Wah-HEY! I'm half done with this! And my table is fleshing out fast, too!
Ah, they grow up so fast...
There will be an OST for this in the last chapter! YAY!TITLE:
Stand Your GroundPROMPT:
In which we meet Nicholas's family, and evil is afoot!20Crawl21.Alternate Reality22.Downstairs23.Pop24.Cliche25.Memory
Police Constable Galen McDougal, 21, born and raised in Sandford, Gloucestershire. Graduated Hendon Police Academy two years premature with exemplary performance. Disappeared from the police service for several months before resurfacing in his hometown and taking a low-profile job after witnessing a murder his first day on the streets.
He has been easily spooked ever since.
“G’morning, Constable!” chirped Detective DeLane, spying the young officer as he tried to sneak into the locker room. The station had returned to its open-access state, the investigation moving on to the next phase.
Hence why Audrey DeLane and Grace Kincaid were sipping coffee at Doris’s desk.
“He’s quite the recruit,” Grace muttered into her plastic cup, blowing on the black fluid before taking a careful sip.
“He’s a kid,” Audrey replied, scratching a quick note in a reporter’s notepad she had ready on her knee. “He’s got no business, so young, being all shot up about life. He’s worth a look or two, I’d say.”
“So you say,” Grace repeated, nodding absently, her attention diverted as Jillian Monroe entered the office, followed closely by Tony.
“That Ford on the access road,” Jillian began, her eyes scanning the office as she spoke. “Latent came up with nothing. It’s been wiped.”
“That’s Northline Road,” Tony grumbled, stomping over to his desk and sitting heavily in his old rolling chair. Monroe had called him at 7:30 am to ask why she’d not been updated about the sudden appearance of a suspiciously abandoned vehicle. Tony responded he’d not heard of it himself yet, as he was still asleep, and she would do well to copy his form. Instead, she showed up at his house ten minutes later and demanded he get dressed and take her out there.
“Sorry?” Audrey asked, rolling a bit closer.
“That’s Northline Road,” Tony repeated, grabbing Audrey’s coffee cup as she held it out to him, taking a large gulp before realizing how hot it was. He made a pained face before continuing, “It’s the most practical way in and out of the village, gets the most traffic. We usually post speed traps through there.”
“Which means they wanted us to see it,” Grace inferred immediately. “They want us to know they’re still here.”
There was a cacophonous racket at Andy’s front door, someone pounding away like mad. In the front hall, Andy stood poised with his M&P in one hand and his radio in the other, staring wide-eyed at the door, listening as aggravated voices carried on between rounds of hammering.
“You still there, Andy?” Evan Turner said over the radio.
“Yeah, m’still here,” Andy replied quietly. He didn’t want them to know that, after all…
“Hang on, I’ll have that Agent and Detective DeLane out there in a minute,” Turner said, genuine concern in his voice.
“Waitwaitwait, why them??!?” Andy hissed, catching his breath suddenly; he feared they’d heard him. “Even Angle would be better-”
“They’ve not shown up yet,” Turner interrupted, his tone now thoroughly downtrodden and worried. “Tony and Galen are the only officers in so far, besides the other crew. They’ll be there in a moment, just hang on-”
“Negative,” Nicholas’s voice crackled through. “Danny and I are on it.”
“Well, the ladies are already on their way,” Turner said before adding sarcastically, “S’good to hear from you, Chief.”
“Always keep the radio close,” Nicholas responded briefly.
The orange and blue lights of an unmarked car were the first thing Nicholas and Danny saw as they came charging up the road in Nicholas’s squad car, his own roof lit up. There were no people outside, however, and both of them feared the worst.
“You don’t think-?” Danny dared to say out loud, one look from Nicholas silencing him.
They screeched to a halt, jumping out the car, and ran headlong at the front door, leaping over the hedge and dodging to avoid a wayward stray cat, taking up sides by the door, backs pressed to the building as they got ready to kick the door in.
Just then, the door creaked open, and Andy stepped out, giving Danny and Nicholas a skeptical glance.
“Morning,” he said dryly.
“…Morning,” Nicholas and Danny replied, feeling awkward as they stood down.
“Andy, what’s going on?” Nicholas asked quickly, holstering his gun. It was only lately they’d taken to keeping them on-hand, and he felt odd carting it about, though he did also feel safer.
“I’ll tell you what,” Andy said, shaking his head as he tried not to laugh, “I’ve three versions of you fucking around in my house, not to mention those tarts from Lun-don.”
Nicholas went totally blank, ignoring the happy little cheer Danny gave, which made Andy finally break down and chuckle. Now they could hear the voices from indoors, like the volume had suddenly been switched up, and Nicholas recognized the vocal patterns of his brothers and sister.
“How’d you know we’d be here?” Nicholas interjected, scrambling for his footing.
you’d be here,” Andy said, giving Nicholas a snarky look.
“What’re they like?” Danny asked.
“Human versions of Angle,” Andy said quickly, jerking his head to indicate the front hall, his means of an invitation. “C’mon, Gavy didn’t want me smoking around her, but it’s my damn house, so screw-”
“Shut it,” Nicholas cut him off, giving him a death-glare, “She’s my sister.”
“And the knife in the glove box?” Grace asked.
