Just because this is the last chapter doesn't mean you shouldn't review! If anything it should make you review more! lols. This chapter was fun to right and actually was the very first chapter of this story that I wrote. haha. yeps. I tend to write everything backwards. XD My previous story fans know that. haha. I love this chapter however and I hope you do too. Some stuff in here we've never seen before. Lets all watch as Charlie changes before our eyes. It seems he is scarred for life. What kind of person is he now? And how will it effect his job?
Read, Review and Enjoy! =)
Warning: language in this chapter. Thats all. haha
The world was upside down. It had been two weeks since Charlie, Percy and Jason had been lost in the forest and one since Percy had witnessed Jason's death. He was dead! He had seen it himself! When Percy had been rescued he had been alone. Stumbling around and clearly hallucinating. He insisted he had seen Charlie fighting- almost like Aaron Stone in Hero Rising. In fact- it was just like Hero Rising.
And he had seen Jason die. That was the main thing he brought up. Jason was dead.
Mrs. Landers was more than a little bit hysterical. Her sons were still out there missing. Jason was announced dead. Missing though. The body had not been found. And her heart had been ripped out. All she could think of was Charlie and if she had no one left. Jason. Her little baby Jason. Her little boy was dead. She just wouldn't believe it. She was sick with depression. She couldn't take it if he was… but no- until there was a body she couldn't fall down that path. And Charlie. Her Charlie baby was still out there as well. She could never forgive Percy for leaving her boys out there alone. Why had he been alone when he was rescued? How come they weren't together?
Of course- when her boys turned up in the hospital things were all cleared. Percy was insane. Fighting? Shooting? A gaming gauntlet and mini electric monsters? He was clearly sick. The moment Charlie returned home in one piece Percy was shipped to a therapist. They said he was mentally scarred. The terrors of his near death experience making his sanity questionable. Nothing he said was trustworthy at this point.
Jason seemed untouched. He was out of it in the worst way- in fact he hadn't said a single word since he had showed up, leaned over his older brother's shoulder like a sack. But he wasn't bruised. Wasn't cut. Wasn't hurt in any way- while Charlie seemed to have gotten the brute of it. He was cut and beaten, a black eye and needed several stitches in a slashed shoulder. The strange part was there was no frost bite. Percy had come in with toes and ears blackened with cold. Charlie seemed to be the very opposite- suffering from terribly painful sunburn and blisters. It didn't make any sense at all.
Charlie didn't explain either. How could they expect him to say anything? Not even Emma. Not even Stan. No one knew. He hoped no one ever would. He didn't want to go there. And by the dead look in his eyes no one tried to ask him. He had been as silent as his little brother till he had been freed from the hospital. He had said a few words to his mother- telling her he was alright and not to worry any more. Jason seemed more talkative to her but a bit shocked. Charlie had not had a single chance to talk to him alone but once or twice he had locked eyes with his little brother and in them he saw… nothing. When he finally had the chance to say a word to him about his death and resurrection- Jason had looked at him with the same confusion as would a new born. He didn't know. Didn't remember a thing. All he remembered was going on the field trip and waking up in Charlie's trembling arms, suffocated in his protective grasp. All he knew was the fear in his gut he had felt when his brother gripped so fearfully- as if he would never let go ever again and he wondered what had happened.
Life went on. Charlie went to school and the rumors and excitement died down like everything always did. He avoided Emma. He locked his door so Stan couldn't see him. The gaming console gathered dust next to his computer. When he was with his brother he watched and never went near. It was Charlie- but he wasn't really there. Not to anyone watching. To anyone who didn't know, which was everyone, he was just in shock from the experience. But on the inside he was fine. He was perfectly alright. Even as the idea began to arise that maybe Charlie needed the same therapy as Percy. Even then he was more sane than he had ever been. No one understood. But he knew and he was decided.
When he packed his bags that night he didn't mean to move so slowly. It seemed that as decided as he was on this- it would never make things any easier. He knew what was best. He couldn't rethink this. He had nearly killed his brother. No. He had killed his brother. He had killed his baby brother one too many times. He had broken his mothers heart enough for one life. He had put everything he loved on the line and for what? For his own selfish job. And he was done with it. His mother didn't need this weight. Jason didn't need this responsibility. He needed to get out.
