Anonymous asked: Spades, David
The prison was used these days for educational tours during the fall and spring for local school children and not much else. Teenagers snuck into it on dares and to vandalize. It was old, creepy and silent. And had been the site of three murders over the past week. Which brought them into the mix.
So, while Marco and Cassie were doing research on the place, working under the assumption that this was a spirit, probably of a warden or a guard or an inmate, Rachel and Jake were searching through the prison for more concrete clues.
“We’d cover more ground if we split up,” Rachel told her cousin, keeping her flashlight trained on a desk as she rifled through some papers.
He was checking the walls for any hollow spots. “And risk getting caught alone by the ghost with no immediate back-up? Not this time.” She frowned a little but shrugged and kept searching through the papers.
“Nothing here. We should check the cells. If this is a prisoner, that’s probably where he’d be most attached,” Rachel finally said, straightening up and walking around the desk. Jake shrugged and gestured for her to head out first.
They walked through the hallway, their footsteps echoing on the stone floor.
Honestly, it was nice pairing up with Jake to do things. She still wasn’t so used to being alive again, to being with her friends again, that she didn’t deeply appreciate time spent with any of them. But Jake was… different.
He was her brother in all the ways that mattered, and he understood her more deeply than she even felt really comfortable with. But that was fine, because it was him. He’d held her hand in the deepest grief they’d ever felt, and had trained besides her to reach the point where they could get started on earning some revenge. He knew her inside and out.
At least, that had been true. She was holding back now. But he didn’t need to know that, know that the two months had been twenty years to her, that every memory was etched into the inside of her skull, that she’d learned the meaning of pain so thoroughly that everything she’d ever gone through before seemed like nothing.
He didn’t need to know the reasons for her changes.
It worried him that he didn’t, but better for him to fret about that than understand what hell was like. Better that than know her torturer had followed her topside to taunt and creep her out, as well as whatever other reason he had. Better worry over whatever he could imagine because whatever he thought up, the truth was worse. What had happened to her was worse.
It didn’t matter if he understood the minor changes in who she was. He was still her cousin, her leader, her friend, and time spent with him was time to be enjoyed. Especially on something nice and simple like a ghost hunt.
“Let’s split up to look into the different cells. Or do you need me to hold your hand for that, Jake?” She teased with a grin. He rolled her eyes and tossed her a ring of keys he’d pilfered from the office.
“Just make sure you come running if something happens, Rach. That way I can sit back, and you can do all the heavy lifting in the slaying.”
They each entered different cells, going through it searching for hints and clues of any sort of spirit attachment. Holes with things hidden in them, a loose tooth, blood, anything.
Rachel left hers first, and entered the next one in the row.
Entering the cell, she had a nasty surprise waiting for her.
David was grinning right in her face, and her mouth was dry. She opened her mouth to— say something? Call for Jake? She didn’t know. She didn’t have a plan. He solved that by covering her mouth as soon as it was open.
“Oh, Sunshine, I’m starting to get concerned that you don’t talk about your problems with anyone. Not even your family. Tell you what. I’ll help you out a bit.” He whispered right into her ear, his voice just barely audible even to her. “Let’s pry out some emotional honesty here, hmm?” His tongue flicked out and licked her ear and a shiver went right up her spine before she tried to lash out and attack him. But he was gone.
Fuck, what was he doing? What the hell was he even talking about?
The door slammed shut behind her.
She whirled and yanked at it. Locked. Okay, no, that was fine, she had the keys. David was such an idiot. She smirked in a shaky way, not entirely believing he’d made such a stupid mistake.
“Rachel?” Jake asked, from inside the first cell. She opened her mouth to reassure him as she picked the right key from the ring of them when she heard if.
Oh no. No no no no.
Tiny little rat feet. She looked behind her. Rats were pouring out of the little holes and cracks in the ancient jail cell. More and more and more. The keys fell from suddenly lifeless fingers, the sound of them clanking on the ground disproportionately loud. One rat darted forwards and shoved them forwards through the bars so she couldn’t reach them if she collected herself enough to try.
There was at least a hundred already.
Her stomach rolled, and the memories were overwhelming. Of being tied down. Of being swarmed. Of being devoured.
Her blue eyes were wide, and her back was pressed into the bars. When she’d dealt with dead ones, or individual ones, they’d skeeved her out. They’d made her angry-frightened.
