Fan Fiction » Rin » Double Back » Chapter 4
QUEST COMPOUND, MAINE
"Hadji!" Jonny could not stop the scream that rose in his throat, unable to control the panic and no longer caring who saw the tears fall.
His eyes glittering noticeably as well, Hadji moved with the speed and skill of a cat, pouring the clear, yellowish fluid into the syringe and shaking it for a few seconds before stretching out Dr. Quest's grey-tinted arm and injecting it into the vein in the crook.
Seconds ticked by with the speed of hours, the only audible noise that of Dr. Quest's revolting vomiting as more blood coated the pillow.
Nobody spoke. Nobody moved. Nobody breathed.
Race Bannon was rigid, clenching his fists until he could no longer feel them in a failed attempt to hide the shaking of his hands.
Hadji ground his teeth until his jaw ached, praying silently to his gods for mercy as he swallowed salty tears.
Jessie's hands were cupped over her mouth and nose, still not having recovered from the shock of seeing the man she respected and regarded as much as her own father spitting out clots of blood.
Jonny's vision swam, his entire body trembling as the tears coursed freely down his face. His mind was filled with only one sane thought. Please, not my dad. Not my dad. Please, please…
A minute went by. The blood flow began to thin, every muscle in the dying man's body slowing relaxed into the bedcovers.
Hope was fading along with him.
Please, please, please…
Another spasm, weak, as if his body was too tired to do it any longer.
Open your eyes, wake up…please, Dad…
No more movement. Not even a twitch.
Don't do this to me…
Hadji's shoulders began to slump defeatedly. They were too late.
At some point (none knew or cared when), Jessie had moved to stand closer to her dad, to be in that circle of safety from harm she had always associated with nearness to him. Now, as she read Hadji's unsaid words, a small sob escaped her throat and she clung to her father, digging her face into his chest, as if trying to block out the sight of the body.
Race wrapped his arms numbly around her, unable to believe his eyes. The Doc could not be dead. It was impossible. Unthinkable. He didn't die; he had proved over and over again to be too smart for that…What would they do without the man they all depended on for leadership? He couldn't leave them like this…
Hadji, ever the thoughtful and caring elder brother, pushed his own whirling emotions behind a tight reign of control — though he himself knew it would not last for more than a few minutes longer, at most. His legs shaking, hardly able to hold him upright, he somehow forced himself to walk over to where Jonny stood, motionless.
"Jonny?" he murmured, using that soothing tone he saved for moments of tragedy or terror, trying to keep the tears from cracking his voice as he laid his hand on his younger brother's tensed shoulder.
Jonny did not answer, did not even look at him.
A single hot tear rolled down his cheek, and it was all he could do to whisper brokenly, "I am sorry, Jonny, so sorry."
The words his friend spoke did not even register to the boy. For Jonny, time seemed to have stopped and disappeared altogether. Everything around him — the walls, the furniture, the pale moon, the stars, even his mourning and shocked family…it was all nothing but a blur of murky colors and distant, unintelligible sounds. Only one thing was understandable. It was the only thing in focus. That was the lifeless body of his brilliant father.
What would he do now? It was bad enough he had lost his mother; he had never gotten to even begin knowing her. Now, his father, who had been forced to act as both parents for him his entire life, was taken from him the same way his mother had been. Murdered by a cold-blooded killer, pulled from this life prematurely, before it was his time to go.
He knew he was going to have to move, cry, do something eventually. But he could not bring himself to think about it right at that moment. All he could do was stand there, lost.
"Jonny, you must answer me," a pleading voice — rough with emotion — was saying in his ear, and he wished he had the power to tell whoever it was go to away, leave him alone with his grief.
He summoned all of his remaining strength and was about to do just that when there was a sudden, soft, gurgling noise that caused every head in the room to turn in disbelief.
Dr. Benton Quest's back arched as he tried to gulp in a too-deep breath. Immediately, he choked on the blood still caked in his throat, unconsciously leaning over the side of the bed and violently coughing it out, the dark splotches of blood mixing with vomit. Then, he collapsed onto his back, wiping his mouth, gasping in swallows of clean air with a repulsed and distorted expression across his face.
When his eyes at last blinked open, bright and dazed, the first rational thought that registered was that his son was standing over him, his handsome face covered in steadily-flowing tears and his whole frame shaking convulsively.
"Jonathan?" he murmured, his voice hoarse and rough from the ill-treatment. He was confused and yes, afraid, having no perception of why he was trembling and the coppery taste of blood still lingered in his mouth. But his family always came first in his life, and he knew that whatever was disturbing his child, he could make it better. He always could.
When there was no response, only complete and perfect silence, Dr. Quest worriedly struggling to a sitting position, watching his family through bleary eyes.
The only answer was of Jonny suddenly throwing himself at his father, muffled, muted sobbing against his shoulder filling the silence as he shivered against him.
"Jonny?" He rubbed his son's back in comforting circles, more alarmed by the boy's reaction than caring what the incident itself actually was. "It's okay. I'm here, son. It's going to be all right. Just calm down."
His eyes flickered up to Race questioningly.
The cowboy — uncharacteristically pale under his summer tan — only gave a shaky, understanding smile, looking more relieved than he had ever seen. Jessie's arms were wrapped around him; she sighed deeply, a smile exactly identical to her father's playing across her tear-streaked face. Hadji stood near to them, his shoulders relaxing as he wiped tears from his golden, watery eyes.
Dr. Quest did not need to ask to know how close he had just come to death.