Title: Dark Alley - Chapter 1

Disclaimer: This is intended as a fan fiction, on characters owned by their original creators. I am not making a profit out of it. Neither I intend to lessen the original worth of the series or its different characters.

The alley was dark; dark as pitch, dark as night, and as dark as his thoughts. There was nothing that he could see, not without even so much as a stray moonbeam, but he could feel that his pants were wet and clinging to him like a second skin. He'd lost his shoes; where, he had no idea. At the moment it didn't matter. Remembering how he'd arrived in this condition seemed a much better pursuit…

"Carlito! For God's sake! Carlito...!"

The man who belonged to that voice sounded concerned. He struggled, but felt himself slipping into oblivion... deeper and deeper. The world seemed far away. It was a strange sensation. He floated, his thoughts fluffy as a homemade mousse; mouth, eyes and nose pricking just enough to remind him he was alive. It was almost soothing, relaxing-- a sweet caress to his overloaded senses. No information to process, no rush, no sense of duty; just peace and quiet, a balm to his troubled soul.

His was indeed a troubled soul. In the protecting void that surrounded him it didn't seem right to call for forward thoughts. Floating; floating was all right. Those rosy lights, suave, dancing in front of his eyes. Were those coming from a Windows 7 start up screen? The thought seemed to fit just right. Bright soft dots connecting. Soon they'd be meeting each other, gravity forcing them to create something bigger, important, meaningful, like his team did... and he was a part of it.

The team. What happened to the team? Top? Mack? Bob? Oh, Geezuz... Sweet Geezuz... No...

Ten days before

"Talk!" Grey remained silent just staring at the syringe in Jonas hands. Jonas felt his patience slip. "You have nothing to say? You had plenty to say when you were sick and stoned in that hospital. Now suddenly you don't have opinion on anything? That you were in a restricted wing doesn't mean you were not monitored," Jonas stared down onto the smaller man, looming over him.

"Sit your butt down, Carlito." Bob too gave him no quarter.

"Why are you lying to us? Truth ain't pretty for you?" Jonas mocked.

"What is that for?" Carlito's gaze never left the syringe, feeling more than seeing the stares of Bob and Mack. His tone demanded a straight answer from Jonas. "Is it for me, Jonas? You gonna put me down?"

He didn't give Jonas a chance to respond. Carlito had one chance, and he took it. A kick forced Jonas back, and a wild strike at Bob's face pushed the other away. A second kick, this one to the sweet spot, put Mack onto the floor and Carlito out through the door.

He had a five second head start, and Carlito would make the most of it. He ran. His brain switched automatically to survival mood; no place, no capacity for second thoughts on what had just happened: that he had just been set up by the people he cared most for in the whole world.

He quickly assessed his best options and went for a car, not too old, nor too shiny, where he could escape from the immediate surroundings. First stop, a grocery store for some basic supplies.