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Fuel

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226 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:06 pm

Nick felt confused, why did he start to feel so weird? He was right wasn’t he, she shot him, and she put him in this misery. But she looked so vulnerable, so tiny and helpless. She needed him, didn’t she? She couldn’t look out for herself; she was a danger for herself.

“Why does it have to be you looking out for her? You will break her heart; you will leave her just like everyone else. She is all alone. I can’t go and I can’t let her be with you or anyone. It is not me that makes her want to be with me. She was the one who never let me go.”

Nick looked at his little sister. She was so pale and she didn’t look to good.

“She hates me?”

“Not yet, right now you are this number one guy she compares each guy to.”

Nick-Rome walked over to Lenna and pushed the girls aside.

“My little girl, you got so big. You were so innocent, and then everything changed. Sweetie you have to let me go, I don’t wanna go but I have to and you know that. You need to stay here, I hate what you are doing but you are good in your job. Don’t stop sharing your light. Elle come on open your eyes, open them for me.”

Lenna’s eyes opened slowly, and she looked at the face above her. In those pretty green eyes. Oh she missed him so much.

“I don’t want you to go anywhere.”

“I know but it is time. I love you forever and you know that.”

Lenna nodded nearly not visible but she did. Not that she liked it that Nick was right, but he was her big brother and he knew what the right thing to do was.

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227 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:06 pm

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“I'm sorry, Elle. I was just trying to protect you,” Not-Rome-Nick said. Rome was frankly getting sick of things using his mouth to say things, but this one time he actually agreed with it.

Then there was an explosion from the car, and the feeling that he was burning, but when he stopped screaming and opened his eyes, Rome could move again.

Elenna was in Rome's arms already, and he pulled her tight against himself, glaring daggers at anyone who would dare to try to separate them.

“Lennie?” he asked.

She was crying and murmuring. “I will be alone forever…everyone left me, first my parents, then Nick, then Rome—”

“Hey, whoa, hold the phone, there, chica, Romey’s not leaving you.” She didn’t hear him.

“No one loves me…I wish I was dead…” Her voice was hoarse, and tears literally poured down her face. She trembled, faintly.

But Rome held her against this, gripping her tight, tight enough to hurt the both of them, but he didn’t care. “Okay, okay, shh,” he soothed, running his hands through her hair. “You’re okay, you’re okay, Lennie, baby, I’m here. I gotcha. Shh.”

She was crying harder now. “Don’t leave me!” she sobbed, then, in a bipolar fit, “If you’re going to leave just go! I don’t want to see you again!”

“Whoa!” Rome cried, pinning her flailing arms with his own. “Easy there, tiger,” he said, gentle but firm. “No one’s going nowhere. I don’t care if you want me to leave. I didn’t leave before, did I? I got my ass kicked like nineteen times and I didn’t leave—“

“Oh!” she wailed, burying her face in his chest. “I’m sorry, Rome, I’m sorry! I was so stupid, forgive me, I’m sorry, please don’t leave, I’ll never do it again!”

Okay, wrong tactic. “No, no, it’s all right,” he tried again. “I’m okay, you’re okay, that’s all that matters. We’re all okay here. Got it? And we’re all here. I’m staying right here with you, and I’ll be damned if I’m giving you the chance to run off again. You’re okay, you’re okay, shh,” he went back to brushing her hair with his fingers.

“Rome?” she sniffled. It was adorable. “Why did you disappear?”

“What? Chica, baby, Lennie, I’ve been here the whole time. You’re the one who ran out on me, remember?”

“I think…maybe you started to become Nick.”

“Oh, and that’s comforting, because I like getting possessed by psychotic werewolf-ghost douchewads.” She pouted but he continued. “Lennie, he was trying to hurt you, trying to kill you. That’s not love, okay? We’re here, we’re looking after you. That is. Time you started trusting the right people.”

She nodded.

“We ready to get this show on the road? I’m betting we got the law on our tail come daybreak.”

She nodded again, clinging tightly to his jacket.

“Okay, and, up,” he said, lifting her with a small degree of effort complicated only by the fact that he truly didn’t think six inches of his body were left unbruised. Well, maybe six inches. And that was being modest. He had just got her situated in the back seat of the Audi when more black stuff came up and out his throat and nose, and he leaned over and puked and coughed and hacked until there was nothing left.

Lily stood by, patting his back, and shoved water in his face when he was done. He took it gratefully and downed the entire bottle. Then he wiped the sticky black stuff off his face with his overshirt, which he balled up and threw on the car pyre.

Then, “Okay, squirt, shove over, I’m coming back there.”

