(Wow..first of these I've ever posted here. So here is the deal, I will purposely re-write an episode of the 70s series just to hurt Joe more. :D and that's what I did with this. This has been in the works since I was 11, I'm 24 now, and it feels so good to get it down and out of my head. Basically instead of Fenton just getting kidnapped, Joe and Frank get kidnapped!)
Disclaimer: I own no one what so ever, just the plot!
"Dad, we're not getting out any time soon, are we?" Frank asked weakly from where he was sitting on the concrete floor. His eyes were not a bright as they usually were, there were dirt smudges every where on his face and his lip was cut from where he'd been punched before being dragged in here.
"Just keep thinking positively, son. We'll get out of here." Fenton Hardy meant what he'd just said but being so weak from being in the cell for so long it came out tired and hoarse. He sat up from his cot to eye his other son who was lying on his back with his head in Frank's lap. "Is he?"
"Asleep? Yeh. He dozed off earlier." Frank replied. "I wasn't going to tell you, he caught another fever the second day we were here. He tried to play it off as usual but his act didn't work."
"And you two can never do anything separate, so he just had to follow along?" Fenton tried to sound like he was joking but Frank didn't get the joke. He watched as Frank's eyes darkened and he glanced down at Joe's sleeping form. "Frank…"
"No, you're right dad. I should have told him no but I didn't know what we were after and it made me sick to my stomach to think that while I was gone someone could break into our room and kidnap him…or worse.." Frank trailed off hunched over his brother. "I guess I care for him too much sometimes, huh?"
"While there is something as caring too much, I don't believe you do so and I am also fairly certain that no matter how sick your brother is, he would have put up quite the fight if someone had tried to take him." Fenton got off his cot and knelt down in front of his sons. He gave Frank as strong of a smile as he could muster and ruffled his hair lovingly then turned his attention to his youngest. "It just worries me how he continues to get these fevers."
Joe's face was pale, covered in sweat and just as dirty as Frank's. His blonde hair was matted to his forehead showing just how high the fever had gotten over the past few hours. Frank reached over and gently undid a few more buttons to try and cool off his little brother.
Fenton put a dirty hand up against Joe's wet feverish forehead and sighed shaking his head, "If it keeps rising we're going to have more problems, at least he doesn't have chills yet. Once you get cold in a place like this it's hard to get warm again especially in his condition."
Joe coughed hoarsely in his sleep and curled to his side wincing in pain with each hoarse wheeze. Frank rubbed his back soothingly knowing there was nothing he could do. "He's not going to last much longer in our present situation, is he?"
"Maybe Mallik will let Joe go. It's obvious there is nothing he can do to get help in his state but then I'd be more afraid of Joe being discarded on the side of the road. At least here he's being cared for, as little as we can do, it's still something."
"Well if nothing else maybe we can at least get a compress…" Frank offered.
A few hours later the door to the cell opened and Mallik appeared with his giant henchman beside him with three tins of water. "So are you going to talk, Fenton?"
Fenton looked up from his place on the floor and shook his head. "You should know me better than that."
"I do, however, I also know how much you love your sons. A few more days of an environment such as this and poor Joseph may not make it." The dark pants suit came into light as Mallik stepped forward. "Don't make him suffer any longer. Many souls have died here, don't let Joe be just another number."
"He's not going to die!" Frank shouted angrily. "He's stronger than you think."
"Don't play that card with me, I've known you both since you were young kids, Frank. Ask your father. I was there when your brother was in the hospital. It's a shame he's still suffering…" Mallik trailed off then shrugged and took one of the water tins setting it down in front of Fenton. "I've got two more tins here, if you speak. Otherwise you and your two sons will go without for another 12 hours."
"Keep your water." Fenton said. "I'm not speaking."
"It's terrible how you place your work before your family, but that's your choice." Mallik gave an evil smirk and bowed politely before leaving slamming the barred door behind him.
"Here, drink a bit of the water then get Joe to drink some, then we'll poor the rest on this hankerchief and use it to wipe him down, maybe keep his fever down for a little bit."
"Aren't you going to drink any?"
"I'll be fine, Frank. I've gone without for longer than this."
"At least take a sip, dad." Frank pleaded.
Fenton gave Frank a look before taking a small sip then handed it over to Frank who took his own sip of it. "Joe, wake up, we've got a bit of water for you to drink." Frank said handing the tin back to his father. A small groan answered them and Joe coughed in response curling away.