But this was too many all at once. She didn’t feel angry at all. She just felt terrified and sick, and it was too easy to see a vague red lighting to the cell, like there would have been in hell. It was too easy to flash back, to think that she was there again, that this had all been some sort of hideously cruel joke.
The rats were teeming towards her, and she couldn’t make herself move.
“Rachel? Rachel!” She didn’t really hear Jake, as he poked his head out, and his mood went straight from concern to alarm. The rats were climbing up her legs, and she tried not to retch as suddenly she was able to move, shoving them off of her with frantic hands.
She didn’t hear her own words either. Didn’t realize she was talking as she felt a rat attach itself to her sleeve and shook it off. Her words were mixed with whimpers, as little rat teeth bit through her leggings, bit into her legs.
“No, nonononono, please, oh please, I can’t, not this, fuck, fuck, help, help me, nonononononononono…”
Jake, finding the key on the ground and fighting the impulse to start shooting each of the rats individually, fought with the cell door to open it and yanked it open, grabbing Rachel’s arm and pulling her out of the cell and away from the rats.
She was shaking like a leaf, and the rats followed, several clinging to her bloody legs. “Nonononono…”
Jake didn’t hesitate, swinging her up into his arms and shoving the rats off of her legs, not even noticing how they swarmed around his legs then and attacked him as they’d attacked her. He just started moving, grimly heading towards to the exit as he tried to ignore the way Rachel hid her face in his shirt, still trembling.
They were out of the jail, but Jake didn’t seem inclined to put her down. He took her to the RV, parked across the street. She seemed to relax as he took her inside and set her down on the couch, sitting next to her.
Her leggings were in tatters and stained with blood. Her legs were covered in bites.
And tears were streaking down her face, though she tried to scrub them away.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered after a while, in a way that suggested she felt… ashamed? “It’s… they’re just rats, I shouldn’t… god, they were all white.” Jake hadn’t noticed their uniform colour.
“Rachel, what the hell happened? There weren’t any rats in that cell when we started to search.” He tried to gentle his tone but he was scared and suspicious, and the way she was acting had him spooked beyond all belief.
She shrugged, breathing carefully in a way that suggested she was trying to regain control over herself. “I don’t know. I got in, the door closed, the rats started appearing.” She lied, and he could tell it was a lie. But her hand was in his and pushing would just shatter the self-control she was struggling to regain.
He sighed. “You have to talk to us about this eventually,” he told her, finding some Kleenex in his pocket and offering it to her. She took it, quietly and cleaned her face of what was left of the tears. “To me about it.”
“There’s nothing to talk about.” She was carefully not looking at her legs, not letting herself really feel the pain from the multitude of rat bites. “Nothing at all.”
He pulled his hand from hers and went to get the first aid kit. He returned to her side and gestured for her to put her legs on his lap. “It’s going to sting.”
She shrugged and refused to watch as he sterilized the rat bites. “…Please don’t mention this to Marco or Cassie.”
“What about Tobias?” He asked calmly, and part of her felt so, so bad because he was angry and he didn’t know who to be angry at and because he hurt with her and didn’t know why this was affecting her more than the horrible things they faced on a regular basis.
“… Definitely not Tobias.” She told him, swallowing hard. Tobias would be the worst because he knew of David. He knew what David was to her. He just didn’t know she was still being bothered by him. That she hadn’t managed to kill him yet.
What had David’s point even been in doing this? The hint was probably in his bullshit. “Emotional honesty” her ass. He wanted to show her that he could affect her. That the fact so much of his bullshit was somewhat easy to hide from the others wasn’t any sort of guarantee it would stay that easy to hide. That if he had the whim, he could still break her down, and he could do it where the others could see.
It was a power play. A reminder that he considered himself superior to her, that he could dig out whatever emotional responses he wanted.
Jake was winding bandages around her legs now. “I wish you’d talk to me about this.” Jake’s voice was quiet. Rachel couldn’t bring herself to look at him. “You know I still remember that glimpse of hell I got after that possession. The… heat, the smell… I can—”
She swung her legs away from him and frowned deeply at him. “I don’t remember a thing about hell. Okay, just… just let it drop, okay?” With the memory of that terrible sulphur-pain-blood smell in her nose, she couldn’t humor him, couldn’t make something up. She didn’t want to remember this shit. She just wanted to get on with her life.
Testing her legs on the ground, she got to her feet, wincing only a little at the pain that shot through her legs, and padded over to grab some of her whiskey. She didn’t think she needed to bother with a glass.
Jake watched, worry lines etched deep in his brow.