A Haven In A Heartless World

Yeah, yeah. Another fic another rarefandom. This is slash, blah blah blah, you all know the drill, right? Priest/Hicks ficcage. Takes place a few years after the movie. Title comes from a quote by Christopher Lasch - "The family is a haven in a heartless world." Characters are not mine (except one) and please do enjoy! Thanks to kittycrackers for help! Comments are awesome!

Chapter 1:

The sound of a heavy weight against the front door brings Hicks to full coherency with well-honed speed. He's alert and he has his hand on his firearm in a matter of seconds, prepared to shoot at whatever intruder dares to invade the sanctity of his home.

But, no further sound follows so he is therefore compelled to investigate.

Everything is silent now. Alarmingly so. He stands, walks the few paces to the door from his meager bed in the front room of his equally meager house, stops to listen. Still nothing. He pulls the door open and at first sees nothing. But, at his feet, lays the Priest.

"Fuck," he says quietly, eyes scanning the area for signs of how he ended up here. No sign of vampire tracks, no movement, just a solar bike fallen on its side a couple dozen yards away. Dark disturbances in the dust – blood, not footprints – mark the path from there to the doorstep. A lot of blood.

He hauls the Priest in, ducks outside long enough to cover the trail – no need to risk the blood drawing any unsavory guests, rare as they are these days – and then gets back inside. He bolts the door and finds a light and sets to work on doing what he can to fix his friend up.

That ends up being a rather arduous task. There's so so so much blood. On the plus side, not all of it apparently belongs to the Priest, as he's got Black Hat's head in a bag belted to his hip and that's good news if not a slightly grotesque method of transportation. His own wounds, though, are far from minor. There's a gash on his stomach that's impressively deep and another on his leg that makes Hicks wonder how he managed to control his bike at all. His arm is set at an alarming angle that equates either to broken bones or dislocated shoulder and he's got a darkening bruise on his head that is also quite worrisome.

Hicks does what he can, everything he can, with the supplies he has on hand, cleans him up as best as possible and surrenders his bed for the use of the injured man. He sits beside the Priest all night, eyes on the door and gun in hand.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

The Priest wakes three days later. He's sore in ways he can't remember ever being before and even the mere idea of opening his eyes causes pain to radiate in waves through his body. He forces them open anyway, surprised to find himself at what was once his family's home. It still is his family's home though, since Lucy and Hicks are here now, he reminds himself, even as he wonders how the hell he ended up here.

"Hicks?" He mumbles out, voice hoarse and so rough that the single word makes him cough severely.

The young man appears from the only other room in the house, and he seems surprised and relieved to find the Priest awake. "Welcome back. I was worried for a while there."

"How'd I get here?"

"You, ugh, showed up on the porch a few nights back. I did what I could. Wasn't sure you'd wake up."

The Priest nods. He doesn't remember getting here, but he supposes it's not out of the realm of possibilities. His training can result in weird effects when he's too badly injured to get himself out of trouble. "Lucy isn't around?" He asks, picking up on the fact that Hicks said he'd done the patchwork.

Hicks' face falls in a way that sets off warning bells. "No." He looks away, around the room and then down at the old, creaky floorboards. "She, ugh, she's… she's gone."

"What!" He tries to sit up. His wounds scream in protest and he hits the mattress with considerable force when he falls back.

"Don't move, you'll pull the stitches," Hicks warns, but now he's looking and there are tears and the Priest really doesn't know what to do with that. How did this happen? How could his daughter be gone? Was it a vampire? Bandits? Why didn't Hicks stop them? Why hadn't anyone told him! Apparently Hicks figures out the gist of the Priest's internal monologue, because he starts in with: "Look, don't… I… it wasn't anyone's fault. No bloodsuckers. It just happened. You can call it God's will if you want to, but it's just crap. She's gone and it's not fair and… and I don't know what to do anymore."

That isn't good enough for Priest, though. He settles an icy glare on the boy and demands, "How!"

"Childbirth. There were… complications. And there was so much blood. And I couldn't… there wasn't anything I could do, that anyone could do. I… I have a son but I don't have Lucy and I don't know what…"

The news hits the Priest with unprecedented force. His injuries seem to pulse with pain and now there's a fresh ache that presses down on his chest, making it harder to breathe. Through the haze his mind is in, he manages, "A son?"

"Lucy named him Shane. As close as she could get to Shannon, she said," there's a chocked sob that the Priest respectfully pretends not to hear and Hicks disappears into the back room long enough to collect a squirmy three month old infant wrapped in a warm blanket. "Here. He kind of looks like you. The eyes, at least." Hicks passes the moving bundle of baby to the Priest's good arm and makes sure that he's not close to pressing on any of the carefully bandaged wounds.

He takes in his grandson with silent reverence. And that is not a sentence he ever imagined himself thinking. "I see a lot of you in him, too," the Priest comments. "Why didn't anyone tell me?"

Hicks perches on the edge of the bed, more composed now. "I tried. I spent a while trying to reach you, but nothing worked. I thought I managed to get word to you when the Priestess showed up here once, but I guess she never caught up to you?"

Now it's the Priest's turn to deliver bad news. "She's dead. Got caught in a hive a couple weeks back. She killed the Queen, but she was supposed to wait for back-up and Black Hat got to her first. That's how I ended up on his trail."

"I'm sorry." Hicks frowns and runs a hand through his son's curly blond hair. "It's been two years since you left, I didn't know how to contact you, where you'd be." He smiles slightly, when Shane curls a tiny little hand into the material of the Priest's shirt, comfortable and clingy, as he drifts back to sleep. "I found Black Hat's head, by the way. It's buried for now – didn't know what you wanted done with it."

"Sounds good to me," he agrees, transfixed by the child.

Hicks just sits there, unmoving and silent, until at last, he asks, "What happens now?"