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16 October 2009 @ 09:29 pm
075 Storm  
Title: Darkness Overwhelming
Fandom: Mystic Force
Pairing: N/A
Rating: 15
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary/Warnings: Somewhere, all wishes come true. Maddie is recovered, but not unscathed.
Word Count: 1 189 / 52 682
Author's notes: My table is here.





075 Storm

The rain, almost unnoticed until now, suddenly increased, and thunder and lightning crashed overhead. Faced with a storm that cut what little light there was, Necrolai admitted defeat and recalled the Hydiacs, leaving the teens still undiscovered.

Xander made them wait for another ten minutes after the noises had faded away, aware that Necrolai was desperate to get her hands on Clare. Surprisingly it was the girl herself who pushed away from Nick, stepping carefully towards the door.

“Clare?” Nick said warily, following her.

“Necrolai’s not patient. She’s not waiting for us.”

“Sure?” Xander asked, letting his grip on Vida loosen.

Clare looked back at him, smiling faintly. “I’m sure. Hydiacs can’t really grasp silence, anyway…we’d hear them.”

Xander nodded, squeezing Vida’s hand absently and joining Clare at the door. “Let’s get this unblocked, then. Vee, go make sure Maddie’s still ok.”

When Vida was on the other side of the room he added, softly, “Are you really sure?”

Clare didn’t look up. “If she’s out there, the worst she’ll do to you is kill you.”

“Clare,” Nick said warningly from her other side.

“I’m sure. Let’s just get Maddie back in here.”

Xander let her work for a couple of minutes before sending her to get something warm ready for Maddie. Chip came to replace her, but Xander ignored him to ask Nick, “Necrolai wouldn’t kill her?”

“Not right away.” Nick yanked at a plank with more force than was necessary, gaining several splinters for his efforts. “Maybe not at all. I don’t know; she won’t tell me. But it terrifies her. She’s having nightmares all the time.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen those,” Chip agreed. “Nick, let me see that.”

“It’s a splinter, man.”

“Let me see before you drive it in any deeper, then. Come over here.”

Nick rolled his eyes, letting Chip poke at his hand with slightly more enthusiasm than skill. Xander pulled the last couple of planks away from the door, hauling it open as wide as he could.

“Vee? Maddie still out there?”

“Yeah…she’s not moving much, though.”

Xander met Nick’s gaze, frowning. “She’s probably cold,” he said to Vida. “I’m gonna go get her. Find a couple of blankets, and see if there’s any clothes that aren’t too disgusting.”

“Good luck,” Chip muttered, still occupied with Nick’s hand. “Nick, hold sti…”

“Ow!”

Xander left them to it, groping out into the kitchen. The flashes of lightning were worse than useless, blinding him and destroying his night vision; he counted under his breath, pausing each time one was due. It helped a little, but he still lost his balance twice, falling into the glass they’d never cleared from the cafeteria.

Outside was slightly better; he knew his way well enough to avoid most of the mess and the lightning was less overwhelming out here. He picked his way across the road to the alley facing the pantry, pausing to wait for the next flash of lightning.

Maddie was huddled against the wall a little way into the alley; she’d tried to shelter under a fire escape, which really hadn’t worked very well. Xander knelt beside her, brushing hair out of her face. “Hey, Mad.”

“Hey,” she murmured without opening her eyes. “Is it over?”

“Necrolai’s gone. Think you can stand up?”

“I don’t know. I’m freezing.”

“Well, let’s try.” He stood again, offering her a hand; she didn’t move, and he reached down to grip her wrists lightly. “Ok? On your feet, then.”

He got her standing, but she couldn’t keep her balance even after she pried her eyes open and he ended up sweeping her into his arms.

“ ’m falling for you,” she murmured, twining her arms around his neck.

“Always knew you would eventually. No one can resist the Xan Man.” He glanced down. “Mad, keep your eyes open.”

“Can’t,” she murmured, nuzzling into him. “Too tired, Xan.”

“Maddie, open your eyes.

“Yes, boss,” she breathed, but her eyes didn’t open and she didn’t respond again.



Xander didn’t remember getting back inside. He must have had just as much trouble with the lightning, but he didn’t remember it. The girls took Maddie to one side of the room, stripping her wet clothes off and trying desperately to warm her; Xander remembered very little of that, either. The next thing he really registered was the sharp sting as Nick poured disinfectant over his hand.

“Ow,” he said dully.

“Yeah, ow. What were you doing, crawling out there?” Nick tugged lightly, moving his hand closer to the fire. “Hold still, I need to get this glass out.”

“Didn’t you have splinters?”

“Yeah, Chip did such a good job on me, I decided not to subject you. This is gonna hurt.”

It did, sort of, but it was easy to ignore. Xander watched the girls hurry around Maddie. “Is she ok?”

“Not sure yet.” Nick didn’t look up from his hand. “Xander, are you hurt anywhere else?”

“I don’t know.”

“Xander…”

“That doesn’t even hurt. How would I tell?”

Nick looked up, meeting his gaze for the first time. “You might be in shock,” he said dryly. “I’ll have to look.”

“Yeah,” Xander agreed vaguely.

After months of sleeping huddled together even this wasn’t unusual. He stripped and sat stoically while Chip and Nick checked him over as carefully as they could.

“OK,” Nick said finally. “One piece of glass in your knee, and a cut along your ribs that’s gonna be colours by morning. I’m gonna disinfect it. Hang on.”

That one hurt a little more. Xander grimaced, holding his breath until Nick was done.

“Chip, get the fire up,” Nick said quietly, sticking a plaster haphazardly over Xander’s knee. “They’re both gonna need it. Warm up some of the blankets and find that soup Clare had heating. Xander? You’ll eat something, right?”

“I guess,” Xander agreed, looking down at the plaster. Thoughtfully, he added, “Ow.”

“Yeah, ow. That’s gonna hurt in the morning, so eat something now, get some sleep. That way, you’ll be wide awake to moan at us.”

“It’s the way you sell it,” Xander said dryly, glancing up as Clare came to join them, bowl in hand.

“She’s ok,” the girl said before he could ask. “She’s not really awake yet, but she’s warm and comfortable, and when she wakes up we’ll get her to eat something.”

“Now you eat this,” Nick ordered, taking the bowl from Clare and holding it out.

Xander managed most of the bowl, giving the rest to Chip when he was done. “She awake?” he asked. Chip was sitting in his way and didn’t move.

“Yes,” Nick assured him. “She’s awake, and eating. Now get some rest, ok? You can talk to her when you wake up.”

“Yeah,” Xander agreed slowly. The warmth from the fire was making him tired, anyway, and he put his head down without noticing the look on Chip’s face.

“He’s going to hate you in the morning,” Chip murmured when Xander’s breathing evened out.

“We’ll deal with it in the morning,” Nick said absently, glancing over his shoulder.

Behind them the girls were fussing over an unresponsive Maddie.