A/N: I realize it's kind of dead over here, and most consider this movie to be dumb, but I happen to really like it and after a few months I decided to post this story. I didn't think there was enough Quinn romance and I had a cool character that needed to be unleashed from my head, so here you go.
It all started with fog; thick English fog that likes to mist across the screen in crappy horror films and maybe, if you're like me, in nightmares. Fog so thick that you feel like you're trapped in a cloud or being smothered by a sticky, wet pillow. Because that's how I felt; sticky, damp, and smothered. Not to mention pissed off. Jacqueline had made some snide remark about my bum leg and that I wasn't helping out enough. She said she deserved obedience; that after saving me from that dragon and taking me in, carrying me after I'd ran so long, that she at least wanted that. But there was always "just that", and there were always orders, and hiding, and I was just sick of it.
So, I did what I normally do; I let her yell at me. I stood there while she complained about how she should have left me back where she found me, sprawled across the road bleeding. I can still remember the moment she screamed of, I can still remember when I first saw the dragons. It was twelve years ago. I was idly eating a bowl of fruit loops as I watched my dad type on his computer. I was eight at the time, and had spent only a year in London after my dad moved us back to his hometown in hopes that the familiar scenery would inspire him to write another bestseller. That would have made it his fourth, if he'd had the chance. My real mother, who he met in the states, had died on my first birthday. The only memory I have of her is a glossy yearbook picture my dad kept in his room. I can barely remember that much now.
I can still remember the cries of the dragons sounding so close. We knew the protocol and we went to take refuge in our underground safe house. We almost made it; we were so close when one of the scaled beasts snapped him up in a wave of hot air. I don't know how I was able to move fast enough, but I escaped by practically diving underground.
Only after three agonizingly long days of crying and becoming almost sick with some onset of claustrophobia was I able to will up the nerve to run…and I did. I didn't stop running until I couldn't move anymore. I collapsed, my shoes worn in a way I'd never experienced, and my breath taking nearly forever to fill my lungs again. As my adrenaline charge began to wear down, I noticed a large gash in my leg. The wound covered the whole outer side of my thigh to the beginning of my shin, and had nearly destroyed my knee. I passed out, the pain of simply seeing it too hard to handle at that point. When I woke up I was lying on concrete, looking up at three blank faces inside a dark room.
These faces continued to stare at me as Jacqueline's voice grew louder. Her husband, Brandon, stood off to the side, looking only slightly interested as their daughter, Kim, laid in bed, clutching her stomach. Jacqueline said she shouldn't have brought me into their bunker, raised me like Kim, or fed me the small scraps they had to eat. It had really been Kim's idea that I stay, she chose to reveal. Kim, her then ten year old daughter, wanted to bring me in like a mangled puppy. I could believe what she said, because the whole damn family treated me that way. While they did give me shelter and food, their relationships with me ended there. It was always made clear, at least how I saw it, that I was simply a pet to the family. I was even trained by Jacqueline, who had been in the military. She taught me how to use my arms as my support, my strength, because the lack of medical supplies left my leg to heal on its own as the torn tissue fused back in a garbled, bloated mess. And while I can walk, I'll never run again. I needed a means of defense, so she showed me how to tactfully use my arms, to throw, lift, push, and pull. My arms now carry almost all of the muscle that still exists on my body, or as much as they can with the little food we have around here.
My arms are what got me into this ordeal. They were tense as her screaming subsided and she stared, hoping her warnings about what could happen if I kept taking so many breaks in my digging would sink in. We've only been here a couple of weeks, she had repeated over and over, we don't know these people, and they could give us the boot at will. When I was sure she was finished, I walked past her and out of our room. I stormed down the hall and did the dumbest thing possible; I went to get some fresh air.
Despite not going to any formal school after the second grade, I wouldn't call myself, on a good day, stupid. But today, I was stupid. Outside in the fog, I griped the wooden handle of an ax I found lying under some stairwell. I wanted above anything to chop someone up, anyone; I thought as I scanned the fog for a moving object. But when none came I hurled the sharp blade into the sky.
I thought that would have been the end of it. I thought that this would have been like the time I broke Jacqueline's glass at last night's dinner when she tried eating some of my ration; that it would blow over, that the ax was history. That was before I heard the familiar shriek. The sound rang through my ears like an electrical pulse and my body locked up in complete resistance to the countless drills. There was only a second until an even louder thud took its place, and then a crash.
The fog seemed to instantly clear, and my mind was brought back to some poorly made scary movie. Laying in front of me in a pierced and gory mess was a dragon, a dead dragon. The weapon I threw may have managed to hit something fatal nerve or it could have been wounded already, it looked bloody in several places, or maybe it was even a mix of both. I don't really know.
They all thought it was skill…but I knew well enough that I was damn lucky. Or at least I did when I regained the ability to speak, to do more than nod as the attractive bearded man I'd seen around seemed to be asking me questions. His face was contorted with a look I couldn't put my finger on as he mouthed things I wasn't able to hear. After a while I remember him placing his hand on my shoulder and leading me inside.
A celebration was created, everyone gathered around then spread out as they drank and cheered. Someone took me to this table and sat a plate in front of me. It's a normal serving dish with half a tomato sliced open, the color reminding me of the dragon.
"I killed it," I say aloud, the words feeling like scales in my throat.
"I know;" I hear a distinct British voice answer.
I jerk my head from my plate and see the same guy sitting across from me, eating the other half of the tomato. Some stray juice runs down a little on his chin but he doesn't seem to notice.
"What you did was a very brave thing. You saved thousands of lives. You…"
"But it was an accident," I assert.
"Kristen, nothing is an accident," he says warmly.
There's that look in his eyes again and somewhere in the back of my mind I want to say I've seen it before, that I used to know what it was.
"Kristen, that took a lot of strength," he speaks slowly. "You…"
He continues to praise me for something I haven't really done, at least not on purpose. But by now I don't really care. For some reason the only things that seem to be sticking are the image of that dragon's glossy-eyed stare and a being weirdly pleased he knows my name.
I would love reviews...it would let me pretend I'm not talking to myself.