Rebels & Rogues Magnificent Seven Alternate Universe
What You Have To Do
Rating: Rating: T - Suitable for teens, 13 years and older, with some violence, minor coarse language, and minor suggestive adult themes. I'm switching over to these Fiction Ratings. Fiction Ratings.
Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven is owned by Trilogy, Mirish and MGM. No money is being made. This fanfic is purely for entertainment purposes
AU: Rebels & Rogues Alternate Universe
Author's Notes: Sequel to Consequences. This is the forth story in the Rebels & Rogues Alternate Universe. The order of the stories: Genesis, The Collar, Consequences, What You Have To Do. This story will not make any sense at all without reading the others. The story is complete.
I've been working on this story for three years now, but just kept putting it off. Well, here it is. I hope it doesn't answer all of the questions... because I'd love to write more in this AU. Thanks to Phyllis for betaing this story. She went above and beyond. Any mistakes are mine.
Feedback is always greatly appreciated. Please let me know what you think. Thank you, Ruby :)
Warning: Bad language. Very dark subject matter.
What You Have To Do
Chris woke up slowly. Bleary-eyed, he looked around his small room, as he scrubbed a hand over his face. He glanced around the dank room, his gaze bouncing off the painted cement on the institutional looking walls. This old underground military barracks had been home to him and the rest of the Rogue-fighting-rebels for some time now.
He let out a long sigh and then looked at his watch. Morning. He'd actually slept through the night. It seemed like it had been a while since he'd done that, but there was a reason. Rubbing his eyes, he swallowed hard and then sniffed, thinking about Sarah and Adam, his wife and son. They were dead now, killed by the Rogue when the aliens had first come to Earth wanting to take over... and so far, doing a damn good job of it.
Oh, the rebels were fighting them... or hoped to be, anyway. But Chris wanted to do more. He wanted to draw blood, kill. He wanted to send the bastards back to wherever they came from. And now... with the help of the newly acquired 'collar'... they were going to do just that.
He rolled out of his bed, stretching as he stood. He made a quick stop in the bathroom and then walked out of his room into the hall. Sleeping rooms were situated on both sides of the hallway. Some of the doors were gone from the rooms and the children had made a sort of playroom out of one of them. The office that made up Nathan's Med room was on one side of the hallway, farther down. After that, the hallway eventually turned into a tunnel that led to the remains of a city, a half a mile away. On the other end was the main room with a kitchen and an office that Chris used. The main room they used for eating, meetings, sometimes training. And the kids played there when they needed to run off energy.
Chris raised an eyebrow when he was nearly run over by a group of small children. They darted around him, one of them actually hiding behind his right leg while the others raced by, heading down the hall with a young German Shepherd nipping at their heels, its high, happy barks echoing off the close walls.
He glanced down. Big blue eyes looked up at him from under curly blonde hair.
Her parents were gone, and his little ragtag group of rebels had found her on one of their patrols. She'd been hiding in the basement of a rundown building. She'd only been five, and they weren't sure how she'd lived there, alone, for as long as she had. But she was a scrappy, feisty little kid and Chris had liked her immediately, even if he wouldn't admit it.
Chris seemed to get a kick in the gut every time he looked at a child. Any young face reminded him of Adam, reminded him of what he'd lost. So he stayed away from the kids as much as possible, leaving them in Mrs. Potter's capable hands.
Oh, he'd dole out punishment to the ones who didn't have parents around anymore to do the duty, and who wouldn't listen to Mrs. Potter. Chris would step in, his face dark, his voice stern and lay down the law. There wasn't a lot of misbehaving after that. That was mostly with the older kids, though, not a lot with these little ones. The little ones seemed to not know what was going on, how terrible life had become. They played with each other and with the dogs, which the rebels kept to scent out the Rogues. The children's bright happy voices a lot of the time were the only cheerful spot in the whole damn world.
But not Emily. It seemed like she was born old; she and Vin got along really well, seeming to have that in common. When she looked at you, it felt like she could look into your soul. Sarah would have liked her, Chris thought.
