Fandom: The Old Guard (Movie 2020)
Summary: Nicky can't help assisting people in need, but this time he's being played and those duping him come with fangs. When he goes missing the whole team are frantic, particularly when they start having strange dreams, especially Joe. They have to find Nicky before it is too late.
Warnings/Tropes: Vampires, Immortal!Husbands, Nicky Whump
A/N: Yes, of course I wrote vampires into TOG – it is my mission in life to write vampires in every fandom. 😂 You're welcome 🧛😂.
Seriously though – I hope everyone enjoys reading this one, I have so enjoyed writing it. Thanks to Soph for the beta.
Links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Chapter 3 – Impossible
Life slammed back into Nicky like a cannon ball into a castle wall. He sat up gasping and coughing and with pain in every part of his body. He curled and rolled and fell off whatever it was he was lying on. The heavy thud as he hit the stone floor perversely helped centre him a little.
Gasping, he gathered his scattered wits and desperately tried to figure out what was going on.
He hurt. He wasn't sure he'd ever hurt like this before, because it felt like it was in every cell of his being. His body was at war with itself. Taking long, deep, shuddering breaths, he did his best to push the pain down and figure out what was going on.
He wasn't chained at least, a small plus. Groaning, he pulled himself up using the wooden table he had to have been lying on. The room was still lit by the meagre lightbulb, but there was no sign of his assailants. He had a strange sense that he had been lying there for far longer than he would have normally expected.
His limbs felt weak and he was completely uncoordinated as he struggled to stand.
A quiet whimper of fear had him turning far faster than he should have done. His legs almost went from under him as he failed to balance, but he caught himself on the edge of the table. He was further down the room than he had woken up last time, but someone had taken his place. There was a young man, no more than a kid really, chained right where he had been.
"Don't hurt me," the captive begged.
From his ripped clothes it looked as if someone had already had a try.
"Not … not going to…" Nicky started, and then realised he was speaking Italian.
His thoughts were all over the place.
"Not going to hurt you," he managed to force out in English.
"You were dead," the kid accused, "you're one of them."
A wave of pain swept through Nicky's body from his heart outwards, almost as if taunting him. He swayed, closed his eyes and swallowed it down. His heartbeat was thudding in his ears.
"Not one of them," he said.
"I watched the bites fade away," the kid said. "They said when it got dark, you'd wake up, you'd eat me."
"It's not dark," Nicky replied and then realised there was no way he could know that, there were no windows in the cellar.
He'd answered on instinct.
"Not one of them," he reiterated, but he wasn't sure exactly who he was trying to convince.
He was a warrior, he could deal with pain. He stood up straight, refusing to let it take him down.
"What's your name?" he asked, heading towards the steps and the door.
It was time to start thinking like a soldier. He staggered a couple of times, but he made it to the stairs and dragged himself up them. The door was solid oak and had thick iron work all over it. When he tried it, it rattled, but barely budged. The hinges were rivetted, no screws and the plate over the lock looked as if it had been welded in place. There was no way out unless he could find something to help.
He set about searching the whole room.
It was a dark, dank cellar, but someone had also thoroughly cleaned it out. There was nothing of use. Eventually that just left his unwilling companion.
"Stay away from me," the kid warned.
"I need to see if those will come loose," he said, pointing at the chains. "If we are going to get out before they come back, we need tools."
He blinked and swayed, not wanting to push the terrified young man further unless he was forced to. The fact he was half naked and splattered with dried blood could not be helping the kid's image of him.
"What's your name?" he asked a second time.
The kid frowned at him.
"Bryce," was the hesitant reply after a good few seconds.
"I'm Nicky," he said. "I do not want to be here anymore than you do. We need to try and get out. There is nothing useful in this room except maybe those."
He pointed at the manacles holding Bryce to the wall.
"They're solid," Bryce said.
"I know," Nicky said, "I was in them last night, but then I couldn't get my hands to this."
He pulled the large paperclip from his pocket. Ruth and her cronies had taken everything else from him, but they had overlooked something so small and simple.
"You can get them open?" Bryce asked.
"I can try," he replied.
He wasn't the best lock-pick in the world, but Andy insisted they all learned as many skills as they could. It had come in handy many times.
"Okay," Bryce said.
Nicky moved in, focusing as well as he could. The kid stiffened in fear the moment he got close, but otherwise didn't react. He could smell alcohol and he could guess how Bryce had fallen victim to Ruth or one of her cohorts. Bending the paperclip, he slipped it into the lock on one of Bryce's restraints and felt around for the mechanism.
Closing his eyes, he did his best to visualise what he was feeling.
