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Run Away With Me

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Recently, it hadn’t exactly been easy for Darlene.

That was an understatement.

She couldn’t sleep even though she was constantly feeling tired and overworked, even though she spent most of her days lying in bed. She had no appetite and just couldn’t eat, even after smoking weed. When she wasn’t lying in her bed, staring at the ceiling, then she was watching some shitty tv show or just looking out the window.

So that’s how Darlene ended up sitting on the floor of her apartment bathroom, a dismantled razor laying on the floor beside her, with the blade resting in her palm. She wasn’t going to kill herself, no, she didn’t deserve that. She didn’t deserve the peace and quiet that death brang. She didn’t deserve to escape from this horrible reality that she had created. She deserved to never have peace, always be conflicted, feeling guilt and remorse for all the loss that she had caused.

The sound of knocking on wood pulled Darlene out of her thoughts. She froze, holding her breath, not daring to make any noise. Did she imagine it? Judging by the amount of drugs that she’d been taking, she wouldn’t wouldn’t have been surprised if she did imagine the sound. It was silent for a few seconds, before the knocking resumed. Fuck.

Knowing her luck, it was probably the Dark Army. No, it was definitely the Dark Army, full stop. There’s no one else that it could possibly be. No one else cared about her, no one else would bother visiting her. The only people that she could think of, Mobley, Trenton, Angela, Cisco, were all dead, dead because of her. Darlene was immediately filled with sorrow at the thought of those people, innocent lives all lost because of her. It wouldn’t be Elliot either, not after their argument. After stealing all of the Deus group money Darlene and Elliot didn’t exactly part on the best of terms, although she wished that it was Elliot knocking on the door right now.

She heard another knock on the door, this time it was even louder than the previous ones. There’s no way that this wasn’t the Dark Army. What could they fucking want from her? They definitely didn’t want to kill her, since if they did then they would have broken the door in without hesitation. Was it the police or FBI? Maybe they’re finally doing some actual work, maybe someone from the Deus group hired a hitman to kill her and Elliot. Fuck, she wouldn’t know until she either opened that door or someone broke the door down. “FUCK!” Darlene yelled out in frustration, flinging the razor blade at the wall as hard as she could.

“Darlene?” The person could be heard calling out from behind the front door. Darlene’s heart jumped at the sound of her own name being called out by this stranger. Who the fuck was this?

“Darlene, let me in,” the person called again. Darlene didn’t move. Hopefully they would go away soon, and leave Darlene to hate herself in peace. She couldn’t even have a mental breakdown without something interrupting it, for Christ’s sake.

A few seconds passed before Darlene could hear the lock being picked, and shortly the door creaked as it was swung open. This person was clearly a criminal or pentester or something, what average person knew how to pick a lock?! Darlene’s breathing started to get even faster as her heart rate picked up. Her body started to tremble and her palms began to sweat. These were clear signs that she was going to have a panic attack, and now was not the time for this. Unfortunately, nothing ever went her way.

Darlene trembled and hyperventilated as she tried to think of what to do. Her best bet was to try to confront the intruder, but she didn’t know what to do after that. Her anxiety was clouding her kind and she couldn’t make any clear thoughts. Before she could manage to think of what to do, the bathroom door was cautiously opened by the mystery intruder. Darlene let out a quiet sob as she brought her knees to her chest and hid her head in them. She had completely given up. She was going to die now, and there was nothing that she could do about it.

She could hear the quiet footsteps of the person as they approached her.

“Darlene?” The voice cautiously asked, standing a metre or so away from the panicky brunette. Darlene didn’t move in response to her name being called, and only continued to tremble.

The figure got closer and kneeled down, facing Darlene who still refused to look up.

“Hey, hey, breathe, ok? It’s just me, Dom. You’re going to be ok. Just breathe for me.” Dom started to instruct the girl. Darlene looked up in shock, being met with a beautiful red-headed FBI agent. She was alive.

“In, and out, ok? Just copy me,” Dom continued as she started to breathe loudly for Darlene to follow. A minute later of Darlene following Dom’s breathing, she had quite considerably calmed down.

“You- you’re alive,” Darlene whispered out.

A pause.