Most of the children in the rebel's barracks were afraid of him. But, damn, he shook his head, so were most of the adults for that matter. He didn't try to come off as a hard ass, but he supposed he did.
He just had a responsibility to keep all of these people alive, and if that made him a little less friendly than, say, Buck, then he couldn't help that. When he moved through the barracks, he was quick, efficient, his dark clothes blending him into the shadows. He'd sent people scurrying out of his way more than once. But he always had something to do and he couldn't afford the luxury of caring what other people thought of him.
Emily was still staring up at him. She didn't speak, just looked at him with those wide, searching eyes. He cocked his head at her, a smile curving up one corner of his mouth. Raising an eyebrow, he tilted his head in the direction the others had gone.
Her little shoulders slumped. "Can't I stay with you, Mr. Chris?" she asked. She glanced down the hall and then back up at him. "I don't wanna play with 'em."
Shaking his head, Chris squatted down so he was face to face with her. "You need to stick with them. We need to know that you're all together. Okay?"
Sighing dramatically, she heaved out a long breath. "Okay." She rubbed the toe of her shoe on the floor. "Maybe you can read me a story?" She blinked at him. "Later, 'fore I go to sleep?"
Chris had to swallow hard. He squeezed his eyes closed as a picture of Adam crossed in front of his vision. Read me a story, Daddy.
He nodded. "Maybe. But if not, I know Mrs. Potter will."
She puckered her mouth up in a frown. "But she's not you."
"Probably a good thing," Chris gave her a rare grin, reaching out and poking her in the ribs. "I wouldn't look good in her dress."
Emily laughed, a sweet, melodic sound. "You'd look funny," she agreed. "Like Mr. Ezra that one time."
Chris barked out a laugh. Nodding once, he took her by the shoulders and turned her away from him. "Now, get on down the hall and stay with the others, okay?" He gave her a light push.
She took a few trudging steps before glancing back at him.
"Go," he shooed her with his hands. He stood up, his back protesting and he leaned back to stretch it as he watched her walk down the hall, her steps slow, rebellious. He couldn't hide his smile. Yep, Sarah would have loved the little girl. He looked skyward, a wistful smile on his face. Sometimes it felt like Sarah was still with him, by his side. He could almost smell her. He loved that.
He shook his head. He couldn't think about that right now, he had work to do.
He dreaded the confrontation he'd have to have with Standish this morning. Damn fool, thinking that they'd just let him go off and give himself over to the Rogue. His face darkened. Kill himself. He shook his head. 'Damn fool' was right. He wasn't sure, but he was betting that Ezra was still in the Med Room. Vin had hit him hard.
That's the first stop he'd make.
He walked down the hall. If Ezra wasn't there, Chris still needed to talk to John Dunne, the teenager that Buck, Vin and Ezra had found, Collared, working as a computer jockey in a Rogue bunker. To the Rogue, humans were mostly just food, or a nuisance to be dealt with, but they did have use for some people, and on those they put a Collar to keep them in line. And any of those 'Collars' that didn't do exactly what the Rogue wanted were dealt with immediately and fatally - the collars that they wore, doing the ghastly execution work.
Standish had gotten the collar off the kid, though, but not without some horrible consequences.
Now, they needed to get any information about the Rogue that they could out of the kid, so Chris needed to talk to him. He shook his head. The last time he'd tried to talk to the kid he'd wound up on his ass with 130 pounds of snarling, raging fury on him. The teenager was a hell of a fighter, even with his hands secured behind his back he'd managed to bruise the hell out of Chris' ribs. Not to mention the bite marks he'd left. Tooth and nail he'd fought, like an animal - because that's how the Rogue had treated him - like an animal.
Chris glanced into Vin's room when he walked by. The ex-marine wasn't in there. Chris walked past, down the hall and then through the Med Room door. This room was bigger and brighter than some of the other rooms. A counter holding odds and ends of the medical equipment they'd found ran the length of the back wall and two hospital beds were situated in the middle of the room.
