Plus, I'm writing a real book now, so I have to focus on that. It's fiction, as should be expected with me. I gave a few chapters to some friends, and they really liked it, so I'm going to go ahead and write a second draft.
TITLE: Stand Your Ground 11/14-ish
PROMPT: 39.Let's Go
A/N: In which there is a gun battle and much violence,
Owen reached the corner of the church, slamming his shoulder against the rough stones before peering tentatively around the bend; the coast was clear. He shifted to his right, resting his back fully against the wall, looking back and signaling the others on with a jerk of his head. Somewhere in the distance, the high echo of squealing tires caught his attention, but he pushed the sound aside as he tried to focus on things closer to his own head, a tactic he hoped would keep it free of bullets.
“I don’t suppose anybody brought a flash-bang?” Andrew asked as he knelt down at Owen’s side, the other officers scuttling along in line.
“You want to storm it?” Stephen inferred, raising his eyebrows in disbelief. “That’s a good way to scare a bullet into you, Wain. Not for me…”
“S’not your call, is it?” Andrew retorted.
“Actually, he does outrank us,” Andy supplied, appearing by the crook of Andrew’s arm as the younger detective tripped on his own feet and pitched to the ground.
The distant sound of tires grew louder in the otherwise silent village, but Owen continued to ignore it.
“It’s a hostage situation now,” Stephen pressed, helping Doris as she hissed in pain, clutching her stomach for the millionth time in the last hour.
“It’s been a hostage situation,” Andrew contradicted. “It’s not getting any better, for fuck’s sake, the way we’re doing it, now is it?”
“An’ I s’pose yellin’ll make i’raigh?” Galen offered, forcing a chuckle.
There was a squeal down the street, near the fork where Elvis had nearly caused a two-car pile-up on his last excursion into the village. It was too close for Owen to ignore.
“Shut it!” Owen spat, flailing at the others to be silent. They all froze and stared at him, sensing danger.
The Sergeant shifted uncomfortably in his crouch, gathering his courage before peaking out around the corner again.
The muzzle of a gun pressed itself to his forehead, the click of a cocking hammer serving as proper introduction as Michael Angel smiled his jagged grin. Owen had been so busy thinking about the approaching vehicle, he’d missed the sound of the church’s heavy wooden door straining on its hinges.
“Hullo, Sergeant,” Michael nearly giggled, the joy of his blood lust making his gun-hand tremble slightly.
Behind him, Doris choked on a whimper, Walker and Stephen clapping their hands over her mouth and pulling her into a seated position so she didn’t tumble. Andrew and Andy were unclipping their handguns as swiftly and silently as possible, while Galen shifted Walker’s pre-loaded rifle from the preoccupied officer’s shoulder.
Owen swallowed hard, finding enough courage through his anger and fear to hold his gaze, burning holes in Michael’s head with just his eyes, holes that Michael could easily replicate in Owen’s skull with just the twitch of a finger.
“You’d best tell your little Sweeney friends to sit their arses down, mate,” Michael smiled in full, licking his sharpened fangs. “I know they’re hangin’ ‘round the side.”
There was a heavy moment of silence as the concealed officers all shared a horrified glance. Michael was going to kill Owen. There was no doubt about that.
A shot rang out, blood splashed against grey stone and green grass, arched high against blue sky like a fresh spray of paint from an artist’s brush.
Michael Angel slumped against the church wall, a bullet in his neck, eyes wide as blood spilled from the gaping wound, from his parted lips, from his flaring nostrils. Owen watched his eyes flash from rage to fear, then fade to nothing as he quickly slipped into death. In shock, he reached out, taking the dead man’s hand, forgetting their animosity in the wake of mortality’s realization.
Liam Nash stood ten feet away with a smoking M&P still leveled at the spot, a group of Met cops in full regalia at his back. Slowly lowering his gun, Liam approached the stunned Sergeant and knelt beside him, taking Owen’s hand in his own, snapping him back to reality.
“You alright?” he asked simply. They might have been strangers, but in that moment, they were almost as close as brothers. Owen swore he could see Evan in Liam’s face…
“Ev’ryone alraigh‘?” Duncan Bathe asked, coming around the side of the church and smiling cheerfully at the prostrate officers staring blankly at him.
