Note: This is just the start and rough draft at that! I hope I'll finish it today! I have a new pic of Jewls too!
The Poison Cocktail
Dirty blond, unevenly cut hair lay across his face. His skin seemed almost ashen against the bright white of the hospital bed. Tremors slivered through his being, as if holding still were beyond him, no matter what chemical aids the staff imposed upon him. He lay on a white painted, cast iron framed bed, a threadbare sheet draped over his too slender form. He'd been a general once, at nineteen, a military genius in the shoes of an orphan painted over with the pride of serving his matron, his mother figure, the sorceress of blood. Mistakes were made. Feed a ravenous fire long enough and it will eat you too.
He knew these things because he'd seen the news and archive footage at his trial. He didn't feel like a war criminal. Leafless winter branches fingered the bars over his window, a thin window that let cold through , a taunting visitor that didn't really care about how many drugs he'd had with dinner either. He didn't know if the drugs made the voices under the cold stronger or fainter. At the trial they said the Sorceresses' forces had killed an estimated 23,651 people. He'd wondered if that last one had been an estimate or if it counted for himself. Whoever he'd been when he'd been in those bits of news footage, he didn't know that person, except to know that he loved the son of the opposition leader, the new president of Kalane. He had to have loved him then, because he loved him now.
Sebastian had been the driving force behind Sabine's defense. There had been four assassination attempts during the trial. The last had ended with a blast that cost Sebastian a leg. Of all the things that Sabine felt guilty for, at least that one he remembered.
"Are you still awake," Lucy asked, as she unfolded a blanket over him. Lucy was an older woman, gray at her temples, an eyepatch over the eye she'd given to the civil war. She'd lost two son's and her mate in the war. Sabine knew this because the day shift nurse had told him.
Green eyes opened to a slit. Lighting from the rising storm flashed outside the window, pale gold catching on snow blond lashes. "Thank you, Lucy San."
"if you can't sleep, you can come with me on my rounds," she offered.
He ummed, lips twitching very slightly.
"I brought you a sandwich." She tantalized. "Roast beef."
Green eyes snapped open, something of the predator who was one of the most successful military commanders in Kalane's history showing. "Roast beef?"
She smiled, nodded. "With a pickle. Get up, Sabine. I know you haven't been out of that bed all day."
He sat up, chin still tucked to his chest, tangles of ragged blond hiding his eyes. "They're scared of me in the day."
"Not without cause," she agreed, "But they'll never get over it if you hide all the time. It makes you mysterious and not the twenty year old young man that you are."
"Five years in limbo does not make you twenty-five." She repeated, a ritualistic tone in her voice. The ritual of pointing out his age meant more to her than to him. "You're still a boy. Where are your clothes?"
"Don't know," he said, shrugging. "I guess they went to the laundry. Doesn't matter."
She reached out to gently touch his face. "Of course it matters, honey. Here," she pulled the plastic wrapped sandwich from her scrub jacket pocket. "You eat this. I have a surprise for you tonight."
"Umm," he muttered, not really interested in anything other than the sandwich.
She moved to the window. He noticed the small flash of light, but didn't understand that it could have some meaning. The light flashed again, this time from outside the secure hospital. He looked up, chewing his sandwich more slowly.
"Eat," she commanded in a motherly way. "Don't wander off, Sabine. I want you to wait here for me."
"'kay." the pickle crunched and he actually smiled at her. She smiled back.
Waiting wasn't hard. At least it wasn't hard until he'd finished his pickle and sandwich. The secure ward was quiet at night now. Every prisoner on the floor was dangerous. Some were violent, some were just dangerous because of who they were or what they thought or knew. Sabine really had no memories before the trial, just a feeling of longing and love for Sebastian, so life on the ward was all he knew. He liked it much better quiet.
A light flashed through his window again. Green eyes narrowed. 'intercept enemy signals and communication' He rose, made his bed with military tightness and a long practiced precision. Wearing only thin blue hospital pants, he silently left his room, bare foot, shaggy blond hair, large empty hands that in now way communicated defenseless. Room by room he checked on patients, loosening some restraints, filling Dolma's water pitcher, taking care of the family that he had claimed.
Lucy found him perched on the nurse's station counter, rocking on the balls of his feet, forearms over his knees. "Its coming," he hissed.
"Yes, honey," she agreed. "but you won't be here."
"Wont leave you to fight it alone," he snarled.
"it's not coming for me," Lucy said. "You have enemies. When you neutralized Likuson, they got the fuel they needed. You have to leave tonight. If you're here in the morning, they'll perform a saturated lobotomy on you. So you're going with my cousin."
"but I promised Sebatian that I'd stay here and I'd obey the rules,"
"breaking another patient's spine was a violation of the rules."
"I knew it wouldn't kill him and he was touching people like they didn't like. What's a saturated lobotomy?"
"When you went through the Academy, you became symbiotic with the stored impresions of past accomplished warriors, intellectuals, diplomats. At your trial, all your threads disconnected with you, except for Cerberus, who was the great defender of Kalan and swore you were innocent. They will force the connection to severe as they disconnect the two halves of your brain."
"I'll die," Sabine said in a hushed voice.
Horror passed over his face, green eyes wide and innocently childlike. "Does Sebastian want this?"
"He doesn't know. We Couldnt get word to him about either the incident or the new trial."
"if there was a trial, didn't I have to go? Didn't i have a lawyer?"