"Hey, Chris," Josiah greeted him from where he sat between the two beds, his chair tipped back, his legs stretched out in front of him. He looked relaxed, but Chris knew better. Josiah was always on alert.
Chris nodded at him and then glanced over to see that Ezra was asleep in the bed on the right.
Dunne lay in the bed on the left.
Buck was asleep in the chair next to the kid's bed; he looked uncomfortable, slumped in the seat, his arms dangling almost to the floor and his chin resting on his chest.
The boy didn't look any more comfortable than Wilmington. He had a square bandage on the side of his forehead, covering his left temple. His black, shaggy bangs hid most of it, but the white corner peeked out. What he could see of the rest of his forehead was lined with pain. He had dark circles under his eyes and his skin was pale with a gray hue to it that didn't look good. Chris guessed that it was to be expected, though. He'd been through a ringer the last few days. The teenager's head was turned on the pillow and he stared at Buck, confused, his hazel eyes wide.
Nathan was sitting up on the cot at the edge of the room, rubbing his hands over his head, looking like he'd just woken up. The tall, black doctor glanced over at him. "Chris," he croaked out, nodding his head in acknowledgement before glancing around the room at his charges.
Chris nodded back and then the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He narrowed his eyes, taking another careful look around the room. It was then that he saw him... Vin... leaning against the wall in the corner of the room, his body hidden in shadow, but the light catching his eyes. He cut an eerie sight, Chris thought, blue eyes staring out of the darkness.
Chris took another step into the room and saw Dunne turn his head toward him. He winced when the boy let out a little squeal of terror and tried to scoot back into his mattress. The kid had restraints on both ankles and on his right wrist. His left wrist was in a cast from mid forearm down to his knuckles, but there was still a restraint on that arm, only higher, loosely wrapped around his elbow, but there just in case. The kid had proven to them what he was capable of and they weren't taking any chances.
Dunne cried out, whimpering. He looked over at Buck and then back up at Chris. Then, he actually growled, like a puppy protecting his place.
"Shhh," Buck soothed, still half asleep, reaching out and laying a hand on the kid's shoulder, comforting him, like he'd done it a hundred times before. "Easy, easy, kid. You're all right, JD. It's okay."
JD. Chris shook his head. So that's what Buck was calling him.
Dunne looked over at Buck, blinking rapidly, staring at him with wonder.
"Why's Buck the only one the kid's halfway relaxed with?" Vin asked, a wry grin on his face as he stepped from the shadow into the light, his limp more pronounced this morning.
Ezra's soft voice surprised them, "Mr. Wilmington is the one out of us who most closely resembles a Rogue."
So he wasn't asleep. Chris smiled.
"Bite me, Ezra," Buck said, the words muffled, his chin still resting on his chest. His eyes were closed, but the corner of his mouth turned up in a smirk. Yawning hugely, he covered his mouth and then stretched, long and lean, like a cat. He sat up straight in the chair and looked around the room. He glanced at JD and when he saw the boy looking at him, he cocked his head and smiled warmly at him.
Ezra shifted in his bed. "Oh, Jesus," he moaned, "my head." He tried to sit up, and for the first time noticed the restraints holding him in place. "Wha-?" He looked at his wrists, alarmed. "Why am I confined to this bed?" he asked indignantly, glancing around the room at the other men.
The men glanced at each other, uncomfortable.
"Ah, Ezra," Nathan stepped forward. "You don't remember what happened?
His brow furrowed, Ezra blinked a few times, his eyes glazing over. It looked like it all came back to him in a flash. He blanched, looking green around the gills. Suddenly, he looked over at Vin and his eyes narrowed. "You *hit* me," he accused, his voice high, almost shrill.
Vin shrugged nonchalantly.
Standish looked at the clock and gasped. "Is it morning? I need..." he pulled on his restraints, "to get out of here. The meeting is in an hour. I've got to get behind the warehouse on Fifth." He glanced up at the clock again. "And I'm not going to have time. I've got to-" he sighed, shaking his head. He looked around, meeting the grim looks from the others. "Well... you know what I have to do."
