AN: No. Your eyes are not deceiving you. I am, in fact, getting out a new chapter of Where the Wild Things Are. I just sort of sat down and started writing it.
Chapter title from the song of the same name from the musical Spring Awakening.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Where the Wild Things Are
Written by Becks Rylynn
''The Dark I Know Well''
It all happened very fast.
She was tired. It had been a long day and she just wanted to go home, eat something and go to sleep. The sun had already gone down and it was frightening to walk alone in this place at night so Nick sent her home with a bodyguard. Sean, his name was. He didn't say much, but he kept one hand on her elbow the whole time and his eyes darted around in the dark. He was a very tense man, but Quinn could understand that given the current state of, like, everything.
They almost made it, too. They were so close. She could see her new home in the distance and all she was thinking about was curling up in her bed and sleeping because the baby was kicking all the time and she had just spent a day CPRing Nick while he made possibly flirtatious remarks. Some of them in other languages.
That was when a man - just a boy, really - stopped them. Sean seemed to know him, he called him by name. Darren. They made small talk and Quinn waited impatiently ready to do the Fabray Sneak Attack (which was basically just bitching and whining until she got her way) and then things just happened. One second Sean was nodding along with something his friend was saying and the next he was slumping to the ground because his friend had pistol whipped him. Quinn can't remember if she screamed. She thinks she probably at least tried to, but she doesn't think anyone heard her. Before she could attempt to get away, fireworks exploded behind her eyes and everything went dark.
That's how she got here.
She's cowering in a dark corner of the makeshift bar while Darren calmly slices a lime for his tequila shots. He's humming under his breath and not paying attention to her. He clearly doesn't think she's a threat. He didn't even tie her up. Of course the loaded gun sitting on the counter next to the bottle of liquor could have something to do with him trusting her not to do something stupid. Quinn tries to swallow but her throat is too dry. ''Where's Sean?'' She rasps out.
''Gone where? What did you do to him?''
''He's delivering a message for me,'' Darren says simply. He carefully pours tequila into two shot glasses and holds one out to her. ''Drink?''
''I'm pregnant,'' she sneers. ''And underage.''
He shrugs. ''Suit yourself.''
Quinn watches him knock back the shot like a pro and swallows hard, keeping her hands splayed out across her growing abdomen protectively. ''I know this sounds cliché,'' she starts, voice barely above a whisper. ''But you won't get away with this. It's impossible. You're surrounded by angry and scared people with guns and knives and all sorts of things that can only mean bad things for you.'' She shakes her head and tries to swallow the fear in her dry throat. ''They're not going to let you get out of here alive. Dean's going to kill you.''
''Maybe.'' Darren grins at her and leans his elbow on the counter, dropping his chin into the palm of his hand. ''But that's why I have you.'' He slides off the barstool and steps towards her. ''You're the bargaining chip, sweet cheeks. You're the human shield. As long as I have you, I'm safe. Dean would never let anything happen to you. He likes you. You're his replacement. You remind him of what he lost.''
''What he lost?'' She shakes her head in confusion. ''What did he lose?''
''Oh, you don't know?'' Darren laughs lightly and moves behind the bar to retrieve a beer. ''I guess I'm not that surprised. He's a private person.'' He takes a sip of the beer, studies her closely and hems and haws like he's trying to decide whether or not to tell her, even though she knows he will. He moves even closer to her and takes a seat next to her on the floor. ''So, Dean never told you about his daughter, huh?''
Quinn gulps and jerks away from him, shrinking back against the wall. She paints on her fiercest glare and looks up at him through burning eyes, trying not to think about his words still ringing in her head. Dean has a daughter? She resists the urge to ask what happened to her, reminding herself that she cannot trust a word of what he's saying. For all she knows, he could be lying about everything. ''Get away from me,'' she snarls.
She looks away from his smug face and tries to tell herself he's a lying bastard who's going straight to hell because (and maybe this is the hormones talking) it hurts more than it should to think that she's just a replacement.
Rachel cannot stop her hands from shaking.
She is sitting in a chair, biting down on her lip and wringing her shaking hands. Her fingernails are scratching at her skin and she can't even feel it when blood begins to bloom from the fresh scratches. Off to the side, Dr. McCoy is looking over Noah, who is now awake and strangely silent, jaw clenched, eyes shining with some emotion she can't quite decipher at the moment. Rachel can feel tears slipping down her cheeks and she knows her bottom lip is trembling, but she doesn't care. She doesn't care if people see her cry. She doesn't care about anything. She can't feel anything. It's scary. In times of great emotional distress, she usually sings. It helps. It has helped her since she was little and used to sing herself to sleep at night, soft lullabies and Barbara Streisand. But now...
