfect sense. AU.
Spoilers: I'm assuming from THIS point on that you've seen the whole show - even though this is AU, if you don't know the identity of the killer, read no further. Not even the notes!
Notes: Kindly beta'd by Crickets - many thanks, particularly with the Americanisms. Any and all remaining mistakes are my own. Written for The Cannery 2009 Stocking Stuffer Exchange for Titilayo (viennawaits) whose requests included Henry/Sully, an AU where Henry isn't the killer and any rating. I do hope you like my take. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!
"Ok, first Trish, then we find Abby and Jimmy."
"TRISH!" Henry yelled hoarsely. The sky was overcast, giving the woods around him a gloomy look and he had to fight against despair. He could not give up hope. Trish was strong and if any of them could survive this ordeal through force of personality alone, it would be her.
"TRIIIISH!" Sully yelled, just ahead of him. He was getting on Henry's nerves, the way he elongated her name and made it almost but not quite sing-song. This wasn't hide and seek and holding a loaded shotgun was no guarantee against Wakefield's machinations.
They walked another moment in silence, straining their ears in the hope of hearing a faint cry and in fear of hearing footsteps closing in on them.
"Hey," Sully muttered, finally breaking the heavy silence. "You sure this is the way she ran? Just… it doesn't feel like we're close to the Candlewick."
Henry glanced around in growing horror. In all the excitement he might have got himself turned around and he had to admit, he no longer knew the woods of the island the way he had when he was younger.
"I'm not entirely sure," he admitted, ashamed. Trish was relying on him and he was making schoolboy mistakes. He'd never forgive himself if anything happened to her because he couldn't keep a straight head. "I think maybe we should be bearing right."
"You know, I don't get how Wakefield coulda got out that jail cell," Sully remarked, barely shifting direction. He was still following the path they'd landed on, though Henry supposed it might not be a great idea to leave it in case they really did get lost. That wouldn't do Trish any good at all. "He must have had help," Sully continued, bringing him back to the present.
"Yeah, but, who?" Henry replied, not entirely certain it mattered for the moment. It wasn't going to help them find Trish and WHY wasn't Sully moving faster?!
"It had to be one of us, man; no-one else." Sully glanced over his shoulder, making eye contact for a second before returning his attention to the woods and hefting the butt of the shotgun into his shoulder a little more snugly.
Henry desperately wanted to tell his friend to step up the pace, but had to concede the point. Sully was right; if Wakefield had an accomplice, then they were up against two, not one, and if it was one of them helping Wakefield, then it was someone they trusted. Oh God, had one of his friends killed JD? No matter how much he'd complained about what a pain his brother was, how anti-social and embarrassing, he'd never wanted anything to happen to him. JD finally seemed to be turning some sort of corner; he'd stopped self-harming, he'd accepted the wedding invite, he'd made an effort. And Henry had thrown it all back in his brother's face, assuming the worst, believing he was capable of murder. They would never have been close, but they were family and JD had been trying.
"It couldn't have been Jimmy," Henry remarked softly, almost to himself, as he tried to sort it all out in his head. "He was nowhere near the jail. And anyway, I've pretty much known him my whole life and he just wouldn't do that. He wouldn't hurt a fly."
"But he bow hunts, right? Wasn't that old burned deputy guy shot full of arrows?" Sully snapped.
"No way! He was with Abby! He couldn't have done that… He's just not like that." Suddenly Henry was full of doubt.
"Yeah? Well, we've suspected everyone else already so why not him? JD said it was all about Abby right before he died, right? Well, Jimmy's been all about Abby ever since she stepped off that damn boat!" Sully countered, almost snarling. "He could be Wakefield's kid."
Henry swallowed. It was true. Jimmy was clearly every bit as much in love with Abby now as he had been when she'd left seven years ago. But could he really go on a killing spree over a broken heart? Shane… Shane he could have believed it of. That guy had always been the definition of unstable, even as a kid. Yet somehow he'd managed to hold on to Jimmy's friendship over all that time. The idea that Jimmy would have let Wakefield kill Shane was really what made up Henry's mind.
"Not Jimmy," he stated firmly. "He wasn't anywhere near the jail when Wakefield escaped and he never saw him after we locked him up so it's not like he could have slipped him a knife or a key or something." The facts precluded argument. Whatever Sully's problem with Jimmy was, it couldn't be allowed to cloud the issue. There had been too much of that sort of thing from the start of this whole nightmare.
"What about us?" Sully asked. "We tied him up. We locked him up. Could have been one of us slipped him the key."
"Don't say that, ok? None of us would have done that. Even if Abby's mom had Wakefield's kid, there's nothing to say it's one of us. Could be anyone. And why would it turn out as wacko as him?"
Sully gave an unamused snort. "Maybe the kid's just really pissed? I mean, he's got a lot to be pissed about."