Elenna looked sad and frightened. “You don’t have to babysit me. I’m um… fine or more okay. I think.”

“Oh, like hell I do. I’ve heard that one before,” he grinned, climbing back to sit with her. Immediately she folded against him, and he wrapped his arms and legs around her until there was no way they were coming untangled.

Lenna was already half asleep when she mumbled just for Rome. “The last days were weird, like a dream and I couldn’t wake up from it. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was as if someone else plays me and all I could do was watch it.” Lenna snuggled closer to Rome, if that was even possible. “Sorry it took so long to safe you. You are the best big brother I could wish for. Nick is long gone and he can’t be replaced by anyone but you are the best second choice.”

"What?! Second choice?" Rome looked hurt, but he was laughing.

“When you were first choice you got attacked by my dead lunatic brother and you all thought I’m a werewolf. What about you, you are my first choice for the second choice, but you are still in the first place.” And there she was, the smart annoying Lenna. Georgie produced a blanket; it was of course matching the color of her car, which she tucked around them.

At peace for the first time in days, Rome was asleep before they reached the interstate.

Georgie checked on them in the rearview mirror. “Wow I thought I never see that happening, Rome is really sleeping, and on top of that with a girl in his arm. I bet he won’t ditch her the next morning.” She turned on the radio and the song fitted perfectly to the situation, could it be that it was the final goodbye from Nick or just coincident?

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228 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:06 pm

Morrigan climbed into the car, keeping her head down. She didn't have much to say- it was pretty clear no one needed her anymore. Maybe they never had.

She didn't know where to go now. It was too hard thinking about going back home alone, having to tell her family about the way Shane had died. She'd have to tell herself again that there was nothing she could have done to save him.

Back at the motel, she hoped that someone would offer to drive back with her, but a part of her didn't expect it.

She looked back at the road where the Mustang was now nothing more than a bad memory. Lenna had lost her brother too, and that made it so much worse. She wouldn't miss Chestertown when it was nothing more than a sign on the way out of town.

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229 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:07 pm

For a brief moment Georgina smiled when looking into the rearview mirror and watching Rome and Elenna sleeping under the bright pink blanket, then she thought how helpful Lily and Morrigan had been with getting Lenna out of the car. What is Morrigan doing anyhow? She's probably back at the hotel by now...
Georgie grabbed her cell phone although the voice of her uncle popped in her head, warning her not to talk on the cell phone while driving. She was a hunter after all, so she needed to be capable of doing more than two things at the same time. She pressed the phone on on ear and waited until she heard a rather tired 'Yeah?'

"Hi Morrigan, it's Georgie. You left without a notice so I wanted to check if everything's alright."

"Yes, I'm fine."

Georgina's woman's intuition told her something else. "Are you in the hotel? We're heading back as well."

"Yes, I am."

"You were a great help, Morrigan, really. I couldn't have pulled Lenna out of the car without you."

"I'm glad I could help." She sounded sincere, but Georgie didn't miss the rather sad undertone in her voice.

"So, what are you up to next?"

"To be honest, I'm not sure", Morrigan repiled. "I'll figure it out. I have nothing left here."

"You know what?" Georgina paused for a second. "I think your car would make an excellent addition to Caleb's monster truck and my pretty Pink Lady, don't you think so?"

"Ahm..."

"And I will need a lot of female support when it comes to dealing with this little brunette brat that we just saved."

"Are you saying...do you want me to join you guys?"

Georgie smiled despite the fact that Morrigan couldn't see her. "We'll see you in a bit, okay? And don't run away, got it?"

"Got it."


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SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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230 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:07 pm

Allison's eyes opened slowly at the movement of the truck.

"Ca..." She coughed holding her throat. It burned when she swallowed and when she breathed. When she pulled the mirror down her neck was purple, the bruise shaped like Rome's hand.

She didn't remember what happened, but they were in the truck and there was a pyre behind them, so she guessed they'd won and it was over.

Aly collapsed against his arm crying both because of the pain in her throat and the stress of the last few days.

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231 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:07 pm

Caleb sighed. It was strange knowing he could sleep again. The relief was unbelievable. Surreal. All he had to do was stay awake. What was almost as surreal as that was Allison asleep in the passenger seat. Some remnant of the Djinn's nightmare world made him smile and adjust her seatbelt a little so it wasn't digging into her cheek. She stirred as the truck hit open roads again, trying to speak, but the bruise on her neck - a relic of the battlefield still burning in the rear-view mirror - prevented her. And then she was crying on his shoulder.

"Shhh ... it's over now. It's okay," Caleb reassured her, moving his arm to wrap around her shoulders.