She can't sing a note. And it's not because her throat is raw and sore from being strangled, it's not that she's too choked with tears. It's that she can't remember any of the lyrics to any of her favourite songs. She can't remember Barbara Streisand's birthday, she can't remember the name of that musical about the dancing gangs, and she can't remember the tune to Sweet Caroline. All she can think about is what she has seen tonight.
In the back of her head, there is a calm and rational voice telling her that she is in shock.
Growing up, whenever she got sad or scared, her father's would bring her a glass of water. She needs a glass of water. It will make things better. It will fix it. Her throat is so dry she can't swallow and her mouth feels woolly and fuzzy. Her breaths come in short, uneven bursts and she looks around helplessly for Ruby, who seems to have disappeared. Because...Because Ruby is a demon and she shouldn't be trusted despite the fact that she has now come clean to them about what she is and that should count for something, right? But she has soft hands and Mommy eyes and sometimes, Rachel Berry just needs a mom.
A choked, painful sounding cry leaves her dry lips and she has the strangest urge to curl up into the fetal position and cry.
Dr. McCoy looks over at her, and Noah leaps to his feet, lips tightening.
And then there is Ruby.
She takes a seat in front of Rachel, who's well on her way to a panic attack, and she hands her a glass of water. ''It's going to hurt to swallow for awhile,'' Ruby warns. Rachel looks down into the glass of water she's holding in her shaking hands. Then she decides that's all right. Everything hurts now. She takes a sip of the water. It does hurt. But at least she can breathe again. ''You're in shock,'' Ruby tells her quietly. ''It's normal.''
''Does this shit ever get easier?'' Noah asks gruffly, hovering over Rachel's shoulder like he's trying to protect her.
Ruby hesitates. ''Give it time.''
Noah slumps into the seat next to Rachel and puts a hand on her knee. She lets out a breath she didn't know she was holding. All of this...it's harder than she thought it would be. It shouldn't be this hard to be alive. Do you know what she misses? She misses knee socks and animal print sweaters and short skirts. She misses her friends and Glee club and her fathers. Her daddies. She misses Noah's little sister and the way Noah would catch her eye when they passed each other in the hallways. She misses Saturday nights spent inside Noah's truck looking at stars and talking about the future they should have had. She misses high school. At least there, she knew she would get out alive.
She doesn't know that here. Nobody knows that. Nobody knows if they're safe or not here.
''Rachel.'' Ruby's voice is uncharacteristically gentle as she reaches out and takes the water glass from her hands. ''Nick's going to look you over just to make sure you're all right. Is that okay with you?''
Rachel looks to Noah briefly, and then nods.
Dr. McCoy (he has told her many times that she is to call him Nick, but she is still stuck in the polite Rachel Berry state of mind) takes a seat in front of her, offering her one of his patented slightly goofy smiles. ''Rachel,'' he says, taking her hands in his own to look at the scratches she has made in her skin. ''I have heard,'' he meets her eyes, ''that you would like to be on Broadway.''
Rachel smiles weakly. Noah stays beside her with his hand on her knee. Ruby stands beside the good doctor and keeps her eyes on Rachel.
''Tell me,'' Dr. Mc - Nick goes on, ''will you sing me something?''
Puck sits beside his girl with his hand on her knee, not just for her comfort, but for his as well. It has been a fucked up day, and there is just...there is no coming back from what happened today. That shit changes you forever. He's pretty sure he's never going to be the same. He feels way older than seventeen. He feels old. Hey, how come nobody's offered him a glass of water? Does he have to have a panic attack to get some water around here? Actually, know what he really wants? What he really needs? A fuckin' beer.
He still ain't real sure about Ruby. Or Dean. Or Nick. Or anyone in this stupid camp, for that matter. He has major trust issues with adults and authority figures. Whatever. He's aware of his issues, 'kay? His parental problems go all the way back to childhood. His deadbeat asshole of a father walked out when he was just a kid and left him and Abby alone with their psycho mother whose favourite pastime was calling her son worthless trash. Those aren't problems he's just going to get over. And now that he's got Dean, who reminds him a little too much of his own father, riding his ass, and Ruby lying about her demon-ness... He just really needs a beer.