"What are you talking about, Sully?" Henry asked, suddenly angry. They were getting way off-topic here; they were meant to be searching for Trish, first and foremost. "We don't have time for games, our lives are on the line. Trish's life is on the line. She might be hurt!"
He paused and took a deep breath, ready to yell for her again, as long and as loud as he could because he was damned if he was going to give up searching.
"His mom abandoned him," Sully pointed out as he continued to walk on ahead. "Left him to be adopted by strangers; losers who never told him the truth that he wasn't even theirs."
"Sure, that sucks, but so what? Everyone's got problems but the rest of us don't go killing and torturing strangers to make ourselves feel better!" Henry snapped.
"If people lied to me my whole life, yeah, I'd be pissed. And if my real dad turned up and told me the truth for the first time in my life, I'd be fuckin' grateful. I'd feel free. And I'd want revenge."
Sully's tone was calm enough, but it didn't match his words and Henry was really starting to feel uneasy with the conversation. It felt like a cold finger being trailed down his spine. Sully was sympathising with this monster? Was this Stockholm Syndrome or something? Henry had heard about it, but it seemed so incredible that a hostage could feel anything but hate and loathing for their kidnapper that he'd never really believed it was anything but psychobabble bullshit. And yet here was his best man, his friend since junior high, empathising with a man responsible for holding them on this island to die, horribly, one by one.
"Enough, Sully!" Henry demanded. "We don't need to see inside this freak's head, we just need to shoot it!"
Ahead of him, Sully stopped in his tracks, pausing before looking over his shoulder. "Yeah, sorry. It's just, you know…" he apologised, though without much feeling. They were all beginning to get a little like that, Henry realised sadly, becoming so inured to the horrors they'd been forced to witness that they were starting to run with ice in their veins. He could only hope that everyone would get help once they were off the island. He refused to consider the possibility that everyone who was left might not make it.
"TRISH!" he yelled again.
They'd been walking through the woods for over half an hour now and despite constant shouting, there was no sign of Trish. In his heart of hearts, Henry knew that if she was there and she could have responded, she would have. He had to believe she was safe. He had to believe he would see her again or he simply wouldn't be able to take another step.
"I think maybe we should head back to the Sheriff's Office," he suggested hoarsely. "Trish might have headed there to find Danny when she left the chalet." He shook his head, ceasing his scanning of the wood for just a moment. "I shouldn't have left her," he added, mostly to himself.
"Danny's dead," Sully replied calmly.
"You don't know that, man!"
Henry didn't want to believe it either, but he knew Danny's chances were slim. If Shane couldn't beat Wakefield hand-to-hand then Danny probably couldn't. Henry knew he'd only managed to hold his own against Shane because the bigger man had been stunned when his head had hit the door. If they hadn't been pulled apart, Shane would have quickly gotten the upper-hand – and then made him pay. Picking fights with the island's resident psycho probably wasn't the smartest thing he'd ever done, but Abby's life had been on the line. And it meant he and JD had something in common after all. That thought was enough to make him smile, just a little.
"Danny's dead," Sully repeated, just as calmly as before. He stopped and turned to face Henry. "And so's Trish."
Henry opened his mouth, desperate to argue, desperate to convince Sully to keep going, but he saw the acceptance in his friend's face. Sully no longer believed their friends could be saved and for a moment, Henry felt despair beginning to overwhelm him. Sully was right, they had no chance against men who saw no value in life except to enjoy taking it.
And suddenly, Henry felt the despair melt away to be replaced by white hot anger. Sully was giving in? Well it was just like him! Sully always ran away! He lied to the "drug dealers" to save his own skin; he was prepared to let Madison die to save his own skin; he'd happily take the first chopper from the marina he could and to Hell with Trish and Danny and Abby and Jimmy… And suddenly Henry had had enough of it. Sully could give up, give in, lie down and wait for death to come for all he cared, because he was going to keep going. If it was the last thing he ever did, Henry Dunn would find his love and save her from this God forsaken place.
"I killed her."
What? For a moment, his brain couldn't process those three, simple words. Sully killed Trish?
"No, Sully, Trish isn't dead," Henry stated firmly. "I can't believe that. You know none of this is your fault, right? I could have shot Wakefield too, but I didn't. None of us could. This isn't your fault." Henry shook his head. "We just have to keep looking."
He waited to see the effect of his words, hoping he had reassured the other man that he was in no way to blame for the situation and that hope was not gone.
"No, Henry." Sully was smiling now. "I killed her. Dead." He made a stabbing motion with his right hand but before Henry even realised it, the momentary chance of disarming him was past and the hand was back on the gun and the finger on the trigger. "Killed your whiney little brother too, at the marina," he continued, maddeningly calm. "I was lucky; Abby almost caught me but it would have been too soon for her. I had planned to kill Chloe but I couldn't pass up the opportunity when JD stumbled along."