He set the note on Jason's bedside table. It would be better for Jason to find it and then tell their mother. It was easier this way. He was fast asleep- calm. Charlie swallowed hard. He wondered if his baby brother was dreaming. He had been so unlike himself since Charlie had brought him back. Charlie remembered every second. He recalled bringing the vial out of the chamber, the rush he felt and then Tetra was there. He seemed so much stronger than before and didn't flicker out of view like he had before. And he was in the real world! Not that white nothingness he had said he was trapped in. It seemed through Runihura's death- Tetra was freed. It was a scary thing but Charlie didn't care to take note of the dark change in the computer. And when Jason's eyes opened, blue and bright- filled with confusion, Charlie had forgotten to care about anything else but holding his brother tight.
But he didn't forget now. The warning he had received about the antidote. Could Jason still dream? Could he still hope? Was that the same brother he had always loved in there?
He frowned, reaching to brush some of his baby brother's dark hair away from his eyes. Jason shifted in his sleep, head rolling to the side. The blue lights of the moon shining down on his pale skin.
Charlie's breath caught. He loved Jason so much. The best little brother he could ever have. And this was the reason he had to leave.
He was back in his room a moment later. The stairs would creak. His mom would know he was up. Or Stan would awake and stop him. Too risky. He needed to get out. His window cooperated with him as if it agreed he should leave. He slid out onto the roof, sighing as he breathed in the night air. This was the last time he would see this place. The last time he would have this life. Now or never.
Charlie's heart stopped. How could he face that voice? He turned, eyes locking on Jason as he climbed out onto the rooftop with him, meeting the night sky with eyes wide and gleaming. Against his chest he was grasping the letter tightly, balling it up into a wad.
"What the fuck is this?" Jason cussed, nostrils flaring with rage as he tossed the letter. It bounced off Charlie's chest and rolled into the rain gutter where it belonged. "Charlie- what the fuck are you doing?"
Charlie's mouth opened. Closed. Opened. Closed. He had no words.
Jason's eyes went dark and for a moment he turned his head away. When he looked back there was more strength there than he had ever seen before. "What you're just gonna stand there? Say something. I deserve an explanation and don't give me that crap about the greater good. I wanna know the truth."
Charlie scowled. "You don't wanna know- Jason."
"Try me. Not good enough to know why you feel like you need to leave? Just like dad left us? More secrets Charlie? More things you can't tell me! You think you can just disappear on me? What, I'm not strong enough? "
"Then what is it!"
"I'm not strong enough!" Charlie shouted. Voice a hiss in the darkness. "Jason! You were dead! I killed you- you were dead!" Jason was silent so Charlie took his chance to continue- heart speeding up now. "Jason, I can't protect you. Do you know what I did? Do you know what I did to bring you back."
"Bring me back? What are you going on about now?""Jason… you died. Don't you remember?" Charlie reached and touched Jason's chest, right over his heart where he had been shot through. He regretted doing it.
Jason gasped, eyes going wide and breath catching halfway down his throat. Pain and memories hit him and he stumbled a moment. Charlie grasped his arm to keep him upright as his brother clawed a hand to his chest. He pulled down his collar and stared at his chest and the white scar that was directly over his heart. A small X shape as if he had been pinned together with an X stitch. He looked back up at Charlie and he knew Jason remembered. Then as quickly as the moment was there it was gone and Jason blinked darkly at Charlie. "You're insane."
"I can't do this anymore. I'm done." Charlie turned around, ready to leave. He couldn't stand there and try to explain.
Charlie wouldn't have turned around if it had not been for his brother grasping onto his arm and whirling him himself. Then as quickly as he had spun- Jason's fist connected with Charlie's jaw.
Lights flashed in Charlie's eyes as he stumbled backwards. He had never been hit so hard in his entire life. He tasted blood and in an instance had grasped Jason by the front of his shirt. He lifted his brother by his collar, drawing back his own fist to pound in the skinny boys face. And he stopped. What was he doing? Yet Jason stood firm. He wasn't cowering back. He wasn't afraid at all even as his big brother held the fist high. His eyes were set, grey and fierce, glistening in the darkness and his nostrils were flaring. But there was no fear. It was anger. It was pain.
"You gonna hit me, Charlie?" Jason breathed in the darkness, voice filled with all the irritation as before. The threat of a broken nose not even fazing him in the slightest.