Rachel sings in a quiet, shaking voice that doesn't sound like her own while Nick cleans up her self-inflicted scratches.
He still thinks she sounds beautiful.
But the thing he notices most as Rachel sings some song from Les Miserables? There is a strange sort of tension between Nick and Ruby that tells him they know something he doesn't. It tells him there is something going on here that they're keeping to themselves.
That would be when he remembers Quinn and the baby.
They've got themselves a hostage situation on their hands.
Dean paces back and forth in the dirt, heart beating erratically in his throat. It has been a very bad, very long day. He knew it. He knew it was that little bastard. There had been something off about that guy from the get go. Darren. Little fucker. Dumbass Lucifer groupie. Dean swears he is going to tear him limb from limb. The stupid shit. His initial reaction upon learning where Quinn was and who had her was to burst in there with his guns blazing and blow Darren's brains out. That, he has been told, is a much too dangerous plan and could result in terrible, awful bloodshed. The second thing on his list of things to do was to make sure the other kids were secure and out of the loop on this particular situation.
He should have known the latter would come back to bite him in the ass.
The people in the know about this turn of events have been instructed to keep it under wraps to avoid a gathering crowd. Plans are being made, guns are being loaded, and knives are being sharpened. Dean is trying to keep his organization stealthy and under control. Which is somewhat hypocritical considering he feels like he is rapidly losing control of his own emotions that he has worked so hard to keep bottled up. Stealth slips out of his grasp when an urgent howl of Quinn's name echoes through the freezing, windy night.
Oh, come on. Can no one keep that boy under control?
Dean whirls around, catching sight of Puckerman barrelling towards them with Ruby and Rachel racing after him. The boy swerves and runs for the door, still hollering Quinn's name. He is wild, the look in his eyes caught somewhere between terror and anger. Then Rachel joins in on the screaming and that whole stealth thing just goes completely out the window. Puck may be annoying and pissy but he is really quite strong. He proves that when he shakes off the arm of the man that tries to grab him and shoves him out of the way. And that is when Dean is finally allowed to react on gut instinct. He races forwards and throws himself at the boy, tackling the former football player to the ground amid Rachel's terrified screeches and Puck's desperate shouts.
Puck twists and struggles on the ground, kicking and clawing at Dean, kicking up the dirt. ''You!'' When one of Puck's kicks connects with Dean's stomach, Dean goes rolling in the dirt and Puck takes this opportunity to grab his shirt. ''What did you do? She was supposed to be safe with you! She was supposed to be safe!''
''Get the fuck off me, boy,'' Dean growls, shoving Puck back down to the ground.
In response to that, Puck apparently decides the best course of action right now would be to punch Dean in the face, regardless of the crisis they are currently in. How mature. Dean would like to fight back. He's ready to fight back and he knows he can take Puck any day but perhaps if he lets Puck get a few punches in, he will stop being such a little dick.
''Noah!'' Rachel shrieks, struggling against the hold Ruby has on her. ''Noah, don't! He's not your father, Noah!''
Ah. So that's what this is about. Well, all right. Guess he can appreciate that.
Noah lowers his fist and stumbles back a step, breathing heavily.
Dean huffs and brushes dirt off his jeans.
As soon as Ruby lets go of Rachel, the girl races over to Puck, wrapping her arms around him and trying to pull him back. ''This is your fault. You were supposed to keep them safe,'' Puck says lowly. ''She trusted you to keep her and the baby safe. She trusted you!''
''All right, that's enough!'' In a surprisingly lucid moment, Cas is the one to step in between Dean and Puck, shoving Dean back and glaring at Puck. ''This isn't helping!''
''What did I tell you?'' Ruby points an accusing finger in Puck's face, eyes narrowed. ''I told you to grow up, Noah! We don't have time for this!''
''What the fuck ever, demon chick. Like I'd listen to - ''
''Stop it!'' Rachel screams. ''Stop it! Just stop it!''
The yelling dies down and everybody goes silent, turning their eyes to Dean.
He shrugs carelessly. ''This is my fault,'' he says calmly. ''This is happening because of me. You're still a dick,'' he adds, shooting Puck a look. ''But you're right. He doesn't want Quinn. He couldn't give a fuck about Quinn. It's me that he wants. He only took her to fuck with my head.'' He folds his arms over his chest and turns to stare at the building in front of him. There's a plan formulating in his head. It does sound kind of suicidal when he thinks it over again. But that's not terribly surprising. He has always been something of a self-sacrificing idiot. That's okay. He's accepted that. He throws a look at the people behind him. ''Okay then,'' he says. ''New plan.''
