Beren (beren_writes) wrote,
Beren
beren_writes

Fic: Bad Luck & the Law of Averages (10/14), The Old Guard, Nicky/Joe, mature

Title: Bad Luck and the Law of Averages (10/14)
Fandom: The Old Guard (Movie 2020)
Pairing: Nicky/Joe
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.
Rating: mature
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 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11


Bad Luck and the Law of Averages

Chapter 10 – Family Matters

The first address for Bryce was a flat share in Edinburgh, but Andy and Nile, in their guise as investigators, soon found out he was currently staying with his parents, further out of town. It was a newer estate with lots of cookie cutter houses and Bryce's parents lived in an end of terrace.

Nicky looked up at the back of the house through Joe's sunglasses. His skin no longer prickled in the sun, something he had been incredibly glad to discover, but the bright light did hurt his eyes. Joe had refused to hear of anything but him borrowing Joe's favourite pair of glasses because he'd had his in a pocket when he had been kidnapped, so they were long gone. He had others, but not in Edinburgh, and Joe had insisted, and Nicky was not inclined to argue with Joe about anything just at the moment.

"They're in position," Joe's voice said in his ear, "and go."

Bryce's mother was in the house as well as her son, so Andy and Nile were playing decoy on the doorstep. As soon as he got the all-clear, Nicky moved.

He refused to think about quite how easy it was to climb the drainpipe and crawl into the open window on the second floor. It was only a small window into the bathroom, but he'd squeezed through tighter spaces. Dropping to the floor, he silently stepped onto the small landing. There were three other doors, one closed, one partially open and the last half open with music and tinny explosions coming from inside. Nicky didn't even have to guess.

Walking to the edge of the door, he pulled his hood down. He didn't want to scare the crap out of the kid and a tall guy in black with shades and his hood up would probably do just that. Although, as he stepped into the room, he realised he needn't have worried. Bryce had no idea he was there.

The sounds were obnoxiously loud and Bryce was clearly playing some kind of game that involved shooting things. He would have waited for a break in the action, but he was on a time limit. Walking up behind the kid, he lightly tapped him on the shoulder. He could have shot him for all the difference it made.

Bryce all but leapt out of his chair, turned and promptly fell over when his knee caught the seat. Nicky lunged and caught him before the kid could brain himself on the desk. The chair, however, still made a crash when it hit the desk and then the floor, just as the music and explosions cut off because Bryce had hit too many buttons at the same time in his panic.

"Bryce," the call came from downstairs almost instantly, "you okay?"

For a moment Bryce stared at Nicky wide-eyed.

"Bryce?" came again.

Nicky made a hopeful gesture that Bryce should reply.

"Sorry, mum," Bryce called after another second, "just got overenthusiastic and knocked over the chair."

"Well as long as you're okay," his mother called back. "Do you want a cup of tea in a minute."

That made Nicky smile.

"Maybe later, thanks, mum," Bryce called back.

Bryce hit a button, so the music started up again.

"You made it out then," Bryce said, voice low enough so it wouldn't carry.

Nicky titled his head to one side in a half nod.

"They thought they staked me, but they messed up," he replied.

Bryce looked at the sunlight coming through his window.

"Then shouldn't you be smouldering or something?" he asked.

"Probably," Nicky said, "they seemed to think so since they left me in a field. Maybe I'm not a full vampire unless I kill someone," he added with a shrug, since he couldn't exactly explain he was immortal.

"So why are you here?" Bryce asked. "Not looking to change that are you?"

Nicky smiled and shook his head.

"The opposite," he replied. "I need to know where they are."

"Don't you know?" Bryce asked.

"I was unconscious when I was brought in and mostly dead when I was taken out," he said, "so no, I have no idea."

"Yeah, that would have made it difficult," Bryce said, giving him a worried frown and an up and down. "Look, I'm sorry I didn't send anyone back, but they would have locked me up in the loony bin."