“Um, Dunc?” Adrian Holbech said, placing a hand on his partner’s shoulder, “You’re a mong, yeah?”
“Fug off!” Duncan replied, looking cross before pouting and adding, “Aiy waz jus’tryin’ t’make ‘em feel a-bi’ better, s’all…”
“Different time and place, sure,” Rory Stetson offered, pushing between his two coworkers to grab the nearest officer, Andy, and haul him to his feet. Clapping the detective on the shoulder before moving on, Rory added off-hand, “No better way to die than on your feet, mate.”
“Optimism,” Kels sighed, appearing in front of Doris like a specter and offering her a hand.
“There is no optimism in war,” Doug Sidorov scoffed, checking his clip obsessively as Chen Li Zheng rolled his eyes and shoved him out of the way.
“Why are we holding recon on the side of a church?” Ahmbar Mahdaj asked as he and Kyle Winters came up behind Liam, who was guiding Owen back to the rest of the group.
They were all effectively hiding just out of sight, standing in a crowded cluster of cops.
“Does anyone have a mint?” Duncan asked after a moment of tense silence. Adrian and Rory smacked him in the back of the head.
“Oh, I’ll give you a mint,” Doug threatened.
“S’Adrian’s job, mate,” Ahmbar joked, making Adrian punch Kels in the arm from nudging Rory suggestively and winking.
“That doesn’t even make any sense-” Andy started, but Andrew touched him on the elbow, shaking his head pointedly at his partner.
“See? They get it,” Doug nearly cheered, his floundering joke of twisting all of Duncan’s words into gay innuendo finally panning out. “Though…not sure I wanna know why.”
“Gee, it’s a lovely day for a gun battle,” Owen smirked sarcastically.
“Yes, why not have a bloody picnic?” Andrew added.
“I take it they’re all inside?” Liam asked, trying to take charge of the situation.
“Abesserweek inna dredurg,” Walker nodded.
The Met cops all looked at Walker and made pained or confusedly amused expressions. Walker groaned and rolled his eyes, as did Galen and Owen. Things were not going well.
“Are you going to do it, or do I have to?” Jillian asked coolly, eyeing Luke’s Beretta.
Luke scoffed, looking to his cousins and then back at Monroe. He held out the firearm, holding the muzzle and offering the grip. She took it without hesitation, much to his surprise.
“You’re not really gonna…?” Luke asked, taking a step toward her as she cocked and aimed.
Immediately she swung her arm up, pointing it in Luke’s face, her eyes dead.
“Are you questioning me?” she asked coolly. He swallowed hard, glaring back, but stepped down.
“You always did get in the way, baby cousin,” Peter smiled from his seat on the back of the front most pew. “I’m not gonna miss you too much. Say hi to your mum and dad for me, will you?”
A bullet clipped Peter’s shoulder, making him yelp but doing little damage. The assemblage turned together, twisting and craning to see their assailant, finding him half-insane and shaking near the back of the church.
“NICHOLAS!” Franky screamed, his voice strained and gravelly. “Run, you sodding bastard!”
“Shut the FUCK UP, Franky!” Nicholas yelled back, striding forward with the purpose of a suicide bomber. “Shut up, I swear to Christ-”
“You’d do best to stop, Chief,” Jillian commanded, aiming her strides to meet him half-way.
Their guns leveled at one another in the aisle as Nicholas jumped a pew, cocking the hammer and pushing it to her temple. She in turn shoved her gun in his face, her eyes still emotionless.
“Nicholas, calm down-” Tadd tried.
“FUCK YOU,” Nicholas growled, barely taking his eyes off Jillian for a second.
“What’s the matter, Nicholas?” Jillian said calmly, cocking her head a touch. “You always worked better on your own, didn’t you? Never wanted anyone to hold you down…With no family ties, who’s to stop you from…greater things?”
In the back of the church, Derek and Tony were creeping low behind the pews, while Robin and Skinner ran along a hidden corridor set into the wall. Grace and Audrey had vanished to parts unknown.
“You deserve better,” Jillian said silkily, stepping closer, her body ghosting against his. “They don’t deserve you, Nicholas.” She reached up with her other hand to trace his cheek with her fingertips.
“Excuse me?” Nicholas offered, his face a twist between disgusted and confused, the aim of his gun somewhat skewed.
