“Bad news, Killjoys,” Dr. Deathdefying’s voice was gravelly and rough with static, due to a lack of signal where they were hiding out, but the words still came through the radio with a sorely needed update. Black Heart moved to get closer to the radio, maybe to hear better, but Party Poison moved first, and Heart shrunk back automatically. “Sources report that The Kid was taken down somewhere around 213 late last night. A lack of updates leads us to assume that he was ghosted--”
Dr. Death’s voice cut off abruptly when Poison kicked the radio, hard. Not hard enough to break the radio permanently; it was their only connection to any sort of news. Not even hard enough to make a loud noise, not with Grace asleep on the gritty mattress in the corner of their recently acquired hideout. Neither Fun Ghoul nor Jet Star reacted in any way to the movement, but Heart leaned back a little. The anger was directed at him, and probably for reason.
“He’s not dead,” Poison said harshly, voice hoarse. He hadn’t cried about Kobra, The Kobra Kid, not returning from the supply run, but he’d gone outside for about fifteen minutes after he’d finished screaming at Heart over it, and he’d yelled at the sky. He wasn’t taking it well. And now, he wasn’t looking at Heart, either, but that was fine. Heart didn’t want to see that anger, didn’t want to know that it was directed at him , for being the reason Kobra didn’t come back. The only reason he hadn’t straight up killed himself for probably getting Kobra killed was the hope that Poison would stop being so fucking noble and do it himself.
The morbid thought process had to end, and Heart cut it off abruptly. Kobra wouldn’t like him thinking like that. It was probably the same reason Poison hadn’t blasted him execution style in the back of the head; Kobra wouldn’t have let him.
“He’s not dead,” Poison repeated, more firmly now. Ghoul nodded, and Heart exchanged a look with Jet. None of them believed it, really. BL/ind didn’t tend to take prisoners, and the Fab Four (maybe Fab Five now, if they’d started including Black Heart, which Poison was adamantly against doing) were public enemies number one. “My brother is alive, and we’re going to get him back.”
Kobra glanced out the shattered glass window of the broken down gas station they’d doubled back to after stopping off for the night, simply as a precaution. He hadn’t really wanted to go; supply runs weren’t really his thing, and Poison didn’t tend to let him go. At least, not if Poison wasn’t coming, too. But it couldn’t be put off any longer. They were low on food and drinkable water, and, when you were living in the desert, those are things you can’t go without for a long time. And frankly, Kobra needed some time to be away from his brother before one of them spontaneously combust; things had been tense since Kobra had first brought Black Heart into the group. Poison had hated Heart since Kobra had introduced him, and, while Kobra could guess why, he thought it was all pretty stupid.
“What’s eating you, Mikeyway?” came Black Heart’s voice from where he was searching through knocked over gas station shelves to find any food that was still edible, still sealed, less likely to be tampered with. Kobra tensed. Heart was less likely to go by code names, and, when it was just the two of them, it was usually just Mikey and Pete, but Poison had it so instilled in Kobra’s head that names were power, and also a weakness. The more BL/ind knew about you, the more likely you were to end up dead. But Pete knew Mikey’s full name and Mikey knew Pete’s, and he also knew about the noises Pete made when he ran his fingers over the bat heart tattoo just above the line of his hips, so really, if Pete was going to use anything against him by now, he probably already would have.
“Nothing,” he replied, instead of chastising Pete about the use of his real name like Gerard-- Poison, whatever-- would. Ray probably would, too, but Mikey and Frank had never cared as much for Gerard’s strict rules about it all. “We should probably hurry up and get back, though. Desert’s the worst at night. It’s already getting cold.” The wind had picked up outside the broken window, blowing up dirt and dust.
“I’d rather take my time. I need my time away from your brother, you know. Did you see the look he gave me when you said it was just you and me coming on the run?”
“He doesn’t like you,” Mikey answered, pulling back one of the collapsed shelves and looking at the dented and dirty cans underneath. Some of it was probably redeemable. They’d have to take some of it back. When you went days without eating, even dog food could start to taste good, and Mikey’s pretty sure that was most of what was on the floor around them.
“I know he doesn’t,” Pete muttered, stepping closer and wrapping his hand around Mikey’s wrist to grab his attention. “It doesn’t bother me, but I would be happy if he would stop assuming that I’m going to turn you over to BL/ind as soon as I have you alone. Because that’s definitely not what I’m thinking about when I have you alone.”