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232 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:09 pm

Aly didn't even blink at him wrapping his arm around her. She wanted him to and liked it more than she cared to admit. The tears settled down into little spurts and finally stopped. She was exhausted and didn't care to know how long she'd been awake.

Her voice rasped like an old woman's.

"Sorry."

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233 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:09 pm

"It's alright. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on sometimes," Caleb answered before grinning almost-sadistically, "And Rome has shoulders like a little girl. We've been awake way too long."

Caleb tried not to doze off as they followed the roads back towards the hotel, using Aly's head on his shoulder as his focus to stay awake.

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234 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:09 pm

Aly snorted a laugh.

"Ow."

Then came the giggles. The kind that get more and more uncontrolled the tireder one feels.

"He does...Genies and werewolves and ghosts...oh my."

He glanced down at her with a tired but genuine smile and she felt the draw to him. She almost let it happen, but they were both too tired to think straight and for some reason she wanted anything with Caleb Daly to be more than a one night stand.

She closed her eyes, scooting a little closer to him as they left the sleepy New York tourist town behind them.

She whispered half asleep. "You find a place I can buy turtlenecks stop, k--people'll think you beat me." Another snort and another groan of pain. She wondered if her larynx was bruised.

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235 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:09 pm

"We don't live together - why would people think I beat you?" Caleb teased, "I wouldn't hurt a fly. I'd kill the everloving s*** out of a demon or shapeshifter, but I wouldn't hurt a fly."

Caleb pulled up in the car park of a late-opening truck stop, checking that the clothing section was still open. He glanced at Aly and sighed heavily.

"You're gonna need to come in or I'm gonna have to ask for your size," Caleb announced.

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236 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:10 pm

Maeglin

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Rome knew sleep was too good to be true. After five days--what was that?--like 120 hours--with only snatches of sleep--part of it drugged by the djinni, and the rest plagued by "normal" nightmares--he was ready to go insane from the dreams because he was going to go insane from the not-sleeping thing anyway.

And he was tired. And he hurt. And he was relieved as all hell that Elenna was okay, that she was sleeping curled up on top of him like an a-freaking-dorable little kitten thing, that the remains of Nick were torched, and that they were headed back to Tex's to go to ground and get all of their angsty problems sorted out. So, Rome slept.

Big mistake.

He woke, warm in his bed at Tex's, with the sun streaming through the window. He raised himself slowly, groaning, when the door opened cautiously.

Elenna poked her head around, with red-rimmed eyes--and was she holding a teddy bear?--and he smiled at her before she could say anything.

"Hey, chica. You just wake up?"

She shook her head.

"How long was I asleep?"

"I think...some days."

"Days?" Rome repeated. "Well no wonder I really need to use the can." He raised himself up, slowly, aching, and pulled Elenna into a hug. "You still tired?" Deliberately not asking if she was okay, because, dude, really?

She nodded.

"Well, here, you chill here, I'll be right back, because I just need to use the little boys' room and then I'm gonna go back to sleep, too, okay?"

She nodded again and burrowed under the covers, waiting for him. Rome did the old-man-hobble-shuffle down the hall to the bathroom, where he peed for about seven minutes straight, brushed his teeth, and washed his face as much as he could around the bruising. As he put his toothbrush back and closed the mirror, there, in the reflection of the mirror, stood Rawson behind him.

Rome yelped and turned around. "Rawson! What the hell!" Rawson was pale, and bleeding in several places, in the left arm and left shoulder most prominently, hastily bandaged.

"You didn't answer your phone," Rawson said, and then his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell.

"Raws!" Rome shouted, diving forward to catch him, and he felt so real and heavy there, in his arms, that Rome had just convinced himself this wasn't a dream when--
Rome twitched awake, only stopped from hitting his head or rolling off wherever he was by the body sleeping on top of him. He took a moment to get readjusted.

Oh. Lenna. Sleeping. Whups.

In Georgie's car. On the road. At one of those huge multiplex truck stop venues that Rome always found so fascinating--the kind with sinks big enough to wash your hair in, and mini-malls attached to them.

Elenna shifted on top of him, but luckily did not wake. Georgie was gone. Rome craned his aching neck to peer around him. The Fordosaurus was nearby, as was Morrigan's brother's car. Georgie and Morrigan stood talking outside.

Rome struggled to find the door handle a moment before managing it: "Hey, Georgie!" he whisper-called. "You got a first-aid kit?"

She was crouching at his side immediately. "Yeah. You okay?"

"Huh? Fine. Not so sure about Lenna."

He dragged himself out of the car followed by Elenna, whom he laid out on the hood of the car to get a better look at her, hoping she wouldn't wake.