"You've got to drink something, Joe. Your body is losing liquids too fast and you could get dehydrated." Fenton argued watching his eldest son attempt to help his youngest sit up.
Joe's eyes opened as he used Frank for leverage barely able to keep himself up right. The fever raged on not even giving the young teen a break, a wave of vertigo caught Joe off guard and he covered his mouth leaning into Frank's shoulder.
Fenton hardly ever got angry in front of his sons, he was trying to teach them that no matter the situation one could remain calm but this had gone too far. Seeing his youngest son in the state he was in made his hatred towards Mallik grow. He had thought no one could be this heartless but as always he was shown wrong.
"Dizzy, Frank." Joe whispered unsteadily obviously embarrassed at his inability to keep himself up right. He felt Frank wrap an arm around his waist and he curled close unable to do anything else.
"I know, Joe. Just let it pass." Frank's words didn't make the vertigo disappear but it did seem to calm his brother down immensely. After a few moments Frank took the tin from his father and tried to get Joe to drink a little bit. Joe's feverish face was buried in Frank's chest, his eyes were closed again and there were short little gasps coming from his brother as he tried to breathe. He could feel the extent of Joe's fever through his thin shirt and could only imagine how Joe was feeling at this very moment. "Come on, Joe. The water will feel good going down. For me, just a little sip?"
"I ..don't think..I can hold it.." Joe finally whispered turning his face outwards eyes barely open. "Don't want to …m..make a mess.."
"Well what if I hold it then?" Frank knew there would be one of two answers, each one showing how sick Joe was or wasn't. If Joe refused then he wasn't as bad off as they thought. If he agreed to let Frank help then Joe had lost all of his fight and was truly ill.
"Yeh…guess so." Joe said hoarsely before turning inward to cough again.
Frank's heart dropped and he looked to his father who looked just as upset. The boundary had been crossed from Joe just having a random fever to escalating to full fledged sickness. He tried to sound cheerful as he lifted the tin cup to Joe's lips, "It'll taste real good, I promise."
Fenton had to stand up and turn away unable to watch his youngest son choke on just the tinest bit of water. He may have turned away but he could still hear the hoarse weak coughing and cries of pain.
Tears formed in his eyes as he realized there was nothing they could do to get out. Joe could very well die in this place and there was no way to stop it. All they could do was make him comfortable and hope for the best.
"Let's try it again, Joe." Frank said lifting his gaze to watch his father with worry. He lifted the tin cup again and Joe made the tiniest effort to drink a bit more this time getting some down. Satisfied that Joe had at least gotten a bit down, given it was hardly any, Frank let Joe lay back down. He stroked the sweaty blonde hair as Joe got comfortable with his head on his brother's lap again. With a hoarse wheeze, Joe closed his eyes trying to go back to sleep. Frank watched his brother struggle to sleep for a few minutes until Joe's face relaxed and the grip he had on Frank's arm lessened, he knew Joe had finally drifted off again. He then looked up at his father, "Dad? Are you alright?"
"Huh, oh ..um yeh." Fenton turned back around wiping at his face with embarrassment. It then occurred to him that if they were careful they could move Joe to the cot. Why didn't he think of this before? "Frank, if we work together maybe we can move Joe to the cot."
"I don't know, dad. Don't you need it? You've been here longer than we have." Frank reasoned.
"Yes, but I don't have a high fever, Frank. It'll make it a bit more comfortable for Joe if we do." If Fenton couldn't do anything to set them free, he was at least going to make his youngest as comfortable as possible with what they had to mess with. He knelt down and held Joe in a sitting position as Frank stood up. Joe woke slightly and opened his eyes staring up at his father in obvious pain. "It'll be ok, Joe."
"A..Are we..fr..free?" Joe asked with a sleepy voice.
Frank noticed his dad's eyes water and took control of the situation. "No, we're just moving you to the cot." Frank's voice was calm and soothing to the younger boy as he was helped to the cot and laid back down. "There, see more comfortable, right?"
Joe nodded silently his eyes closing slowly. He reached out and Frank met him halfway holding his hand tightly in his own. Joe's grip was weaker but desperate as if afraid to be alone. "Don't worry, we're not leaving."