“Jillian, stop it,” Tadd barked, his patience growing thinner by the moment. He’d always known she was fickle, but this…
“You always were the best, weren’t you?” Jillian whispered, closing the distance between them, her lips searching his in a moment of misguided passion.
“…NICHOLAS?!” Frank and Danny Butterman said in chorus from the front of the church.
“DANNY!” Nicholas cried, shoving Jillian back so forcefully she hit the floor. Going crimson, Nicholas floundered, “I…I-it’s not what it looks…Are you alright??!?”
“Prick,” Jillian grunted, hurtling toward Nicholas, bringing her gun up hard and firing two shots in rapid succession. The first missed wildly, but the second struck Tadd in the chest as he threw himself between the two, slamming her in the jaw with the full weight of a maddened sledge hammer attached to the end of his arm instead of a fist, or so it seemed.
“GET DOWN!” Audrey shrieked, grabbing a petrified Angel and hauling him to the cover of the pews as shots suddenly rang out all around them.
Nicholas caught sight of Tony charging past as he lay stunned on the floor, a wet choking sound following a moment later. He didn’t know who’d been hit.
He rolled onto his stomach automatically, his arms firing as he heaved himself to his feet, a gun in his hand thanks to Audrey and a clear view thanks to extensive repression training. In the distance, Mark was waiving a gun at Frank and Danny, shouting something vulgar, but to Nicholas, he was six inches away and completely silent. A moment later, he was still a full church away, but he was successfully silenced.
Nicholas’s gun was also one bullet lighter.
“Behind you,” Simon called somewhat tamely, jumping in next to Nicholas and offering him some cover.
Nicholas caught sight of Tony again, this time across the aisle and up three pews, bobbing to avoid making himself an easy target, and a familiar officer at his back. Despite his time away from the Met, he knew it was Kyle Winters.
A bullet whizzed by his head, making a stone statue of Saint Peter explode at the front of the church. Duncan cackled somewhere nearby, whooping as he jumped from cover and fired sporadically. The rear of the church was flooded with cops, loaded down with fire power and adrenaline.
“Hullo, Nick!” Liam called cheerfully, slamming into him as he stumbled around the end of the row and avoided getting clobbered in the face by John.
Simon twisted and fired, missed, cursed, and instead threw his newly-empty gun at John’s head, hitting him in the eye. Rory and Kels were yelling something unintelligible at Doug, who was cursing in Russian, his native tongue; there was a bullet lodged in his knee, and it wasn’t really helping anything.
“You need some help there, Chief?” Andrew yelled, and as Nicholas turned to look back, a relieved grin split the torpor on his face; his team was there, and they were safe.
A burst of semiautomatic fire streamed across the assemblage, and everyone hit the floor.
“Let’s go, y’bastards!” Matthew shouted, slamming a new clip into his gun before unloading it helter-skelter into the wooden seats.
From there, the violence became explosive.
Tony and Kyle came bolting up the far aisle, shadowed by Cheng, Rory and Kels. On the opposite wall, Robin, Audrey and Galen mimicked them. Doris was stationed in the back of the church with Doug, a thick sheen of sweat covering her brow for reasons she refused to explain, while Doug wallowed in his own pain and frustration, his knee locked and bleeding.
Nicholas lead the charge up the main aisle, Liam and Simon at his back, the Andes and Grace leaping pews to his right, Walker, Duncan and Adrian to his left. Ahead of him, his cousins regrouped, his brother pulling Jillian along, pushing Franky out of the way, his mere existence an insult to Nicholas.
He would kill Tadd if it was the last thing he ever did.
Duncan and Adrian slammed Luke, Walker coming in for the kill. Nearby, Paul bloodied Kyle’s nose before kicking Tony recklessly in the stomach, nearly making him vomit as he collapsed to the floor. Matthew punched Audrey in the face and tackled her, but as he began to pummel her, Galen went wild and sank his teeth into Matthew’s shoulder, tearing and ripping until he tasted blood and felt it on his face.
A gun connected with the back of Galen’s head, and the young Constable blacked out.
Jillian and Grace faced off, two raging harpies set to kill, and as they came in swinging, Jillian’s nose erupted with blood, and Grace’s head rang with church bells.