She definitely had a crack on the old dome he could deal with, which had stopped bleeding but had not been cleaned. Just as he was pouring antiseptic onto a rag, however, Morrigan took it from him.

"Easy, Rome, let me handle it."

As the world was kind of spinning, he nodded and let her go, staggered back a few steps, and sat on the curb.

"How long was I out?"

Georgie checked her watch. "A few hours. It's almost dawn."

Rome groaned, putting his head in his hands. "Great. A new record."

"Rome, it's okay, you can sleep. We'll look after Elenna."

Rome shook his head. "Nah. I'm fine." He stood up. "I'm gonna go get us some food and stuff. Anyone want anything?"

"Your kind of food? No thanks," Georgie laughed.

He found Caleb looking through the women's clothing, having just selected a red turtle-neck top when he spotted Rome looking at him.

Rome grinned, but Caleb didn't think this was funny.

"You think Aly'll wear this?"

Rome opened his mouth to say something snarky before he remembered Nick using his body to choke her: this was to cover up that. Crap.

"Uh." He considered the shirt size from what he remembered about her without clothes on. "I think these sizes are running a little big. I'd go extra-small for her. And not fire-engine red, dude," he struggled through the hangars until he produced the burgundy color of the same shirt. "Here." He produced his wallet and handed Caleb way more cash than the thing was worth. "And it's on me," he said, guiltily.

Now Caleb grinned. "Rome, even your metrosexuality freaks me out sometimes."

Rome had a few remarks to say to that, but he liked his teeth where they were, so he kept his mouth shut. "I'm gonna go get cleaned up," he said, and hobbled toward the bathrooms.

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237 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:10 pm

Georgie quickly went to the store to get something to drink. She returned to Morrigan, who was watching over the sleeping Elenna, and handed her a bottle of water.
"Thanks." Morrigan smiled.

"It's just damn crazy", Georgie said while taking a sip of her water. "We all look like a bunch of beaten-up lunatics."

Morrigan chuckled. "Well, yeah, we are a bunch of beaten-up lunatics."

"I guess you're right." Georgina looked at Elenna and checked on her wounds. "When she wakes up you'll finally get to know the real Elenna. She's called the 'Walking Encyclopedia of Weirdness', but in a complimentary way, of course." She turned her head towards the stores. "What are the guys doing in there? Don't tell me Rome and Caleb have suddenly turned into shopaholics", she said sarcastically. "Actually, that would be great because I could use some strong men to carry around my heavy shopping bags."

Morrigan laughed. "Isn't that every hunter's dream? Being a shopping mule..."

"Shopping mule? What on earth...?" Elenna had just opened her eyes and caughed. "You're not honestly thinking about shopping right now, are you, Barbie?" She sounded tired, but there was still sarcasm in her voice.

"Easy there, Lenna", Georgie touched her arm carefully. "How are you feeling?"

"Awesome. My head feels like it's about to explode.."

"Here, drink something." Morrigan offered her the water bottle.

"Where's Rome? Where did he go?" Elenna looked around.

"Don't worry, he'll be right back," Georgie responded quickly as she saw her friend's insecure face expression. "There's one thing you can definitely count on, Lenna: he's not going to leave without you."


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SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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238 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:11 pm

Aly smiled groggily as Caleb handed her the shirt. Not a bad selection for a guy. His eyes widened for a second before he averted them as she stripped off her bloodstained white blouse and slipped on the sweater in front of him. She was too tired to care.

"Whe..." Another coughing fit. Rome's grip had done some damage, but she could still breathe so it wasn't life threatening. She swallowed some water and tried again. "Where are we headed?"

"Tex's joint."

"That's like home, isn't it."

"Closest thing any of us got."

She leaned against him as the new girl checked Elenna's head wound. After a crash like that Aly was surprised she wasn't more seriously injured. They should check her for internal bleeding, but she seemed okay. The pounding in her own head prevented any further thought. She wrapped herself in Caleb's arms, enjoying it while it lasted.

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239 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:11 pm

Maeglin

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Rome returned to the car, with a can of diet Rock Star (like the sugar was going to be the thing to give him a heart attack) and a few bags of clothes.

"Merry Christmas, kids. Got us some clothes and food and crap."

He began to strip down right there in the parking lot, putting on a new t-shirt and clean jeans. Socks and underwear had waited two days, they could wait til he got to Tex's.

He tossed a special bag full about twelve kinds of ice cream at Elenna and then went to Aly, leaning against the Ford and checking out her neck. The bruises that were in the shape of his hands were still visible past the high neck of her shirt.