"You did right," Nicky said before Bryce could go on. "More people would have been in danger if you had tried to explain. They would never have believed you and they would have gone in blind. They would have been too late anyway."

"What are you going to do?" Bryce asked.

"Make sure they can't hurt anyone else," Nicky told him.

Bryce considered that for a moment before nodding.

"I don't know the exact address, but do you have Google Street View?" Bryce asked.

Nicky pulled out his phone, unlocked it and handed it to Bryce.

"Show me," he said.

~*~

Joe was watching Nicky like a hawk, he couldn't help it. They had the address information they needed and they were back at the safehouse to plan and prepare. Nile, Andy and Booker were discussing recon and the options they had for how to proceed and Joe added his thoughts every now and then. So far Nicky hadn't said a word as ideas were being thrown around. Not too unusual since Nicky rarely said anything in such situations unless he had something important to add.

However, Nicky's complete lack of engagement had Joe on edge. He didn't think Nile or Booker had noticed, but he was pretty sure Andy had and was ignoring it. Afterall they were dealing with an unprecedented situation and Nicky had given them a hell of a lot of information already.

The way Nicky kept looking at the window was telling. They had slept a long time the previous night, both mentally and physically exhausted, then they had had the discussions about how to kill vampires and they had had to find Bryce after that. While Nile, Andy, Nicky and Joe had been with Bryce, Booker had been on a shopping spree and they had all the supplies they needed, including half-metre-long stakes and holy water. No one was asking where he got the holy water.

It had been a full timetable and it had taken them to mid-afternoon already.

"We need to go now," Nicky said, cutting straight through the discussions while Booker was pointing out vantage points near Ruth's den.

Joe knew that tone. When Nicky used that tone there was no changing his mind.

"Rushing in would be foolish," Andy said, tone equally as ungiving. "We need to make sure we know what we are getting into. We should stake out the property tonight and move in tomorrow when the sun is still high in the sky and not on its way to the horizon."

It was a perfectly logical argument, Joe would have agreed, except for the expression in Nicky's eyes.

"They kill every night," he said, gaze totally fixed on Andy. "They take innocent people off the street and torture them because it amuses them. Someone probably already died last night to satisfy their games and, if we wait, someone else will die tonight."

Nicky's voice was calm, but Joe could see the tension in every line of his husband's body.

"Maybe we could trail them and catch them in the act," Nile suggested.

"They would see us or hear us," Nicky said, without looking away from Andy.

They had already agreed the safest plan would be to take Ruth and her minions by surprise inside their house during daylight. None of them really believed vampires were confined in coffins during the day, but if Nicky's reaction to darkness the previous evening was anything to go on, it definitely had an effect.

"Something else we haven't considered," Joe decided to step in. "What if they decide to move on? They know someone knows where they live. If they go, we would likely never find them again, not even with Copely's help."

"But by that logic, they could already be gone," Nile pointed out.

"If they are then it makes no difference if we go now or just watch," Booker said.

"But if they used last night to prepare," Joe said.

"The chances are we would lose them tonight," Nile finished for him.

Andy's lips were a tight line. She didn't like it, that much was obvious, but Andy had never been one not to listen just because the facts pissed her off.

"Motherfuckers," she said loudly, and Joe knew Nicky would be getting his way.

Andy stood up and grabbed her axe, which was propped up against the wall.

"Pack everything into bags," she said. "Dress for a mission underneath and like a tourist over top. We're moving out."

Everyone slid into motion like a well-oiled machine.

~*~

The house was an old, three-storey townhouse, the only one on the road that had not been turned into flats by the look of it. It was set back from the others with a gate across the front and a tiny overgrown front garden between it and the door. All the windows had their curtains closed.

Nicky stared up at it. It made his skin crawl.

"They are inside," he said, no doubt in his voice at all.

There was no need to guess, he knew. It could not have been clearer if there had been a sign painted on the door. No one so much as asked if he was sure; he appreciated that.