“Yeah, it takes more than a knife to the chest to kill me,” the FBI agent smiled, trying to make a joke. Darlene didn’t laugh.

~~~~~

Once Dom was lucid enough in the hospital to make any clear thoughts, she knew that she had to get out of there. One drive home with some random volunteer, and she was finally alone.

She stood outside of her apartment, anxiously holding her keys. Did she want to go inside? There could be Dark Army waiting there, waiting to kill her. Waiting to torture her just for the fun of it. No, there definitely was Dark Army there, no doubt about it. Well, it’s not like she had any other option. She placed the key into the lock, turned it and opened the door, to be met with-

Her empty apartment, looking as dead as always. There was no one there, and no sign that someone had broken in and entered. Everything was in its place, the takeout boxes meticulously stacked on her table, papers strewn about on her desk, clothes piled in one corner of the room. It was her flat, alright.

Dom already had a plan in mind. The long and awkward drive home from the hospital gave her a lot of time to think. She knew that she had to get out of the country before the Dark Army could get to her. Dom got some clothes from her wardrobe to change into, something that made her look like the average American who had a life.

She finished packing her clothes and necessities and grabbed her passport, before realising this wouldn’t be as easy as she thought. She was pretty much under investigation by the FBI, they wouldn’t just let her leave the country. Even if she tried to explain it to her, then they would most likely just stick her in some safehouse and claim that she was safe there. What the fuck was she going to do?

Her best bet would probably be to get a fake passport, and use a fake name. But how would she be able to do that? She thought back to previous criminals that she had investigated, and no one that was able to make fake passports or IDs came to mind. But then her thoughts started to wander and she was thinking about her most recent investigation, and the woman who she had questioned. Darlene.

Dom suddenly realised that there was no way that she was going to leave the country without Darlene. It just wasn’t going to happen, it wasn’t an option. Ever since she discovered the brunette, she couldn't imagine a life without her. It would just be weird to go to work and not spend hours pouring over a board with Darlene’s photo looking right back at her. It would be weird to not spend days trying to find any information online about the brunette, anything that could get the FBI agent closer to finding her. Eventually, it would be weird to not enter the FBI safehouse and not see the brunette sitting around on some couch, cigarette in hand. Darlene had slowly become a constant in Dom’s life, and Dom wasn’t ready for her to disappear and leave it. Darlene was what made her life a bit more interesting and less of the dull hellhole that it had been over the last couple of years.

Dom had decided, then and there, that Darlene was coming with her, whether she liked it or not. She had also figured that Darlene would figure out the whole passport situation, and maybe even know where they could get fake ones. With that thought, Dom got her bags and walked over to her desk, trying to find Elliot’s address, since Darlene didn’t have a place of residence. She figured that she might be with her brother, or he might at least know where she was.

Writing the address down on a sticky note and pocketing it, Dom looked around the apartment one last time before shutting the door and locking it. It was time to get out of here.

~~~~~

After swapping between various taxis and subway trains to ensure that she wasn’t being trailed, Darlene stood in front of Elliot’s apartment block. She had never visited it, and only ever looked it up online on various maps out of curiosity, to see what it looked like. She saw that someone was about to leave it, and so she made her way forward, so that she wouldn’t have to get Elliot to buzz her in.

Inside, the building was dark and damp. There was a musty smell lingering in the air, and the place looked like it had never been aired or seen the light of day. Dom made her way up the stairs and to Elliot’s apartment. She really hoped that he was home, otherwise she didn’t know what she would do. She raised her fist and firmly knocked on the door. She breathed a sigh of relief when she could hear someone shuffling around on the other side, along with a barking dog.

She saw darkness cloud the peephole for a second, before the turning of keys in the lock could be heard. The door was opened and Dom was greeted with the familiar male hacker, wearing his signature black hoodie. There was a little black cairn terrier standing beside him, wagging its tail.

Elliot simply stood there, not saying anything, being his usual antisocial self. Being antisocial as well, Dom didn’t make the first move either, despite the fact that she probably should have. The two simply stood there at an impasse before Elliot spoke up.

“Can I help you?” He asked hesitantly.

“Uhh yeah I was umm- I was wondering if uh- Darlene, where’s Darlene?” Dom made out, trying to get her point across. Elliot gave her a sceptical look that prompted her to explain further.

“I’m looking for Darlene. Do you know where she is? I’m not like, trying to arrest her or anything, I’m actually on six months leave, but yeah,” Dom explained, trying her best to get an answer out of Elliot.

“Uh yeah, I do, do you wanna come in first though?” Elliot asked. He was still cautious about all of this, after all, Dom was still apparently working for the Dark Army.

“Yeah sure,” Dom replied, ever the social person. The two stepped into Elliot’s apartment, and Elliot gestured for Dom to sit down on his couch. Dom took her seat as she looked around. The place looked as gloomy as Elliot himself. Dark walls that haven’t been painted in a while, furniture that was clearly bought second-hand and sparse decoration reflected Elliot pretty well. It’s not like Dom could really judge much anyway, since her place didn’t look any better.