"SHUT UP!" Henry yelled, surprising even himself. "SHUT UP!"
"It made Chloe's death all the more touching later, don't you think?" Sully continued, as though he'd never been interrupted. "She had a chance to get away but she sacrificed herself to be with that little bastard in the afterlife. She really was ghoulish, even to the end," he laughed, with an exaggerated shudder.
"Why are you doing this? Why are you telling me this?" Henry demanded.
"We're friends, right? I mean, there's been a few bumps along the way, but we're friends so you deserve to know. You know everything else about me."
Henry was dimly aware that it was the way his old friend was being so reasonable that was really freaking him out, but his legs were rooted to the spot, like the trees surrounding them. Bumps? What bumps? Was he talking about when he hit on Trish? Because that wasn't a bump; it wasn't even an issue. That was just Sully being Sully. He hit on anything with a pulse, including Henry himself once or twice.
"I didn't kill them all," Sully assured him suddenly, as though that fact was any sort of comfort. "My dad did a lot of them."
"Your dad sells home insurance to retirees in Florida," Henry stated desperately, despite the painful gnawing in his belly telling him that wasn't the dad Sully was referring to.
Sully laughed. "That loser? I hadn't seen him in years till I killed him a few days ago. No, I'm talking about my real dad. John Wakefield. He's the only person who's never lied to me."
"Sully…" Henry pleaded, with no idea what to say next. He knew what was coming. "Chris, we've been friends since we were, like, twelve… Come on…"
"I decapitated Reverend Fain. I harpooned Richard Allan, that was fun. I even stabbed Katherine in the Candlewick while everyone was looking for Madison. Shane was just standing there, looking out the window; all he had to do was turn around and he'd have caught me. Man, that was such a rush!" And Henry saw his old friend really meant it. Sully's eyes were almost as wide as his grin; the perverse pleasure he'd taken in the act was clear to see.
Henry tried to look around for a weapon, anything that could help him at all, but all he had was a small flick knife buried deep in his jeans pocket and that was no use against a shotgun at point blank range, even if Sully was generous enough to give him time to open it.
"Sully, stop…" he begged, helplessly. There was nothing. No weapon he could use, no cavalry riding over the hill to his rescue. Maybe if he could keep Sully talking long enough Abby and Jimmy would find them, but he doubted it. "Why? Why kill Malcolm or Booth? Why kill Uncle Marty? What about Abby?"
"Oh, Abby's gonna get hers, don't worry. Malcolm was always begging for money. It was embarrassing, man, and he was never gonna pay us back. And we didn't kill Booth, he shot himself. Least that's what Malcolm told me and Danny. But you know how much the fat boy wanted to keep all that dough, so who knows?" Sully told him casually.
"What?" Henry replied, dully. Was Sully saying Malcolm killed Booth?
"They were both useless, the pair of them, so it doesn't really matter. You wanna know where I got all that money we found? From Uncle Marty! Yeah, he had it in his room. He was probably gonna invest with Wellington or something, I dunno."
"Malcolm," Henry corrected him without thinking.
"What?" Now it was Sully's turn to be confused.
Henry licked his lips. "Marty was talking about investing in Sacred Turtle. I never said anything in case he decided not to but I guess he wanted it to be a big surprise." He risked a small smile. "You know Uncle Marty. Never did anything quietly!"
"Yeah, life and soul… You see him hitting on the girls on the boat? Pathetic. Malcolm thought he was cool! But if the money was actually meant for Malcolm then it just makes the whole thing more ironic!" Sully sounded cruelly amused now and it sparked anger in Henry.
Yeah, that's me," Sully agreed with a grin. "Hi, dad!" he called, switching his gaze to a point behind Henry's right ear.
Great, two against one. But if it was true, if Sully wasn't just messing with his head, then it might be a good thing. The shotgun would be useless if Sully didn't want to risk hitting Wakefield. In fact, there was no way hitting him earlier could have been planned, it was too risky. He'd been aiming for a near-miss but actually aimed a little too well. With any luck, he'd be afraid to take any more chances like that. Henry's chances of survival had just increased from nil to one in a million, and one in a million was enough to risk everything if it meant he could warn Abby.
"Why me, Sully? We've been friends for so long, what did I do to deserve this? To deserve having Trish taken away from me? What did either of us ever do to you?" Henry demanded, watching Sully's eyes intently while straining his ears in an effort to locate Wakefield. He needed every possible edge if he was going to pull this off. He needed the elder psycho close, but not too close.
Sully laughed out loud at the questions.
"Dude, where do you want me to start? I get the loser adoptive parents, you get the decent ones that treat you like their own and take you on vacation to nice little islands! But that's not entirely your fault, I know. I'm not crazy."