Down the right side was a small, covered alley where the two houses were joined at the top, but not at the bottom. Doing his best impression of a slightly lost, but enthusiastic tourist, Nicky grabbed Joe's hand, slung the bag containing a good percentage of their equipment over his shoulder and dragged Joe down the alleyway.

The other's followed with Andy at the back pretending to be the reluctant member of the tour group. Nicky could all but feel her rolling her eyes even without looking.

At the back of the house was a high wall with a bolted gate in it. The wall ran around the entire perimeter of the garden, which was surprisingly large for a town property. It backed onto a quiet little lane that barely looked wide enough for a car. Luckily for them the house was off the beaten track as far as it could be in a city. Nicky suspected that might have been why Ruth chose it.

Nicky hopped up onto the back wall, lowering the bag he was carrying into the garden before immediately reaching back down to pull Joe up. Andy went next, then Nile and Booker, each dropping down into the overgrown back garden quickly. It didn't look as if anyone had done anything except possibly pushed their way through the weeds in years. Nicky slipped down into it behind the others and took his sword when Joe passed it to him. There was no need to hide the weapons anymore, no one could have seen into the garden thanks to the high walls and the undergrowth.

Pulling off his garishly coloured jacket to reveal the black hoodie underneath, he set about arming himself, while the others did the same. He placed the shot gun across his back, slipped a stake into makeshift holsters on either hip and pulled his hood up, mentally as well as physically preparing for what was to come. He already had two knives strapped to his back and his sword was comforting in his hand, once he slung the scabbard into its usual place.

Ready, he looked around at the rest of the team, needing to catalogue each of them as they headed into danger.

Joe had his scimitar, stakes strapped to his chest, and a high calibre gun on his hip. Nile had a machete strapped across her back, stakes at her hips like Nicky and a lethal looking pump action shotgun in her hands. For his part, Booker had a large knife in one hand and a spiked pole, that looked like it might have once had something to do with plumbing, in the other. Andy, of course, had her axe in hand.

They were ready.

"Once we're inside, no talking," Andy whispered as they dropped all pretence of being tourists. "We go room by room."

Nicky nodded along with the others.

The back door was bolted from the inside, but there was a large kitchen window that had probably once looked out onto a lovely garden, which fell to Booker's talents in moments. Nicky felt an irrational need to lunge for Nile as Booker boosted her through the open window and she disappeared behind some sort of blackout curtain, but he managed to keep it under control long enough that the bolts clicked back and the door swung inwards before he acted on it.

Joe placed a hand on his shoulder, giving him a questioning look as Andy and Booker joined Nile inside. Nicky nodded, pushing the ridiculously protective instincts down as far as he could. It wasn't that he didn't trust the others to do their jobs, he did, but his protective urges, something that had always been there, seemed so much stronger now.

He stepped into the kitchen, looking around. It felt wrong that it looked like a perfectly ordinary kitchen. There was a slightly musty smell, as if there was some food somewhere that had gone off a long time ago, but it appeared lived in. There were mugs on the counter and boxes of herbal tea stacked up neatly. The ridiculousness of vampires liking herbal tea was not lost on him.

His eyes were drawn to a picture on the wall. It was a perfectly normal family photo of what looked like a barbeque in what was now the overgrown garden. There were three people in it, two slightly older, probably the mother and father, and a girl. He recognised the girl, it was Beth. How Ruth and her family of evil had come to have such a nice old house suddenly made sense.

He didn't want to think about what had probably happened to her parents.

There were two doors off the room, one into a hallway that was slightly open, another that was locked with a very large padlock and bolted in two places. He knew that door, even if he had only seen it from the other side. That was the entrance to the cellar.

Since it was bolted from the outside, Andy waved them through the other door.