"Sh*t, Al, you okay?" he whispered. Remorse shone in his eyes, and he felt like a kicked puppy. "I...I know it wasn't me, but...it was, you know? So, you know, sorry. I, ah, well obviously, you know, didn't mean to. Can I get you anything? Ice? A cold drink?"

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240 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:11 pm

Caleb's arms tightened around her for a moment and then released--almost as if he were hugging her. Then he stepped back as Rome approached.

She knew it hadn't been him, but when he reached out to touch her she recoiled slightly. He reacted as if burned. She took in a breath and reached out for his hand.

"I'm..." Her voice grated and she coughed. "I'm fine, Rome. It wasn't you."

He didn't look any better so she smiled at him.

"Cold drink would feel good--nothing bubbly, thanks."

He returned a moment later with an iced coffee which she took and held to her neck before taking a few sips.

"Thanks." Cal took her back under one arm as Rome retreated back to Lenna and the Barbie mobile. It didn't mean anything other than his protecting a friend until he told her otherwise, but damn it felt good.

She turned to face Cal as he helped her up into the truck again, leaning her head on his shoulder for a moment before pulling away so he could get into the driver's side.

"I'm gonna sleep for a week." She slowly sipped the cold drink letting it reduce the swelling in her throat.

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241 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:12 pm

Maeglin

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"Any chance you're gonna let me drive?" Rome flashed a smile at Georgie as he walked back to the girls who huddled around the Audi. Rome felt old and tired and used, and was frankly sick of it. He slipped an arm around Elenna where she sat on the hood of the car, wrapped in a blanket.

"Ha," she laughed, without any trace of mirth. "You still look like death warmed over, Rome. I think you should sleep."

Rome tried to school his features so he didn't actually look scared at that suggestion, like a deer in headlights, but he was sure he couldn't help a twitch.

"Ha," he replied. "I'll sleep when I'm dead." Not liking where this was going, he focused back on Elenna, who had begun chowing down on ice cream. "How ya doin', kid?" He grinned at her: "You look strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark."

She didn't, though, really. Morrigan had bandaged her head, it looked like, but he wasn't sure if there were any other injuries. "Mind if I check you out, chica? Not like that," he added pointedly, as Georgie snorted, but Elenna knew what he meant.

"M'okay," Elenna mumbled in protest.

"Yeah, and I could win a beauty contest now," Rome said, and gently lowered the blanket off of her shoulders.

He only knew rudimentary basic-combat-triage, but Morrigan didn't look like she was comfortable doing it, so he stepped in. He felt better being the one looking after Elenna anyway. Rome glanced around the parking lot to confirm it was empty--they were flanked by the other two cars, anyway--before lifting her shirt up and over her head to make sure that wasn't her blood.

It wasn't, mostly. She was a little cut up, and badly bruised, but no ribs gave under his hands, and the rest of her limbs appeared whole. Still, that bruising...

"Now tell me the truth here, girlie," he said her, as he produced a t-shirt and shoved it over her head, guiding her arms through. He looked at her sternly, and as he pulled the blanket back around her, he held her firmly by the shoulders. "How bad? Hospital?"

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242 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:12 pm

Lenna blushed a bit when Rome took her shirt of in front of everyone in the middle of a parking lot; well just until she saw all the bruises herself. This looked pretty bad. "How bad? Hospital?"

Lenna hated this question. Did Rome really think she would say willingly that she needed a hospital? She tried to feel how bad it was but as soon she thought about feeling she realized that all of this was her fault, Morrigan’s brother got killed, Aly got nearly killed and Rome was again possessed and if all this wasn’t bad enough already for the first time she didn’t had the feeling Nick was around. A shadow fell over her when she slid down from the hood of the Barbie mobile, handed Rome the blanket and walked over to Morrigan. She hugged the other girl which might was a bit caught by surprise and whispered. “I am so sorry about your brother. I know that doesn’t make you feel better me saying this, but I wish I would have seen what Nick is doing. I wish I could have stopped him.”

Morrigan stiffened and nodded. Lenna let her go and was glad when Rome put the blanket back around her. She wished he would never stop seeing her as a fragile little girl, but she knew at some point she would have to be back on track. But not right now. Right now she needed Rome too much.

“I’m fine Rome. No hospital, please.” She didn’t convince herself that she was fine, but she really didn’t want to go to the hospital. “I do whatever you want me to do as long it doesn’t include any hospitals. The ice cream makes me already better.”

Lenna tried to smile convincing at Rome.

“When you start spitting blood I will make sure you get into a hospital and if I have to knock you out I’ll do it.” Rome pulled her closer.