Unfortunately, removing sight not only enhanced his sense of touch, but his sense of smell as well. He smelt blood. Not his own, but Bryce's. His stomach twisted, his teeth ached, and a blast of heat rushed through him, making his nerves burn. He folded, make-do lock-pick falling from his fingers as he staggered away, gasping.
"Fuck, fuck, get away from me," Bryce yelled.
Nicky didn't have the strength to argue as he knelt on the floor simply trying to breathe.
"You're one of those things," Bryce sounded on the wrong side of hysterical.
"Not yet," Nicky forced out through gritted teeth.
He looked up at his terrified companion. He knew that terror, he had felt it. That he was the cause cut him to the bone.
"Not yet," he said again and clung to that knowledge.
Something was happening to him, something he did not understand, did not want to think about, but he knew that one fact was true.
Feeling about on the floor he found his misshapen paperclip. He held it up to Bryce.
"Need to get you out of here before that isn't true."
He was no longer sure he could save himself, immortality or no immortality, but now he had a cause.
"You want to eat me," Bryce accused.
Nicky shook his head.
"Not me," he said, "it does. Will be prepared this time, won't let it get to me."
Bryce's wide, scared eyes stared at him and he could hear the kid's heart beating rabbit fast.
"Please," he said.
Grinding his teeth together he refused to give in to the pain.
Finally, Bryce nodded.
It was hard to stand up, he had to use the wall this time, but he did it. He worked as fast as he could, opening first one, then the second manacle. Bryce stayed there, against the wall, as if he had no idea what to do now he was free.
"Get away from me," Nicky said as he clung to the manacles. "Stay at the back. If they come in before we get out, stay behind me."
Bryce ran then. He didn't go for the back of the room, he went for the door, but Nicky didn't blame him. He had the manacles to worry about, Bryce would soon find out it was futile. He worked at the hook on the wall, he tried to find a weak link, he even just pulled, everything he could think of. Nothing worked. These were not old and rusty, they were new and had been fitted to the wall expertly. They were not coming loose.
He tried every trick he knew, but it was hopeless. Eventually his strength failed. He knew he was getting weaker, he could feel it, and his legs finally gave out. He slid down the wall and slumped at the bottom.
By then Bryce was at the back of the room where Nicky had told him to go and their gazes met.
"We fucked?" Bryce asked.
Nicky couldn't help the snort of derisive laughter. They were indeed 'fucked'.
Joe pinned his last sketch to the mission wall. It looked like a storyboard for a horror novel, not something real. Nicky had been missing twelve hours and they had nothing useful. With Copely on the case there should have been something, even if it was only a hint, but all they had were three grainy clips from old CCTV cameras that looked like a big guy and a woman helping their drunk friend walk home with none of their faces visible.
If the clips had come from differing places it might have helped, but it was from three cameras in the same street at the end of the alley where they had found Nicky's phone. They'd combed the area on foot as well, but there had been no sign of Nicky or his assailants. It was like they had disappeared into thin air.
The pair had to either have had access to the CCTV to wipe their progress, or, more likely, knew where all the cameras were.
"Anything?" Joe heard Nile ask and turned to see Andy walking in with her phone in hand.
She shook her head, going to the table and sitting down.
They had had all the paper spread out on the table until Andy had become fed up and sent Nile out to get the pinboards Joe had been filling. There were five sketches, all done by him from Nile's descriptions. Each was twisted and monstrous, and unfortunately useless for facial recognition. And a hell of a lot of notes that didn't lead to any conclusions.
They had no printing equipment, or there would have been stills from the CCTV to complete the picture as well. Once Booker arrived, they would rectify that, no doubt. He knew Booker was in contact with both Nile and Andy now, was probably already working on the situation with Copely, but Joe hadn't directly spoken to him. His plane would be landing in a few hours.
Joe didn't know what to think, what to believe, but if Nile and Booker were having the same dreams about Nicky, something beyond their experience was going on. The dreams were about finding each other, meeting for the first time, they did not go on after that, not in his experience, not even in Andy's.
"I'm going out," Joe said when he couldn't bear staring at the board anymore.
"One hour," Andy said, giving him a long hard look, "and if you find anything you call. You do nothing on your own. Understood?"
Joe glared, he did not appreciate being treated like a child.
"Understood?" Andy repeated when he headed for the door. "Joe," she said sharply as he went to leave. "We cannot afford to lose both of you, and we are dealing with a completely unknown situation."
He stopped and took a deep breath. Of course, she was right. Andy was very rarely wrong when it came to dangerous situations. It was usually a do as I say not as I do situation, but she was several thousand years older than all of them.
"One hour," he agreed, but did not turn.
They'd searched. Three times they'd been back, in darkness and twice in daylight, but he was going to look again. He had to do something.
on to Chapter 4