The gleam in his eye would have told a different story even if it hadn't been for the trail of corpses, Henry thought.
"No, you shouldn't have laughed at me. You and Trish. You shouldn't have laughed and you shouldn't have lied!"
Sully shifted his weight to take a step forward and Henry interrupted him desperately, leaning forward slightly in the hope that would hold him back.
"I don't know what you're talking about!"
"When I kissed you!" he snarled, taking Henry completely by surprise.
"But that was years ago! We were practically kids!" Henry protested.
He'd almost forgotten it had ever happened. If it hadn't been the only reason he knew that both of them weren't completely straight, he probably would have. If Sully hadn't always made such a fuss about getting girls and getting laid, he definitely would have. Henry had always wondered if the other man wasn't simply compensating for other things, but he'd been true to his word and never spoken of it again. He'd figured if Sully ever decided he wanted to talk about it, he'd be there for him. Now he was regretting not pushing the subject. At least if they'd had a real falling out about it then he wouldn't have invited Sully to be his best man.
There was a crunch behind him, the first solid evidence someone was really there. And about ten feet away, if he was any judge. Sully was throwing unhappy glances over Henry's shoulder and he wondered if maybe this part hadn't been planned. Were raging homicidal sociopaths good candidates to be homophobic? Henry hoped so because the subject definitely seemed to be upsetting Sully and if it could distract the other crazy, so much the better.
"I didn't mean to laugh, Sully, I was just embarrassed, you know? I mean, I never made fun of you, did I? I just didn't see you like that. I loved Trish."
As soon as he said her name, he felt his blood run cold. Had Sully killed Trish because of him? Because he thought she was somehow in his way? Was Trish's blood ultimately on Henry's hands?
"But you lied too; I know you did. You said you weren't interested but you kissed me back!" The last part was almost a hiss and Henry knew this definitely wasn't intended for Wakefield's ears. But how could he use it without taking a shotgun blast to the face? He didn't think Wakefield was close enough yet to put Sully off using the weapon.
"I loved Trish, man; I just wanted her back. I couldn't take the chance that she wouldn't come back to me. You can understand that, right?" He tried to keep the pleading note out of his voice and failed. "Is that why you killed her? Because I loved her and not you?" he asked.
"No! I killed her because she annoyed me. She cheated on you, man. She cheated on you, she dumped you… And you just took it. And I wanted to think it was the money you were after, but we both know it wasn't." He was talking fast now, like he knew he wouldn't have time to say everything he wanted. "She'd have done it to you again – women like that don't change. I lied to you before. When I let you think that she turned me down? Cos she didn't, dude. She was totally up for it. It was like breaking up with you unleashed something in her! I. Fucked. Your. Fiancée," he told Henry smugly, enunciating every word clearly for maximum impact. "Yeah, and not just when you were on your 'break' but just a couple of days ago! She wa-"
"NO!" Henry raged, grabbing suddenly for the shotgun, getting his right on the grip over Sully's own hand and pushing it away as he threw an awkward left hook toward Sully's laughing face. By some miracle it connected, leaving Sully to stagger back with blood pouring from his nose. He tripped as he struggled to keep his balance on the uneven ground, taking Henry with him. The shotgun discharged as they hit the dirt, the noise and the flash momentarily blinding and deafening them both. They continued the struggle, Henry punching Sully with his left hand as he tried to wrench the shotgun away with the other, but Sully was able to punch with his right and with his greater weight he managed to roll Henry. Neither realised how close they were to the edge of the ledge the path ran along until, in the struggle, they rolled off.
Henry landed on top of Sully, forcing all the air from the other man's lungs but his small victory was not without cost as again the shotgun discharged and this time he was left screaming in pain as the heat from the barrel burned and melted his skin through his pullover and his head threatened to burst open. Instinctively, he threw himself back and away from the source of pain, only then spotting the moving shape above him from the corner of his eye.
He dove into the brush, seeking immediate shelter, his wounds forgotten in a new surge of adrenaline, the resounding BOOM! of Wakefield's weapon sounding impossibly loud in his already ringing ears. He continued to roll and slide down the hill, trying desperately to get his feet under him. He had only seconds before the pair would be after him and he couldn't outrun them without some sort of head start.
He managed to somehow slow his fall and scramble to his feet, grabbing a low hanging branch to slow himself down and try to regain control. But his feet went out from underneath him and he fell again, sliding down the hill face first through bushes and saplings. Only then did he feel the pain and warmth radiating from so many different parts of his body. His legs didn't seem to want to work and he had no strength left to push himself up with his arms.
Blood pounded through his skull, his ears ringing and roaring and he knew he'd been hit, probably in the lower back where he felt a new warmth, but curiously, no pain. He wanted to be grateful for that as his eyes slid closed against his will, but he could only regret that he'd now failed Abby as well as Trish.