Quinn's fingers remained curled around her baby bump and she shivers in the aftermath of hearing Puck scream her name. You'd think there would be relief flowing through her veins. At least they know she's here. At least they know she's in danger. Somebody will come and save her now. She waits for the relief to come after hearing the voices outside, but it never does. If anything, the fear is getting worse. The baby seems to pick up on her mother's terror, kicking as if she's trying to comfort her. Quinn manages a watery smile and rubs her stomach. She leans heavily against the wall and eyes Darren closely, heart thudding as she watches him calmly load his gun.
A wave of dizziness sweeps over her and she squeezes her eyes shut, pressing her lips together tightly. To calm herself down, she tries to remember that old Rosemary Clooney song her mother used to sing to her when she was a little girl. How did that song go? Hey there, you with the stars in your eyes. She takes a few deep, calming breaths and tries to remember the tune of the song. Love never made a fool of you. You used to be too wise.
Her eyes snap open and a bitter chuckle escapes her lips. Wow, that is some heavy duty irony right there. That stupid song is like the story of her life. When she looks back up at Darren, he's staring at her intently, gun on the counter, beer in his hands. ''What?'' She bites out. ''What are you looking at?''
''You don't look too good there, momma,'' he quips.
She presses further against the wall and swallows. ''They're right outside, you know,'' she whispers hoarsely. ''What do you think is going to happen now?''
''Hmm.'' He puts a finger to his lips, looking thoughtful. ''Well, most likely they're going to burst in here, I'm going to use you as a human shield, I'll deliver my message and once I'm far enough away, I'll probably kill you. Yeah,'' he nods. ''That sounds about right.''
She shudders lightly. Her gaze goes to the counter. There's a gun and a knife just sitting there. She wonders if she could get to one of them fast enough. She wonders if she even knows how to use either of them properly. With a shake of her head, she slides to the ground and continues taking deep breaths. Getting stressed out is not going to help her here. ''You don't...You don't have to do this,'' she says quietly. ''You could surrender. Maybe they won't - ''
''Kill me?'' He laughs. ''Nah, they'd gut me like a fish regardless of what I do here.''
''Why are you doing this?'' She asks, hoping against hope she sounds calmer than she feels. ''What do you want to happen here, Darren? What was the purpose of this?''
His eyes darken and he stands, grabbing his gun and striding towards her confidently. She swallows a whimper and stares up at him with a steady gaze. He stops inches away from her, stares at her, and then smirks, shaking his head. ''They need to know they're going to lose,'' he says simply. ''They need to know they can't fight him.''
She closes her eyes and breathes slowly, in through her nose, out through her mouth. ''Earlier...'' Her voice is raspy and barely audible. She clears her throat and doesn't let herself meet his heartless eyes. ''You said...You said Dean had a daughter. Were you...'' She pauses, wincing slightly. Honestly, she's not completely sure she wants to know the answer to this question. ''...Were you telling the truth?''
He smiles. ''You really wanna know?''
Quinn bites her lip.
She's saved from answering the question when the door creaks open and Dean strolls through, casual but guarded. Darren whips around, levels his gun at Dean and releases the safety. ''Stop!'' He inches towards Dean, finger hovering on the trigger. ''Stop right there, Dean. Don't move.''
Dean stops, smirks and then waggles his fingers in a wave. ''Hi there, Darren. You're looking mighty nervous. Quinn,'' his voice is careful and lined with concern but his eyes remain on Darren. ''You okay, honey?''
She nods, pushing herself to her feet. ''I-I'm fine...I think.''
''Good.'' Dean nods in satisfaction. ''Hey, Darren, you mind puttin' the gun down? It's distracting.''
''I'm thinking no.''
''I'm not armed,'' Dean says, taking a seat at the bar. ''Neither is she. You're the only one with a weapon here. You're in control, dude.'' He leans over the bar to retrieve a bottle of whiskey and a glass. ''Does that ease your paranoia?''
''I still think I'm going to keep the gun.''
Dean shrugs. ''Your prerogative.'' He pours himself a shot of whiskey and knocks it back easily. His eyes slide to Quinn and his lips quirk into a tiny, comforting half smile as if he's trying to let her know that it's all going to be all right. ''Quinn,'' he says carefully. ''You wanna come over here with me?''