It seemed an easy fight, with the fuzz vastly outnumbering their opponents, but to believe that an operation as big as the NWA’s parent cluster would only send a handful of men to a town known for its peace keepers would have been silly. Besides, Nicholas had a rather large family.
Derek stood at the back of the church, his hands resting on the napes of each of his remaining sons’ necks, his third son standing idly by. Thomas, Christopher and James were considered a silent team, meaning they worked jobs that required the utmost finesse. Their angle was more covering up than tearing open, but when called upon, they would serve whatever purpose was necessary. Now, facing their enemies’ backs, Derek kissed each of his sons on the back of their heads, stepping back as they rushed forward silently.
Christopher was the one who hit Galen, surprising Robin long enough to roundhouse the old man and break two of his ribs. Audrey lunged, knocking him back, squaring off with him. Meanwhile, Thomas floored Rory and grabbed Kels’s head, slamming it against the wall until blood trickled from the Sergeant’s ears and he begged for mercy, falling limp with a final blow. Cheng kicked him in the spine, making him shriek and snarl like an animal as he fell away from his victim.
James came up behind Simon and Liam, his footfalls rapid and ghostlike, and before either of them knew what was happening, he’d stabbed Liam in the back, just above the kidneys, missing his vitals but sinking the blade to the hilt. He pulled back cleanly, slicing through the air, aiming for Simon’s neck, but Skinner dodged and ducked, taking James about the waist, lifting him into the air, and hurling him down onto a pew, so that his spine snapped over the high wooden back.
Tadd knew his fate before he even closed with Nicholas, the two of them staring levelly at one another, unflinching.
“REGROUP!” Grace yelled, spitting a mouthful of blood onto Jillian’s face as her ex-coworker lay unconscious at her feet.
Rory and Cheng got Kels to his feet, finding Adrian and Duncan in better spirits, and the Andes similarly unscathed. On the other side of things, Galen was groggy but standing with Tony’s and Walker’s help, Owen grumbling as he wiped blood from his mouth, only half of it his. Liam was still upright, shock keeping the pain from overwhelming him, while Simon tended to Robin and Grace poked Audrey forlornly.
Nicholas’s family was clustered at the center, Frank and Danny in their midst, the only unsoiled people in the whole building.
“You fuckers had best give up,” Andy panted, half-smiling.
Only when Peter popped up with an automatic rifle did Nicholas realize he hadn’t seen him, and what that meant.
“Fuck you,” Peter replied, pulling the trigger.
Shots ripped through Cheng, Rory and Andy, the others hitting the floor fast enough. It was clear that Cheng was dead, the top of his head blown clear off, and only Rory’s hand was keeping his jaw from sliding off, but Andy…
“…Andy?” Andrew whimpered, his lover’s eyes staring blankly at him, a slim trail of blood dribbling from his half-parted lips and pooling on the floor. Andrew crawled forward on his stomach, ignoring the continued gunfire, clutching at Andy’s body as he came close enough. He was still warm…
“Andy, wake up,” Andrew encouraged, sitting up and pulling Andy to him, holding his body close. He began to shake, not with tears, but rather fear and uncontrollable rage, a need for blood. He was scared of himself. “Andy, please…”
Across the room, Tony was gagging on blood, a ragged hole in his stomach and a sickening dizziness making it hard to stay awake. Galen was holding him, firing wildly as he showed a virulence he’d never exposed before. Grace’s left arm was useless, Audrey ripping her jacket and using the sleeve to tourniquet her partner’s shoulder. Liam leaned against a pew nearby, watching her with regret in his heart, as Simon yelled at him to stay awake.
Nicholas whipped out his M&P and fired six times. Christopher, Matthew, John, Luke and Thomas hit the floor and didn’t move, splashing blood all over the Buttermans, but Paul stumbled forward, refusing to die.
“F…f-f-fuck--k---augh,” Paul choked. He pointed his gun at Nicholas’s head and fired.
Nicholas had forgotten Franky was even around until his youngest brother’s brains were splattered across his chest, arms, and face. The proximity of the Magnum had made his head nearly explode. Nicholas forced himself to ponder the logistics in an attempt to maintain his sanity. He met Paul’s eyes, seeing a triumphant smile in his cousin’s eyes just before he fell dead at his feet on top of his brothers’ and cousin’s bodies.
“It’s just us now, Nicholas,” Tadd said. “You and me, little brother.”