“Okay as soon I spit blood I go in a hospital. But right now can you give me another ice cream from the bag, please.”

“Will you eat all the ice cream?”

“Yes that’s my plan. Eat all the ice cream, so I that I feel sick and not anything else.” Lenna was slightly shivering.

Why does it hurt so much, he is since so long gone? But it feels as if he just died. Nick are you really gone?

There was no answer, this time she didn’t hear the soothing voice of her brother. And it scared her a lot.

“Rome? You are not going away, right? You are not leaving me somewhere to calm down right?

Lenna didn’t care if everyone heard her; she needed to hear him say that he wouldn’t leave her. If she would dare she would ask each of them. She didn’t want one of them to go away.

Family doesn’t end with blood. I have to keep this in mind. I have to.

Lenna was like one of those little chickens that was desperate to be close to the heat lamps. Just her heat source was not a lamp it was Rome.


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243 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:12 pm

Maeglin

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Rome cocked his head at this, not sure if he'd heard her right. I mean, this was Elenna, who was anything but clingy and didn't willingly surrender her independence.

And okay, not that he didn't understand having abandonment issues related to brothers these days, anyway.

He pulled her in for a hug, as tight as he dared. "No way, chica. I'm always here for ya, kiddo. Always." He pulled her away from him long enough to look her in the eyes. "You believe me, right? I mean, heck, you tried to push me away so many times the last few--"

"Rome, I'm sorry!"

"--That's not what this is about, Lennie, baby. I'm not mad. You were as good as possessed, and believe me, I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of that mickey. Let's just say, if I didn't leave you the past few days, I sure as hell ain't leaving you now."

Family doesn't end in blood, Rome said to himself. Sure, they were each a replacement sibling for each other right now: they could deal with how unhealthy that was later, try to shift the idea of "replacement" to that of "additional" or "surrogate," but that could wait until they were both a little stronger. Right now, it was just necessary.

Rome looked around at the group, not caring if everyone saw him in his moment of tenderness and relaxed standards of cool.

"All right, so we heading back to Tex's? If you're a masochist, Morrigan, you're more than welcome to join us, or we'll get you back to your family's place. Meantime, we're headed to a hunter friend of ours, Tex, who's got a place in Kansas we can crash at. Go to ground, rest up, be ready to head out again, we get word of a hunt. Up to you. As of now you could probably make a convincing argument that you didn't know we're all fugitives--"

"Fugitives?" Morrigan's jaw dropped.

Oops. Rome laughed, "Gotcha, just kidding," he grinned and winked and scooped Elenna up in his arms to take her to the Audi's back seat. Yeah, well, maybe we can save that story until after and if she decides to stick with us for the long haul.

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244 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:13 pm

Morrigan smiled at Rome, hoping to God he really was kidding. Right now she didn't really care. She just needed someplace to crash and some people to be with. That was all that mattered right now.

"I'd love to come with you, at least for a night before I head back for the funeral. Then, maybe, if you guys wanted...you know you could come with?"

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245 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:13 pm

Maeglin

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Rome flashed her a warm smile. "Sure. Like I said: if you've got a thing for self-harm." With that and a wink, Rome ducked back into the Audi next to Elenna.

He hissed as she curled up against him. Before he had been perhaps too tired to care, but there was a definite shift in one of those ribs. Joy. He simply grunted, though, and shifted where her body leaned against him.

She closed her eyes wearily as she burrowed into his side, but Rome didn't plan to sleep as he sipped his energy drink and pulled out his phone.

"Aww, hell," he said. The phone was literally fried--like, scorched and oozing black stuff--and there was no way he was getting a replacement for this baby until it was actually out on the market. Getting possessed did a number on one's electronics. Rome was glad he didn't have a pacemaker.

It's not like Rawson was gonna call anyway, he thought, dropping the expensive paperweight to the floorwell of the car.

"Hey, Georgie? If we run through any town with more than one stoplight, pull over, will ya? Rome's happiness is in desperate need of a toy run."

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246 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:13 pm

Georgie looked into the rearview mirror and raised one eyebrow by the sight of the burnt cell phone he was holding in his hand. "Good job, Rome", she said with a sarcastic smile. "That looks actually like a meal I once tried to cook. It was totally burnt. Gosh, I hate cooking."

"Common, are you telling me you're not a Stepford housewife with a snowhite apron and fabulous cooking skills?"

"Oh, shut up." She threw her cell phone- pink, of course, with little swarovski crystals- into his lap. "If you need to make a call or something. I'll stop in the next town." She quickly looked at Elenna whose eyes were closed and her head was resting on Rome's shoulder. Georgie couldn't avoid a smile before she focused on the road again.