“Do you want some tea? Or coffee?” Elliot asked, trying his best to not seem awkward and give away how socially clueless he was.

“No thanks,” Dom politely declined. She wasn’t planning to stay here long, just explain what was needed and get Darlene’s address (or location), and get the hell out of here.

“So,” Elliot began as he sat down on a chair across from the FBI agent. “Why are you here?” He asked. “Start from the beginning,” he finished, prompting Dom to talk.

Dom was unsure whether to tell him the truth or not, worried about what his reaction would be. Would he even want Darlene to run away? No, probably not, Dom knew that Elliot was most likely the only person that Darlene had left (bar Dom), and Darlene was most likely the only person that Elliot had left. If Elliot knew what was good for his sister, then he'd tell Dom where she was. She decided on emitting some of the truth first.

“I came here because I thought that Darlene would be here, or at least you would know where she was,” Dom replied, as Elliot nodded his head.

“Before the Deus Group hack that your two pulled off, me and Darlene had a bit of a… run in, you could say. By the end of it, I ended up with a knife stabbed into my chest by the Dark Army, and I told Darlene to go find you before I could get help. She doesn’t know if I’m even alive,” Dom stated, voice trembling slightly as she recalled the events. She never wanted to relive such a terrible experience again. The fear of losing her family and Darlene combined with the extreme pain of being stabbed and struggling to breathe was the stuff of absolute nightmares.

“So that’s what happened that day,” Elliot whispered, more to himself than to Dom. “Shit I had no idea, I treated her like shit after that,” he explained to Dom.

“So I was wondering if you could tell me where I could find her?” Dom asked hesitantly, unsure whether Elliot would tell her.

“Uhh yeah, I don’t see why not. You should know though… she’s not been doing the best lately, so don’t be offended if she doesn’t take your arrival too well.” Elliot scribbled down an address onto a stack of sticky notes that was lying on the coffee table. “It’s a five minute walk from the next subway stop,” he added as he passed the note to Dom, along with a small tin case. “There are some lock-picking tools in here, you’ll probably need them. Darlene is one stubborn bitch,” Elliot added as she thanked him and got up, making her way towards the door.