Charlie's jaw gapped as he dropped his fist and carefully let his brother go. What was he thinking? He had never once hit Jason. He had never once thought to hurt him as he had a few seconds before. Yet here he was- raising a fist and meaning just that. He meant to hit him. He meant to bash him against the roof for not understanding. He meant to destroy him for punching him and catching him off guard. In that moment he had no clue who he was.
"No." Charlie breathed, face set in stone once more. "No."
"Hit me, big brother. Hit me as hard as you possibly can. Knock me out. In fact-" Jason grabbed Charlie's arm and lifted it so the gauntlet hidden under his sleeve pointed directly at his chest, aiming at his heart. "You might as well just kill me. Shoot me, Charlie. Then you can go running off like the damn coward of a hero you are. You do whatever the hell you want, you bastard but don't leave me here to deal with it. Just kill me."
Charlie was speechless. "You're being ridiculous, Jason. Grow up."
"Grow up? Grow…up?" Jason's voice rose dangerously. "The hell gives you the right to tell me to grow up! You're leaving us! You're running away just because some accident happened! You're insane, Charlie! You're sick and you don't even know it! Leaving me here! You're just gonna leave me here alone and for what? The greater good? Because it's what's best? Don't I get a say in what's best for me? Don't you think it would have been a little worse for me without you here? Just a little difficult knowing you're out there? If you're alive! If you're dead? I'd never even know all because you can't be mature enough to tell me what the fuck is happening! You kept Aaron Stone from me and look how safe I turned out! They tried to kill me! I was dead and you still couldn't protect me! Even keeping me in the dark didn't help! It only made things worse! And now I know and you're keeping more secrets? More rumors on top of it just because you think it's what's best. What's best! What a load of bullshit, Charlie- and you know it! But it's what's best! Like hell you know what's best for anyone! You keep screwing up so just stop trying and take a second to consider or even talk to me or try to make me understand instead of trying to deal with every single thing like it's you against the world 'cause it's not! I'm right here! There's a million people willing to help you if you'd just stop and… and… GAH! Fuck you, Big brother. Fuck you, Aaron Stone!" Jason sniffed. "Son of a bitch." He whispered, voice a sob now.
Charlie hadn't even realized the tears that had begun to stream down his brother's face during his outburst. He had barely realized through the painful words coming out of those lips. It hit so hard- harder than the punch. Harder than anything he could have thrown. And then Jason was sobbing, face wet with fresh tears. His head lolled forwards onto Charlie's chest and he cried, letting Charlie's shirt soak up the evidence of his fear.
Charlie reached gentle arms around him- holding his brother softly until his sobbing had subsided and he stood before his big brother, neither saying a word.
"I won't leave you, Jason. I'm so sorry. I'll never leave you." He whispered.
Jason wiped his face quickly in morning light. Over Charlie's shoulder the sun was rising up, an orange glow to start a new day. Pink melting up into the blue sky above, still dark from night as the last few stars twinkled out.
Jason blinked up at his brother, standing awkwardly on the rooftop. "You're an idiot, Charlie." He said, but his voice hinted at forgiveness. And then- "What is that?"
Charlie looked over his shoulder in the direction of the city. He could barely see the outline of the buildings in the distance but it was a hard sight to miss. From the very top of the tallest skyscraper there were sparks flying and smoke rising. A blimp moved slowly in front of the dawn breaking sun, an unnatural eclipse of the light. From the speakers of the blimp, a voice terrifyingly familiar to Charlie spoke and Charlie's blood ran cold.
"The time has come, human scum. We have had enough of your incompetence. It is a time to rebuild!"
Tetra was free.
Hope you enjoyed it! And yes it is the end of this story. I have a last one planned out to close everything off however it is going to be short. Three, four, maybe five chapters tops. It is more of an epilogue than anything. A Corrupt World is coming... soon as I feel like editing it. haha. HOPE YOU LIKED THIS! Sorry to the highest extent that this took so impossibly long to post. Musta been terrible I know. lols. Anyhoo- please review and keep eyes open for my work!
Thanks to everyone for sticking around! Shout out to me #1 reviewer hyperenchantress! =D sorry if I spelled that wrong. haha. not a good speller.
HAVE A GREAT NIGHT!