More than anything else in the world. Unfortunately for her, Darren does not appear to like that idea. When she takes a step, he grabs her arm and yanks her to him roughly. She lets out a yelp and tears slip from her eyes. Even though she's not sure if anyone is listening, her lips begin to move in silent prayers. ''You're not going anywhere, sweet cheeks,'' Darren snarls in her ear.
''Darren,'' Dean rises to his feet but doesn't move towards the boy, voice tight and no longer casual like he's conversing with an old friend. ''Why don't you tell me what it is that you want?''
Darren laughs jovially. ''What do I want? I want lots of things, Dean. I'd like a house with a pool, I'd like some good scotch, a nice sports car and I'd love to go a few rounds with your lovely wife.''
Dean tenses, lips tightening. ''Why does everyone think we're married?''
''It's the rings,'' Quinn gasps out helpfully.
''Shut up, Juno,'' Darren demands harshly.
''Of course it's the rings,'' Dean shakes his head. ''Maybe we should stop wearing them.'' He turns away from them and moves closer to the counter. ''But really, kid - ''
Darren pulls Quinn closer to him and takes them both forwards, towards Dean. ''I'm not a kid!'' He bellows.
''Of course you're not,'' Dean murmurs soothingly. ''You're a big man, right? Takin' the pregnant teen hostage instead of coming directly after me.'' He circles Darren slowly and Darren, eyes darting around the room wildly, winds up backing right into the counter. Dean stops moving. Quinn isn't really sure what he's doing here, but all she knows is that if Darren would just ease his grip on her, she could reach the knife on the counter. ''What do you really want, Darren? You want me dead? Fine. Take me. Let her go and then you can shoot me. String me up from the rafters. Torture me until I beg for mercy. I won't fight back. Is that what you want?''
''What I want,'' Darren says strongly. ''Is for you to accept Lucifer into your heart.'' His voice is biting and sarcastic and his grip on Quinn is getting tighter and tighter.
''Seriously?'' Dean bursts out with a laugh. ''That's your line? You got a pamphlet to go with it? The Perks of Siding With Satan? How To Be the Devil's Number One Groupie?''
Frustration gleams in Darren's maniacal eyes and he jerks Quinn until she whimpers. Her hands are still cradling her stomach protectively and she's reciting mental prayers, pleading and begging for some help.
''Chin up, sweetheart,'' Dean tells her, meeting her eyes. ''Everything's going to be fine.''
''Dean.'' Darren sighs heavily and shakes his head. ''I don't understand you,'' he says, lip curling in disgust. ''You know he's gonna win. He'll wipe you all out like rodents. You can't stop him, Dean. You know that. You know that and you're still trying to fight him.'' Impassioned by what he probably thinks is an epic speech, his grip on Quinn loosens and he lowers his gun just enough. Her wide eyes go to the knife on the counter. ''Why even bother?'' Darren continues, oblivious of the wheels turning in his hostage's head. ''Why continue to send people to their deaths? We all know how this fight is gonna end.''
''No.'' Dean meets Quinn's eyes briefly and then an easy smirk falls across his lips. ''I don't know any of that. You know what I know? I know that you're in for a whole lot of hurtin'.''
Just like she has been taught, Quinn brings her foot down as hard as she can right onto Darren's and she elbows him in the gut. Stunned and groaning in pain, he drops his gun. Dean quickly kicks it out of Darren's reach. Instead of whirling around and decking him or running, Quinn whirls around, gropes for the nearest weapon, which happens to be that knife and when he reaches out to grip the counter, she kinda just reacts. The only thing that goes through her mind as she brings the knife down is that it so should not be that easy to cut through bone. Also, adrenaline is awesome.
The rest is a blur.
Dean wrestles the knife out of her hand and pulls her to safety, the door bangs open and Darren's screaming in pain. She is vaguely aware of Ruby and Cas rushing over to Darren, trying both to stop the bleeding and keep him from kicking and spitting at them, and she thinks she can hear Puck and Rachel calling her name but everything sounds like it is all happening far away. It's only then, as her fingers are curling around Dean's shirt, that she sees one of Darren's limp fingers on the ground. Bile rises in her throat and she's pretty sure she's going to throw up.
She passes out instead.
end chapter six
AN: Yeah. Girl's got some fierce determination and protectiveness in her, doesn't she?