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247 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:14 pm

Lenna looked up in Rome’s bruised faced; she had noticed that he hissed when she leaned against him. He wasn’t in a better shape than she was and he wasn’t in a great shape to start with. She had tear in her eyes. “I’m so sorry Rome.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“But I feel like I did this to you.”

“Stop doing this, it wasn’t your fault.”

Lenna looked guilty at Rome; she sighed and nodded when she leaned back against him. This time more careful so she wouldn't hurt him. But no matter how much she wanted to be independent from everyone, right now she needed to remind herself that Rome wasn’t disappearing and neither was she.

I do hope this needy feeling stops. Rome might be okay with it right now but he will get annoy of it.

The panic that had risen in her since the moment she woke up on the Audis hood started to disappear. Her heart slowed down and with that her head felt a bit better. Not much. Sitting with Rome in the Audi meant safety, and right now this was what she needed someone making sure she was safe.

Maybe a hospital isn’t such a bad idea?

“Head hurts.”

It was just a whisper and she felt stupid in admitting it and she did hope Georgie wouldn't hear her. She felt Rome looking at her, and more then that checking again if she needed a hospital. They both knew that she would pick the weakest pain and asks to fix it. Lenna hoped she didn’t start spitting blood, eating nothing then ice cream wasn’t maybe a good idea. Rome handed her some apple juice and some painkiller.

“If it gets worse we will stop at a hospital, chica.”

“Okay.”

Lenna sipped a bit juice just enough to take the painkiller and took another ice cream. She smiled that Rome had remembered that she ice cream calms her down. She didn’t feel like sleeping, each time she closed her eyes she saw Nick and she didn’t want to see him or think of him. She remembered the last couple of days just through a veil, but what she remember she wasn’t proud of and somehow she felt cold when she tried; when suddenly she did remember one thing more clear.

“Oh no.”

Rome was fully alert. “What?”

“I slept with a guy and I already forgot his name. I’m like you.”

Lenna kept eating her ice, and was looking really troubled at Rome. Georgie in the driver seat started laughing. “Oh Lenna, did you really forgot this guy? He was gorgeous.”

“He is a hunter. I think. I can’t believe from all guys in the bar, I slept with a hunter.”


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248 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:14 pm

Maeglin

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A beat.

Then Rome burst out laughing. Elenna and Georgie both looked at him, shocked, but he kept laughing, holding his aching ribs which--so far--still hurt less than that was hilarious. She looked so....concerned, like it mattered! When he was in fact more or less proud of her for forgetting the bum's name!

"Rome, stop, what's so funny?"

Rome tried to speak a few times, but gave up, shaking his head and waving her off, concentrating on breathing and wiping tears away from his eyes. Now his ribs really started hurting again, so he kept his breaths small and shallow, but now Elenna was looking at him funny:

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good. It's just I'm--" a giggle escaped "that was hilarious. You make me laugh, baby-girl, thanks. You sounded so...appalled." He pulled her into a tight hug, careful of her head and his chest, and kissed the top of her head. "You make me proud, chica. Just be smart, use a condom, and if they start to get creepy you stab 'em in the heart."

"That's not what I meant, Rome," Lenna said quietly. "I mean are you...okay? Do we need to go to the hospital for you?"

"What?" Rome left the grin plastered to his face, disarmingly. "Nah. I hurt like hell but nothin' I need a hospital for. Anyway, too dangerous for me. Wanted felon, remember?"

"Oh. Yeah. I forgot. Sorry."

"Keep talking, kiddo, maybe I'll be able to forget about it, too," Rome grinned. "Anyway, it can wait 'til we get to Tex's. Just don't make me laugh that hard again." He winked.

...

Columbus, Ohio was the next biggest town on the radar, so Georgie made a stop there. She wanted to get some shuteye in a real bed for the first time in what seemed like forever, and who could blame her?

But Rome certainly wasn't going to sleep the daylight away, and Elenna wasn't leaving his side, so, as beat to hell as they were, they made themselves as presentable as possible and went out on the town.

"Now you better not look like my girlfriend or something, Lennie. I get an opportunity and you cock-block me, I'm never forgiving you."

"I'll just be your little sister," she remarked snidely, "and if you leave me on my own to get lost Mom and Dad are gonna kill you."

Which was Lenna-speak for don't you dare leave me alone for one second, which he heard loud and clear. Fine. Wasn't like he was at the top of his game, anyway.