“Dom?” Elliot asked hesitantly as the woman turned around to look at him. “Tell Darlene, tell her that- that I love her,” he said, as Dom nodded and left.

~~~~~

It didn’t take long for Dom to arrive at Darlene’s apartment. The agent was surprised to learn that she actually had a place of her own. Before Darlene was at the safehouse, she didn’t even have an official place of residence.

There was no buzzer outside of the apartment building in order to get in, anyone could simply enter. The walls were painted a dark gray and the paint was peeling. The floor had tiles that were once white, and now were a yellow-gray colour. There were no lights to illuminate the hallways and staircases, the only light came from the windows, half of which had cracked glass.

Dom made her way to Darlene’s apartment, which was on the second highest floor. She put her ear to the door and didn’t hear anything. What if Darlene wasn’t home? Would she just wait until she came back? What if she was gone for a few days, or even weeks? Then what?

Dom ignored her thoughts and knocked firmly on the door.

Silence.

Maybe Darlene ran away before Dom could suggest the idea to her. Maybe Darlene was already halfway across Europe right now, living her best life. That can’t be true though, since she probably would have told Elliot if she was leaving. Dom knocked again, this time even louder.

“FUCK!” Darene could be heard yelling out. Dom’s heart leapt at the knowledge that the brunette was on the other side of the door, albeit pissed or angry. Knowing Darlene, it was probably a bit of both. Dom longed to see Darlene. She wanted- no, needed to tell Darlene that she’s alive. She couldn’t imagine how it must have been eating Darlene up, not even knowing if Dom was dead or not.

“Darlene?” Dom called out. “Darlene let me in.”

No further sound could be heard. Maybe Darlene had hurt herself or tripped, and now she way lying unconscious on the floor of her apartment, and no one could save her since she wouldn’t open the door and-

Dom remembered the tool that Elliot had given her, and proceeded to take out the tin and look through it. Thankfully, Dom knew how to pick a lock, thanks to her rebellious teenage years and FBI training. It took about thirty or so seconds for Dom to swing the door open.

She didn’t know what she expected the inside of Darlene’s apartment to look like, but it wasn’t this extreme. All of the blinds and curtains were shut, enveloping the apartment in darkness, bar for some dim light that managed to pass through. The furniture was sparse and of terrible quality. The floor was made of some shitty wood that looked to be rotting in places, and there were many holes and dents in the walls, which she presumed were made by Darlene. Dom knew from her safehouse days just how explosive Darlene could be at times. The place somehow looked worse than both her’s and Elliot’s.

Dom could see that the bathroom door was closed, and so she stepped forward, presuming that Darlene was in there. She opened the door, and was greeted by the familiar brunette sitting curled up on the floor, head hidden.

“Darlene?” Dom asked cautiously, slowly approaching her. Dom noticed how Darlene seemed to be shaking and her chest was rising up and down rapidly. Dom automatically reacted to the situation as needed, trying to calm Darlewne down like she had to not once during their days at the safehouse. She ignored everything else, and just focused on the situation at hand.

“Hey, hey, breathe, ok? It’s just me, Dom. You’re going to be ok. Just breathe for me.” Dom started to instruct Darlene. Darlene finally looked up at her, and Dom kind of wished that she hadn’t. Those usually bright blue eyes were now a muted grey, completely void of all life and colour. They stared up at Dom with such wonder, but also confusion and slight fear. Dom sat down beside her, leaning against the wall.

“In, and out, ok? Just copy me,” Dom continued as she started to breathe loudly for Darlene to follow. A minute later of Darlene following Dom’s breathing, she had quite considerably calmed down.

“You- you’re alive,” Darlene whispered, barely loud enough for Dom to hear.

“Yeah, it takes more than a knife to the chest to kill me,” Dom tried to joke in order to improve the mood, but it didn’t work as Darlene only frowned and looked away, in what Dom presumed was guilt. Only then did Dom notice that Darlene had many cuts littered along her arms, painted bright red.

“Jesus H Darlene- what-,” Dom gently reached out towards Darlene’s arms, gently holding her hands in an attempt to see the damage and not make it any worse. After assessing the damage and seeing that it was not life-threatening, Dom raised her head to meet Darlene’s eyes, scanning them.

“It’s nothing,” Darlene mumbled out, taking her arms away from Dom’s grasp, and resting them on her own knees, all the while looking Dom straight in the eyes in an effort to prove her point.

“It’s clearly not nothing,” Dom stated back, trying to be firm but gentle at the same time. She had to remember to be patient with the girl. If she approached this wrong, said the wrong thing, used the wrong tone of voice, then Darlene would just retreat into herself and refuse to give any answers. She would avoid the agent’s gaze, focus on a spot on the wall, and simply zone out as Dom spoke. If Dom kept persisting, then she would simply curl up and hide her head, ignoring her completely.

Instead of trying to argue with Darlene and worsen the situation, Dom stood up and opened the cabinet above the sink, looking for something.

“You got a first aid kit in here?” She asked as she rummaged through it.

Darlene paused for a second, as if contemplating whether to answer or not, before muttering something about it being under the sink.

Dom found one laying on one of the shelves underneath the sink, and brought it over to the girl. She sat down beside her once again, and opened the kit, examining the contents. Dom turned towards Darlene and simply held her palms out towards the girl, wordlessly motioning for the girl to extend her arms.

Darlene hesitated for a moment before she sighed and reached her arms out into the agent’s awaiting palms. She shivered slightly at the contact, at how warm Dom’s hands were compared to hers. Dom lightly held her hands as she slightly rotated Darlene’s arms, trying to figure out how to deal with them.