"You have enemies."
She set the folded clothes down on the counter. "Get dressed."
"What if what they want is right? What If I'm a dangerous bad man? I don't want to hurt anyone anymore. Maybe Sebastian would want this so people will be safe."
"If that's true, then I'll attend myself when they cut away your life. But right now, I think Sebastian wants you to do what I'm telling you to do. Even if you think dying is a good idea right now, it isn't and dying is the shitiest way to pay for your sins ever."
"How should I pay for my sins then? All those people."
"You need to live and find out what happened. Sometimes things are not as simple as they seem." She took his hands where they hung between his knees and looked up into his eyes. "You are like my son to me. The Sorceress of Blood nearly killed you the same way she killed him. You were a boy. You're still a boy. We know she used mind control techniques. You don't remember what you did and didn't do or why you were where you were. Go with my cousin. Build a life. As you can, find out what happened to your last life."
He held her hands, rocking nervously. "Are you coming with me?"
"No, honey. I can't. You must never let anyone know that you know me. After tonight, you're going to be someone entirely new. I won't know you anymore, honey."
"Who will take care of everyone in the night?"
"Don't worry. They'll be okay. You remember this thing, honey, that every life is worth saving." She smiled, her mood suddenly lightening. "Now get dressed. We don't have as much time as we used to."
"Okay, Lucy," he said, dropping down from the counter. Suspicion and stewing depression darkened his face. "You're not going to get hurt? I don't want you to get hurt. Is this dangerous for you?" He asked, pale brows drawing down. "Won't you get in trouble for helping me leave this place?"
"They won't be able to do anything to me. Don't worry so much!"
He fastened his new jeans, fingers slow and tentative as if it were the first time he'd felt denim or the brass button. "Why can't we go together?"
She poked his forehead with her finger, smiled. "Because we can't. Don't be tiresome, Sabine. Do the best you can with this chance I'm giving you."
Pulling his tee-shirt down, he looked up at her when she gripped his shoulders. "I don't know how," he said, tears pressing against pale lashes. "I don't know anything but this place and waiting to die."
"You'll have to learn, Sabine. I couldn't save my son. I couldn't save so many lives, but your life is important to me. I know you need a chance to live. I believe you deserve to live."
A single footfall of a hard soled shoe brought them both to silence.
"There are those that would disagree," Dr. Hapland said, a sneer in his voice. "He's a murderer, a brilliant and deranged. I plan on playing news footage as I very slowly disconnect him from everything that still matters to him. The last images he'll be able to process is the terrified faces of his victims. No anesthesia, just restraints, so the last sensations this little monster can live with are the proofs of his crimes. So Lucy, just take the patient back to his room, get him ready for his treatment."
"No," Lucy turned, drawing a pistol from a holster at the small of her back. "That's not going to happen. This boy is not responsible for all that sorrow. He's a victim too and we're going to be grown up and let him go."
"Being grown up does not make us above the law, Lucy," Dr. Haplan, condescension dripping from his smile. "President Courtland signed the law that gives us the right to treat Mr. Karn with the best medical treatment possible."
"Destroying his mind is not the best medical treatment possible," Lucy said, moving to be between Sabine and Dr. Hapland.
"I'm going to destroy you along with him."
Sabine shivered, part of him could sense the coming battle, the rising aggression, but the greater part of him didn't know what to do with it. The part of him that had been a general, that had moved armies, and used other people's lives like chips in a game... that part was so dead to him that he didn't trust it had ever been real. "Leave her alone. She's a good person who takes good care of the people here."
Hapland pulled a syringe from a pocket inside his white coat. "You shut up, you monster. You used chemical weapons. Do have any idea the damage you've done to people and to land? The lives you've destroyed? And you sit in here with that pristine memory of yours, like you could make yourself innocent again? You want to escape what you've done. I'm just going to help you along, Sabine. Lucy, you put that weapon down. You know you won't shot me!"
"He's right, Lucy," Sabine said, calm. He stepped to the side, pulling Hapland's attention in more than one direction, at least away from Lucy a little. "Don't shoot anyone for me. Enough lives are gone that I can't bring back."
"He's not right. His hatred make him blind to what's possible. Healing is more important that justice. If justice were applied to everyone the only things left living would be the the grass."
Under Sabine's conscious confusion, a lifetime of combat training and his connection to Cerberus stirred. Graceful, his hand laid over hers as the pistol rose, as easily as if he were fluffing his pillow, he took her off her feet, disarmed her, then crossed the hall. His hand guided Dr. Haplan's wrist down even as his elbow impacted the older man's head, crumpling him into Sabine's arms.
Sirens whined under the wind, coloring the night, connecting the hospital to the distant world.
Still only barely aware of what he was doing, Sabine field stripped the pistol, throwing the parts in different directions.
"Sabine!" Lucy growled at him.
He took the syringe from the unconscious doctor and emptied it out onto the cold gray tiles before crossing back. He moved on his finger tips and the balls of his feet, green eyes scanning, body tense with combat. "Injuries," he inquired.
She grabbed him with both hands, one hand on either side of his face. "Look at what you can do. We took you as a child and made you into a weapon. I hope I've been able to love you enough to give you a chance to be a man. My bag is behind the counter. There is a pair of shoes and socks in it. Do you remember how to drive?"
"No," he wined softly. "You have to come with me."
"I can't. If I'd been your mother, I'd be very proud of you, Sabine.