He bought her some clothes and candy which improved her mood, and he even bought himself a few funny t-shirts and some new shoes (the hunting life wasn't good to his Chuck Taylor's) before they got to the phone store. They had to go to three stores and Elenna was seriously getting bored before he found what he was looking for.

"Look at these--these are on the market!" Rome whined. "Everyone has this!"

"Rome, this phone is, like, 300 bucks! No one is going to have this phone!" Lenna protested, but Rome frowned.

"Come on, let's try the Apple store down here--"

"Rome, no! I'm sick of going to stupid electronic stores. Just get a phone and let's leave!"

Rome was shocked. "We haven't even been to half of them, yet!" If he could stand to go to umpteen girls' clothes stores, she could certainly sit through six or seven electronics stores.

Elenna snatched her bags from him. "Fine! I'll meet you at the library!"

"What library?"

"The big one, right across the street, moron. When you're done being a spoiled rich brat you can come get me."

"Fine!"

"Fine!"

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249 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:14 pm

Lenna walked across the street and when she just reached the doors of the library she realized what she just did. She was begging him not to leave her alone, and there she was she just walked away from him.

Wow maybe it wasn’t completely Nick who made me acting like a b*tch.

She just took her phone out until she realized that there was no point in texting him. She put her cell back in her bag and went into the library. She was right it wasn’t that bad to be surrounded by book. It wasn’t a bad library. Lenna found a nice comfy chair in a corner on the second floor right at the window. She had to go three times around bringing all the books she wanted to have a look at to her seat. She made sure her cell was silent and on vibrating and hoped Rome wouldn’t take too long to find a phone.
Lenna lost track in time, she looked through all the books and wished she could buy at least half of them. Maybe she should ask Rome to buy her some of them.

Oh I shouldn’t thought of this possibility. Where the hell is Rome?

Lenna looked out of the window and tried to find Rome as one of the faces in the crowd. She felt restless.

Would Rome forget me? He said he won’t leave me. he wouldn’t lie to me, not when it comes to this. Maybe I should have given him my number again, just to make sure he had it.

Lenna jumped up from the chair and went without looking a second time at the books she enjoyed a moment ago so much to wait outside.

I wish he could read my mind right now, so he would know that I want him to come back.

Lenna ripped a leaflet into tiny pieces, she tried not to panic and call everyone not to go away without her.


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250 Re: Fuel on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:15 pm

Maeglin

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The irony of it was, Rome found the phone he was looking for a mere 10 minutes after Elenna stormed off in a huff.

But he wasn't about to go collect her immediately if she was going to be like that. I mean, okay, they were all on the ends of their ropes, and really needed to get back to Tex's--Rome himself was wheezing like an asthmatic guppy on land--but, well, they needed cooling off time, too. Rome wondered if he could sneak a cooling off moment with the red-head Starbucks barista who gave him the best triple-shot 2% macchiato mochacino whatever the frack it was he ordered, but he decided against it as he looked out the window:

Thank God for Swiss bank accounts.

...

Rome walked up to the library like he owned the place, his new keys safe in his pocket next to his new phone. He was walking on air--or, you know, limping on air.

Elenna was actually waiting for him out in front, wedged in a small space between two columns, guarded by a pile of shopping bags. He'd recognize those skinny little legs anywhere.

"Lennie," he called. She looked up, and scrabbled to her feet, looking releived to see him. Hm, he thought, Note to self: don't leave her alone for more than five minutes. "Come on, time to go," he said, jerking his head as much as didn't hurt, grabbing a few of her bags. "I got a surprise for you."

Around the corner, in sight of the gorgeous vehicle, which chirped excitedly as Rome remotely unlocked it, Elenna screamed like she was at a Justin Timberlake concert. "Ohmygod, Rome, is that really for me?"

"What? No, are you kidding me?" Rome laughed. "Get in, and text Georgie we'll see her in Kansas. If I have to listen to 'Sk8er Boi' one more time I think I'm gonna eat my .44." Rome opened the door for Elenna, tossed their shopping bags in the trunk next to the bags he'd salvaged from the Audi, shut the door after her, and got in on the driver's side.

It kind of felt like getting a new puppy the day after Old Yeller died, but Elenna seemed more distracted than sad, and immediately began fiddling with the radio, enjoying the new car smell, and marveling at the heated seats and other useless crap. Rome smiled, satisfied, and started the engine, giggling like a schoolgirl as she purred to life.

"I call her 'Vera'," Rome said in a bad impression of Jayne Cobb.

"'Vera'?" Elenna looked skeptical.

Rome shrugged. "Call her whatever. It's what she can do that's most important." Rome flicked on the radio, threw her into gear, and peeled out of Columbus, Ohio, heading south.

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