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21 February 2010 @ 08:49 pm
084 Drink  
Title: Darkness Overwhelming
Fandom: Mystic Force
Pairing: N/A
Rating: 15
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary/Warnings: Somewhere, all wishes come true. Toby comes to a decision.
Word Count: 425 / 52 682
Author's notes: My table is here.

084 Drink

The day Toby found himself considering drinking the water that dripped through the Rockporuim’s wreckage to puddle on the floor, he finally made the decision he’d been putting off.

He’d left the kids because they couldn’t afford to keep feeding him too. He’d been planning it almost since the beginning, but when Nick and Clare arrived he couldn’t put it off any longer.

He thought Xander—and maybe Maddie, sweet insightful Maddie—knew why he’d gone. In a bizarre way this War had been the making of Xander; he was leading and protecting his little flock unhesitatingly, taking responsibility in a way he’d only pretended to before. Toby had been very careful not to go near the school, but even incognito those kids were incapable of blending in and he heard things muttered around the town.

The kids had a secret source of food, somewhere uptown. The kids were raising an army. The kids had fought Koragg for the bodies of the mine hangings. They’d taken a girl from another group without throwing a punch.

Toby knew they’d retrieved the bodies. He knew Zoe had been running with a bad group—he’d tried to save her a couple of times—and he knew she wasn’t with them now, or at least wasn’t coming out into the open.

He didn’t know about the other two rumours. It would be very unlike Xander to hoard. At the same time, he would do whatever it took to keep the others alive.

The last rumour—that they were raising an army—he didn’t believe at all. Xander would not risk the others that way.

The kids went up to the Guardian’s handouts in the mornings. Toby went in the afternoon, not wanting to run into them; he knew he wasn’t strong enough to refuse if they asked him to come back to them. Unfortunately the Guardians tended to be running out by the time he reached them; no matter how much stuff they brought, it was never enough. Every day they told him to come earlier, and every day he promised he would, knowing he wouldn’t.

But now he couldn’t manage on his own any more. The groups roaming the streets were getting increasingly desperate, and too many people knew where he lived. Alone he was vulnerable. With a group he’d have a chance. And there was no other group he trusted.

Sighing quietly, he pulled on the second jumper that was the only thing he’d acquired since the War began, and left the shop. He didn’t look back.