She and Audrey were seated on Andy’s coffee table, yanked back an extra two feet and placed across from the couch, where Tadd, Franky and Gavy were lined up. Tadd, the eldest, was six inches taller than Nicholas and had a longer face, his eyes a hypnotic, deep blue. Franky, the youngest, was the same height as Nicholas but his hair was spiked with gel and he wore a permanent sly smile, and seemed prone to twitching and sudden movements. Gavy was only just shorter, with wavy dark-blond hair and a slight frailness about her; she and Franky were fraternal twins but she had been premature.
“I told you
I hadn’t lost it,” Franky said triumphantly, punching Tadd in the arm as Gavy rolled her eyes. “I just misplaced it, that’s all.”
“Same thing,” Tadd sighed, rolling his eyes.
“What did you need it for?” Grace pressed, trying not to grind her teeth. She had a high threshold for morons, but Franky was pressing the limit.
“Oh, you know,” Franky said flippantly, “Cutting things: Vegetables, cheese, cows, men, pants...men’s pants...Things. I dunno, maybe make a salad or build a fecking raft for my imaginary river or something.”
“…Well,” Audrey said after a brief, tense pause. She distinctly heard the plastic of Grace’s pen crack under the pressure of her grip.
“I’d imagine you’d need that raft,” Grace snarled, her face entirely void of emotion as she stared at Franky with cold hate, “Seeing as none of you rats can swim.”
The temperature in the room dropped below freezing, as Franky finally grew serious.
“Don’t fuck with me, babe,” Franky murmured.
“I don’t intend to,” Grace quipped.
Franky began to get up from the couch in slow motion, as Grace stood and reached for her hip, searching for her holster. Audrey slid back on the table, planning the roll behind a chair for cover, and Gavy lunged to restrain Franky, who shook her off as Tadd made to back him up.
And then a notebook hit Franky in the head.
“OI, WUT TH’FUCK??!” he yelled, clutching his forehead. “You coulda taken my eye out, you dumb cu-”
Nicholas’s fist connected with Franky’s jaw, sending him sprawling.
“What’re you doing?!” Nicholas shouted, Danny grabbing his arm to hold him in check.
“Heeeey, it’s Nick!” Franky said, slightly dazed, still lying on the floor.
“Yeah, we can see that,” Tadd said, rolling his eyes. He turned to his brother and said, “I see your hook’s improved, Nicky.”
“Tadd,” Nicholas nodded in acknowledgeable.
Gavy jumped across the room and took Nicholas in a flying tackle, sending them tumbling backward into Danny and Andy, who’d rushed in as well, and left the four of them in an awkward, painful pile.
“So you’re Nicholas’s sister,” Danny said by way of introduction as Gavy rolled over him, looking for the floor.
“Hi-hi,” Gavy replied, “An’ you’re…?”
“Danny,” he said, blushing slightly as he stood and helped her up. She was very pretty, with an aura of kindness and gayity about her that made Danny hold her hand a bit too long. She was…lovely-
Nicholas cleared his throat from where he still sat on the floor, making Danny yank his hand back and give Nicholas a cheeky grin. He reached down and grabbed Nicholas’s arm, yanking him up, and as Andy found his own feet, everyone turned to regard one another warily.
“S’a funny sort of reunion,” Franky said quietly, snorting with laughter. “Well, if nobody’s going to shoot me, I suppose we should go get the car, eh?”
“They’re not here,” grumbled a heavy-set man with a messy swath of blond hair pulled back into a short ponytail. His face bore a series of old scars, scratches of some sort, and what little could be seen of his hands and neck around the collar of his leather jacket were well-covered with tattoos.
“Well, they can’t be far,” replied his friend, much taller and fairly waifish in comparison. His head was balled, shaved really, with a faint pinkish tinge around the base of the neck, indicating he’d cleaned it up recently.
“Should we wait here?” asked Michael, licking at his filed front teeth in boredom. He blinked slowly, as if his eyes were out of sync, kicking dirt at the abandoned car before looking back toward the village, the barrel-like spire of the church thrust up above the trees. His temper flared suddenly as his patience thinned, yelling, “Oi, Peter, are we waiting or what?”
“Shut it,” snapped the heavy-set man, glaring at his cousin. This was Peter, and the tall man at his side was his brother, Paul. Somewhere down the road, Mark and Luke were standing watch, while further along, Matthew and John were busy cleaning out a Toyota van, whose occupants had been dumped in the bushes over a distance of half a mile at various intervals.
“If we wait here,” an older man said, the last of their group, and their leader, taking off his glasses to clean the lenses as he regarded the town in the distance, “They’ll come to us, yes. But if they come to us, we won’t get what we’re after. I don’t know about you lads, but I don’t think the organization will be too pleased with that.”
“We already looked for it, and it’s not there, whatever it is,” Michael grumbled. “Luke tortured the be-jesus out of Thomas and got nothing, and now the man’s not even alive to ask. What d’you recommend we do?”
“Ask his son,” the man replied, replacing his glasses, giving the angry young man a knowing smile. “Make him
“And if he won’t?” Paul interjected, his words smooth and deadly. He stepped toward their leader as if gliding, standing a menacing two inches taller than him. “Nicholas won’t break, nor will his family. Marie went out quiet like her old man, and I don’t think-”
“He’ll talk,” the old man cut him off, drawing himself to his full height, his words suffocating any further protest. “And if he refuses, I think my son can be of some assistance. After all, Nicholas always did have a…special fondness