As they crept down the main corridor into the front part of the house, Nicky stopped. Their surroundings were dark, but surprisingly clean. The residents might not have cared about the outside, but someone, at least, seemed to have been looking after the inside. Nicky remembered the cellar and how it might have been stone, but it had been spotless. The cliché of cobwebs and aging furniture was clearly just that.

There were cases sitting just inside the front door. Joe had been right, Ruth and her clan were preparing to leave.

Andy signalled to Booker and Nile to each take one of the rooms at the front, but Nicky stepped up to her and lightly tapped her on the shoulder. When she looked he shook his head and pointed up. She frowned at him and he nodded; he was sure. The way his skin was crawling just looking in that direction, he had no doubt. The residents of the house were upstairs.

The staircase went up one wall and across the next to a landing that ran towards the back of the house and to a bigger area above the front door. It then did the same again to a third floor.

Andy gave Nicky the signal he should go first, which was logical since he seemed to have an inbuilt vampire detector. He crept up the stairs, Joe close behind him and the others spread out a little after that. It was an old staircase so he stuck to the edges to avoid squeaks. Once he hit the landing, he looked towards the back of the house down the corridor and he could see two doors, but his attention was quickly drawn to the other end of the house.

Just like downstairs there was a door off in either direction, both were mostly shut. There was a large window between the doors, covered by what looked like a couple of sheets over the curtains, but enough light was coming in that he could easily see. Given he was more sensitive to light now, he couldn't be certain the same could be said for the others, but the way they were moving suggested it was.

He moved along the landing, onto the wider area until he was between both rooms. In his mind he could smell blood, feel their touch. He took a deep breath, centring himself, building up his anger and pushing down his memories. Their presence repelled him and made his heart thud with adrenaline, but he had no doubt; both bedrooms were occupied.

He looked to Andy and made hand signals in both directions. He then pointed to himself and Joe and to the door on his left and to Andy, Nile and Booker and to the door on the right. Splitting up had not been in their plan, but neither was giving one set of vampires a warning and time to prepare.

Andy nodded.

The door was heavy and well built, not like a lot of modern ones, with a large, round brass handle in a chunky lock. Nicky turned it very, very carefully. It made a tiny click, but nothing more and he closed his eyes, praying as he fell back on old habits.

The day had been warm, the wood of the door had expanded. When he went to push it, it didn't move. He shared a glance with Joe, who nodded. Nicky put a little more force into it. It squeaked and moved. It wasn't a loud squeak, but Nicky froze, all too aware how sensitive vampire hearing was.

He held his breath, listening. There was no sound of movement from within.

On the other side of the landing, Andy was leading the others through a door that had been much more cooperative.

Nicky pushed his door inwards and, this time, it was helpfully quiet. The room beyond was dark, someone having done a far better job of making the blackout curtains really black than in the hallway. Nicky could still see well enough with the little light getting in, but he was pretty sure Joe wouldn't, so he signalled Joe to turn on his torch.

Stepping into the room, he looked around. To his left was the front window, large and covered, to the right was a large double bed. To the left of the bed was a door, to what Nicky guessed was a dressing room or a bathroom.

What had most of his attention were the two figures on the bed. There were no covers, and both were fully clothed. Roy was on his back, right at one edge closest to the door. Ruth was on her side, but sprawled across over half of the bed. There was the same stale smell in the air as downstairs and now it made him think of things dead a long time. In the cellar he had never noticed it, but here it permeated the room.

Silently, Nicky moved towards the bed, positioning himself between the vampires and the door, while motioning for Joe to go for the curtains. It was a simple plan of use any advantage they had, the light being what they hoped would be a big one. Nicky held his sword in both hands, waiting.

Joe moved silently like a cat, but the house had other ideas. Wooden floorboards warped with age gave no quarter, even to a righteous cause it seemed. The squeak could have been a signal flare for all the difference it made. As Nicky tensed, Roy opened his eyes.

On to Chapter 11
Tags: ch_story: bad luck, fandom: the old guard, pairing: nicky/joe, rating: r to nc17, type: fiction
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