"The warehouse on Fifth and Union?" Vin asked.
Ezra nodded at him.
Sighing, Vin glanced over at the door and then back.
Ezra followed his line of sight, noticing the sniper rifle leaning up against the wall next to the door.
"I'll be making that meeting for you," Vin told him, his eyes growing cold.
"You... can't," Ezra breathed out. He glanced at the rifle, his mouth opening, the implications hitting him. "You can't just kill him. That's not the deal. I must give myself up, my life for the Collar's. It's what I have to do!" His body shook with fury. "You *can't*!"
Dunne turned his head to stare wide-eyed at Standish.
Vin smirked, looking mean. "Try me." He turned to go.
"No!" Ezra yelled out. "Stop! You can't. I'll be going back on my word."
Vin turned back to him, walking close to the bed to look down at him. "*You* won't."
Glaring around the room, Ezra hissed at the rest of the men, "What are you doing?"
"We're keeping you prisoner." Chris said nonchalantly.
"You... can't." Ezra gasped.
Chris smirked, mimicking Vin. "Try me."
Ezra squirmed. "No, you can't do this. I have a plan. I know what I'm doing."
"You have nothing to do with this." Vin shrugged, staring Ezra down.
Trying to kick out his legs, but not getting anywhere with the restraints, Ezra lay still, glaring up at Vin.
Vin narrowed his eyes. "*You* have no say here." He sneered evilly. "We don't listen to prisoners."
"No. No. No," Ezra chanted, pulling on his restraints.
Vin smirked, reaching out and patting Ezra on the head like a child. "I've got a meeting to make, and I'm running late. You be a good little prisoner, Ezra," he laughed.
"Fuck. You." Ezra spat out, his voice uncharacteristically bitter.
Vin shrugged, taking a step away. Glancing over at Nathan, he ordered, "I believe the prisoner needs to be sedated." He looked back at Ezra, his face sinister. "For his own good."
The men in the room gaped at each other.
Dunne glanced from one man to another, his gaze wide-eyed, scared.
"Nate!" Vin barked.
Nathan jumped, his eyes darting from Vin to Chris.
"Chris ain't givin' the orders here, Jackson," Vin snapped. "I am. *You* give him the shot or *I* will."
Ezra fought his restraints, getting nowhere. "No," he choked out, tired, panting from exertion.
Vin looked down at Ezra. When he spoke, his voice was low, rough, "But I can guarantee that my 'shot's' gonna hurt a whole hell of a lot worse than his."
Ezra went still, staring at Vin, incredulous, a look of hatred coming over him.
Nathan grabbed a syringe, pulled some liquid into it from a small vial and stepped over to Ezra. He surprised Standish, who only had a moment to try to pull his arm away before the needle was expertly inserted, and the plunger pushed down.
Ezra fought, but almost immediately stilled, his eyes glazing over. Finally his lids slid closed and he relaxed.
Nathan's hand shook slightly as he threw the syringe into the biohazard bin. He would not look at Vin. He glanced over at Dunne, who was obviously terrified. Sweat beaded on the boy's forehead; the flush on his cheeks standing out against his pale skin.
Vin took a step back, shaking his head hard. The men in the room were glaring at him like he was a stranger, someone they didn't want to know. He turned, snatched up his rifle and stalked out of the room.
Chris sighed, meeting the gazes of the others before following his best friend.
Chris tracked Vin down the hall. "Tanner!"
Vin turned, stopping Chris in his tracks. He pointed back to the room they'd just come from. "Chris, he *has* to know that he did everything he could. He *can't* think he went back on his word." He shook his head, leaning forward. "That man in there has honor, no matter what some people might think. This is the best way, the only way."
Letting out a long breath, Chris nodded once and then reached out, clasping Vin's arm. "You want company?"
Vin shook his head. "I do this alone." He sighed and then turned and walked away.
Chris stared after him.
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