Fenton took out his hankerchief and dunked into the remained water in the tin cup. He squeezed it out then handed it to Frank who started to wash his brother down with the cool cloth. Joe mumbled a thankful noise but nothing more. "Thank you, Frank."
"No problem, dad. You may not be ill as Joe, but you are just as weak, why don't you sit down and rest? I can watch over the both of you."
Fenton sat down on one of the boxes but didn't look to be resting. He watched Frank continue to wash his youngest down, occasionly making soothing noises whenever Joe tensed up, he felt proud of his eldest. "You do a good job, taking care of him I mean."
Frank stopped in mid wash and looked up turning his head to look at his father. "I learned from the best."
"It certainly wasn't me." Fenton joked.
"Oh come on, you weren't that bad. You've taken care of Joe many times."
"Yes but I couldn't be there all those times when Joe was in the hospital. You skipped school and I couldn't even skip work, how pathetic right?"
"No, you've got the will power to not break. You knew he'd be ok and that he was in good hands with Aunt Gertrude and I, Joe understood." Frank explained placing the white cloth on Joe's forehead before settling back down on his perch beside the cot. "You know, when I was little and Joe was ill, when mom was still alive, she pulled me over and told me that I needed to look out for him, that he looked up to me and thought I was everything he'd ever need. She said she trusted me to never leave him alone or behind when others would…."
"Frank, you've done a wonderful job. I couldn't have raised the both of you alone with or without your Aunt's help."
"Something I've always wondered…"
"When the doctor said Joe would be premature did he ever mention what would happen because of it?"
"The fevers you mean?"
"He told us that Joe would be smaller than children his age, that his immune system would be weaker, this was all if he lived that is."
"You mean they told you Joe might not live!" Frank hadn't heard that before. He squeezed Joe's hand tighter, his chest hurting at that thought.
"Well, you have to understand Frank, it was back in the early 60s. Premature babies usually died if they came out months before their due date. Joe was three months early and had the same chance as every other premature baby. Medicine has moved forward a lot since you two were born, now we don't think much if they are born premature because we have ways of helping them survive. I'll never forget waiting by the minute in the hospital to find out how he was doing. I had you with me as we sat outside in the hallway, your mother was asleep tired from giving birth, your aunt in the room with her." Fenton leaned back and let out a small tired smile. "Even at the age of one you were concerned about your brother. Every time I tried to take you outside to let you run around and to let me breathe some fresh air you'd make such a racket until I took you back in."
Frank smiled at the new memory and at his father who looked a lot less stressed. Joe's hoarse coughing broke up the moment and both father and son looked over with worry as Joe curled into a ball and continued to cough, they were wet, hoarse and deep. Frank sat up straighter and reached over trying to calm his brother down, "Just let it pass, Joe. It just needs to get through your system, let it pass."
"That's it, I've had enough of this." Fenton growled. He stood up and reached over Joe's curled up body to the metal bars that were embedded into the concrete. "I managed to loosen one of these the other night. Maybe if I keep at it we can climb out and escape."
The door opened and Mallik appeared with an evil grin on his face, "If you try it, I'll send my friend out to catch you again, what a mess that'll be and just imagine having to drag poor Joe that far only to be back in the same room again."
"Let my sons go, this is between you and I." Fenton exclaimed standing in front of his sons. "You don't need a murder rap ontop of the kidnapping charges, let them go."
"Murder? No one has died, yet."
"He will if he doesn't get professional help." Fenton motioned towards his youngest. Frank had moved to the cot and pulled Joe into his arms from the waist up. Joe's face was comfortably melded with Frank's chest as his brother glared at Mallik. "Please, let them go."
"You are not leaving until you give me those files." Mallik replied. "Of course if you wish, you may ask me nicely and maybe I'll bring in a blanket for the patient, maybe."
Fenton heaved and ran a hand through his sweaty hair before answering, "Please can we have a blanket for my youngest."
"Please, he's really ill." Frank pleaded desperately.
Mallik was silent for a few seconds before leaving without a word, the door slammed shut behind him leaving Frank and Fenton in the dark. Frank made an angry noise as he tried to calm Joe down, who had jumped startled at the loud slam. "I thought he used to your friend."
"He was. I'm disappointed in him too, Frank. I hadn't realized that working for the other side meant you lost your humanity as well." Fenton sat back down sighing. "At least the chills haven't started yet, maybe we'll be lucky and they will start tomorrow morning. You need to get some rest as well, son."