“I know what you’re thinking about when you get me alone,” Mikey replied easily, turning his wrist in Pete’s grip without really making any effort to pull it free. He should have been fighting, telling Pete to stop, that they couldn’t do that, not here or now. But Mikey knew, and he knew that Pete knew, that Mikey wasn’t going to fight him too hard. “I’m surprised that’s what you’re thinking about when the conversation was just on my brother,” he added amiably, watching Pete’s face twist a little in disgust.
“Don’t bring him up, Mikeyway, I’m trying to seduce you,” Pete responded, stepping forward and trading his grip on Mikey’s wrist for a grip on his hips, instead.
“Doing a shitty job of it,” Mikey remarked, but he leaned in to lick the dust off of Pete’s chapped lips anyway, meeting them in a kiss. Dangerous and filthy and not at all what they were supposed to be doing, but Pete wasn’t exactly wrong. They didn’t spend enough time alone, so when they got some time alone, it was pretty fair that they’d be thinking of doing this, skin on skin, lips on lips, soft sighs and moans and whines that mingled with the dust in the air. He could almost hear the sarcastic response on Pete’s lips, so he kissed it away, unbothered.
They stayed like that for probably too long to be safe, kissing with teeth and tongue in a dirty, abandoned gas station, hands pushing clothes aside while think fingers traced the lines of tattoos on tanned skin. Only lights shining into the gas station window, glinting on the shattered glass was enough to pull Mikey’s focus, but not, it seemed, enough to pull Pete’s. Mikey had to push at his shoulders twice, forcefully, before Pete noticed anything.
“What is that?” he asked, voice hoarse.
“Nothing that means anything good for us,” Mikey replied lowly, pulling the blaster free form the holster on his leg. “Get ready for a firefight. I don’t think we’re getting out of here without one.”
Because whatever that light was, it wasn’t friendly. Friendly didn’t travel with light, friendly traveled in darkness and shadow and silence, because that was what was safe. Friendly built fire when necessary, and kept themselves hidden. Friendly stayed on the low. Bright lights shining into abandoned windows meant one thing-- Dracs. And Mikey was number two on BL/ind’s most wanted, and BL/ind didn’t take prisoners.
“Mikey,” Pete whispered, and Mikey kissed him quickly to shut him up. He wasn’t going to waste time like that; he already knew what Pete was going to say. He pushed Pete towards the back exit of the gas station, maybe to give them some sort of an exit strategy; if they could get out and get to the bikes, they could escape, but it was too late. Before the back exit door opened, the front door burst open, and suddenly, they were thrown into a firefight, the lights of the ray guns the only things illuminating the battle.
Mikey lost track of Pete pretty quickly, separated by Dracs and pushed back into a corner, tripping over the bagged supplied they’d been gathering. They were outnumbered, at least five to one, and there was only one thing that Mikey could think to do, one way to possibly get supplies back to his brother, to give them some sort of fighting chance.
Mikey found Pete as they were backed together again, just near enough to the door to give Mikey a last ditch effort for at least one of them to make it out alive. Still firing, ducking out of the way of stray ray blasts, he scooped up the bag of supplies and shoved it into Pete’s arms.
“Mikey, what are you--” Pete began, but was cut off as Mikey gave him a sharp shove, directly back and out the back door of the gas station.
“Go,” Mikey ordered calmly, resigned to his fate.
“No,” Pete snapped, and Mikey grinned, grim and determined. He didn’t bother with a witty reply, slamming the door in Pete’s face and clicking the lock into place. It wouldn’t stop Pete if Pete was determined to die with him, but he knew Pete better than that. Pete would survive because Mikey wanted him to. He would survive because he had to.
Turning back into the firefight, gun raised, Mikey smiled again. If he was going to go down, at least he’d go down fighting. Overrun within minutes, he faded into black peacefully, accepting that at least he’d given the others a chance to last a few more days.
And then he woke up in a stone room, bound in the darkness, and peace faded to frantic panic. This hadn’t been part of the plan. A sinister voice was all that greeted him as his eyes adjusted. “The Kobra Kid. Well, I think we have a lot to talk about.”