"I will, as soon as I get Joe back to sleep, he's so weak and confused. I can't tell if he knows we're still being held captive or if he thinks we're free." Frank sighed pushing some of the blonde locks from his brother's eyes, they were soaked with sweat from his brother's fever.
"Let him think what he wants to, Frank. At least one of us will get a halfway decent sleep tonight."
The next morning they were awoken by rumbles of thunder and the sound of rain pouring outside. Fenton sat up, his back sore from sleeping on the hard ground. He saw Frank had somehow gotten on the tiny cot with Joe and slept with him. Joe was lying on top of Frank, his face buried in the crook of Frank's neck. Frank's arm was curled around Joe's waist and his other was comfortably lying on Joe's back. Both of Joe's arms were hanging limply off the sides of the cot, he coughed weakly before turning his head not waking up.
Frank's energy seemed lower than it had been yesterday and he didn't put much effort into sitting up and getting out from underneath his brother. "Is it morning yet?"
"Yes, seems to be a rainy morning as well." Fenton got up and walked stiffly over to his sons, sitting down where Frank was last night. "Are you comfortable?"
"Amazingly, yeh.." Frank said stroking Joe's hair. "He hasn't worsened, so that's a good thing."
"It is, if you are comfortable then just stay there until he wakes up." Fenton gently rubbed Joe's back then stood up and looked out the window.
"Dad, is there any chance we could escape if we diverted their attention just briefly?"
"If we did we'd not have the energy to run fast enough, especially with Joe in his condition. It's better for him if we don't make any stupid moves and try and stay calm here."
"Yeh, I guess so…" Frank sighed. Before he could say another word they heard footsteps in the hallway. "Guess who." He said annoyed hugging Joe tighter to him.
"Shh, be nice and maybe he'll be nice back."
The door opened and a different figure appeared it was a female this time. "Sue? How did you?" Frank sat up Joe still clinging to him asleep.
"I'll explain later," the pretty blonde said turning to Fenton. "You must be Mr. Hardy. Let's go before they come back. They think we're just tourists looking at the place for historical reasons."
Fenton stood up and went to help Frank with Joe. "He's too weak to walk anywhere muchless run, what are we going to do, Dad?"
"Could you run with him on your back, Frank?"
"I could try." Frank stood up and bent over wondering how his father was going to lift Joe in his weakened state. Joe was a dead weight as he fell onto his brother's back not waking up. "Hold him, I'm straightening up."
"Lead the way, Sue." Fenton exclaimed.
They got outside and the rain drenched them immediately, it felt good though to feel somewhat clean as the rain washed off the weeks worth of grunge on their skin. There was a blue car waiting on them, Jackie was inside it. They got Joe inside then climbed in themselves and she drove off as fast as she could.
"How did you ever find us?" Frank finally asked.
"We heard Mr. Mallik talking to one of his waiters about a cell 526, about the need for maybe some food and since he'd just come from the old prison it made no sense that he'd need food-" Sue started.
"So we did a little detective work on our own and managed to steal a key from his table, we had no idea if it was the right key or not."
"Lucky for us you two were listening."
"Do we need to go to the hospital?"
"No, Joe will be fine once we get him back to the hotel," Frank reassured. "Right now, we just want some rest and food."
"We need to call the police as soon as possible. With Joe as ill as he is, it may prove helpful in arresting Mallik before he finds out we're free."
"We'll have proof he kidnapped us. Let's stop by the police first." Fenton said.
After their stop to the police station, they made it back to the hotel. Joe had awoken slightly with chills from being wet in the rain. Sue and Jackie had watched with worry as Frank helped Joe "walk" into the hotel. It was more of Frank dragging Joe. Fenton followed slower with help from the two girls, his energy gone now that everyone was safe.
After saying goodbye to the girls, Frank helped Joe get back into bed and this time covered him up. He then turned to his father and helped him walk over to the other bed and lay down. "I'll order us some room service after I take a shower and we'll go from there, ok? You rest, dad. Joe's dead asleep so he won't awaken while I'm in the shower."
Fenton nodded and let his eyes close. The sound of the water running helped him drift off to sleep. Everyone was safe. Mallik had been arrested and no one else was hurt.
(If you like, review and let me know. If enough people like it maybe I can post my other ones!)