“C’mon stand up, we need to rinse these,” Dom said as she let go of Darlene’s arms and slowly helped the girl to stand up. Dom walked over to the sink and washed her own hands before leading Darlene over to the sink.

“Just keep your arms under the cold water until they stop bleeding,” Dom stated as she set about looking for a clean towel.

Darlene was left to tend to her own thoughts, and she chuckled humourlessly as she realised just how badly she’d fucked up. She had already made mistakes in the past when she had a panic attack in front of Dom on multiple occasions. This however, was a new low for Darlene. Darlene got away easy from the whole Janice encounter, Dom did not, and yet Darlene was the one who couldn’t get her shit together.

God, she was so fucking stupid. So fucking dumb, priviledged, lucky, and yet she couldn’t get her shit together. Why couldn’t she just be as perfect as Dom, as normal as Dom? Dom didn’t go around panicking, fucking up her arms, shooting up heroin and drinking unhealthy amounts of vodka when shit got bad. Why couldn’t Darlene just be fucking normal for once?

Dom came back with a clean towel, and gently pat Darlene’s arms with it, in an effort to not open the wounds back again. Once that was done, she brought Darlene into the kitchen and sat her down on one of the chairs. The first aid kit was already lying on the kitchen table, its contents scattered about.

Dom wordlessly picked up one of Darlene’s arms and began methodically wrapping a bandage around it, taking care to ensure that it was done well. Dom handled Darlene so carefully as if she was made of glass. It’s been a while since someone was so caring with Darlene, the last time was probably during that night that she had spent with Dom.

Darlene cringed internally as she thought back to that day and the day after it. Why did she have to complicate things? She could have just asked Dom for access to sentinel, told her the whole thing without lying and hurting the two of them unnecessarily. Stealing the badge should have only been a third option, only if telling the truth and scanning it didn’t work out. God, if only she had thought it through and actually used her fucking brain, then maybe the two of them wouldn’t have been in a world of shit. Maybe Dom’s family wouldn't be at risk, and Dom wouldn’t hate her.

Darlene realised then and there, that Dom was the only person apart from Elliot that she actually cared about. There were only two important people left in her life, and she only cared what one of them thought about her, and she managed to fuck up that opinion. It truly was something that only Darlene fucking Alderson could pull off.

Darlene was brought back to reality as Dom’s voice interrupted her thoughts. Darlene’s two arms were already wrapped up, and Dom was sitting in the chair beside her, looking at her.

“What happened?” She asked, looking at Darlene with a blank expression on her face.

“Why do you care?” Darlene retorted back. She regretted it almost instantly when she saw a look of hurt flash across Dom’s face. Shit. She was just thinking about how she had hurt her before and wished she didn’t, and now she had hurt her. God she really couldn’t stop fucking stuff up for even a second, could she?

“With everything we’ve been through together, you think that I don’t care about you?” Dom asked exasperated, looking Darlene in the eyes.

“With all the shit that I’ve put you through, no one would blame you,” Darlene answered back, staring straight at the wall behind Dom.

Dom sighed. “I still care about you, though God knows why. You’re clearly not ok, and it hurts me to see you like this,” Dom replied as Darlene kept staring past her, motionless.

Dom leaned in a bit towards Darlene, and grabbed one of her hands, lightly stroking it in an attempt to be comforting. As much as Darlene hated it, it worked. It felt so nice to have someone that cared about her, someone that didn’t want to see her hurting. Darlene slowly felt the tension draining out of her as Dom rubbed circles on her palms. Darlene looked up at the ceiling before finally setting her eyes on Dom’s face. Dom looked at her with so much concern and care that Darlene couldn’t handle it. Her heart felt like it was about to burst, and she just felt so fucking overwhelmed by Dom’s affection and care for her.

“Darlene,” Dom called out in that same tone that she always used when saying the girl’s name. That was the tipping point for Darlene.

 

“Stop,” Darlene rasped weakly as she swiftly took her hands out of Dom’s grasp, letting them hang down her sides. She couldn’t do this, not now, not ever. This was too much, Jesus fucking Christ could she just get a break for once in her life?!

“Darlene I came into your apartment to find you bleeding out on your bathroom floor, don’t I have a right to ask questions?” Dom approached cautiously.

“How about you stop interrogating me for once and I ask YOU questions for a change?” Darlene retorted, seemingly having her usual confidence and bratty attitude back. “Why. Are. You. Here?” Darlene questioned.

“I asked you first,” Dom replied, seemingly unamused by Darlene’s tactics.

“You always ask first, why can’t I ask first for once?”

“Because finding someone you care about bleeding out on the floor raises more questions than someone breaking into your apartment,” the harshness of Dom’s words stunned Darlene.

“Ok but you interrupted me in a private moment. My front door was locked, clearly indicating that I didn’t want any visitors, yet you still intruded. Also, breaking and entering is a crime, in case you didn’t know, Agent DiPierro,” Darlene resorted to her usual smart-ass remarks that she used when she was uncomfortable.

Dom ignored this and persisted with her questioning. “What’s going on? Why are you being so standoffish? You know you can talk to me Darlene, you can trust me, I won’t-”

“JUST SHUT UP!” Darlene yelled out, shocking Dom. “Just shut up,” she whispered, shaking her head. Dom forgot just how explosive Darlene could be. Nonetheless, she ignored the girl’s outburst and kept questioning.

"I'm going to ask you one last question and you're going to tell me the truth," Dom stated, trying a different method. "How. Are. You?"

"Well I was doing fucking amazing until you showed up, you kinda dampened the mood here once you opened your mouth," Darlene replied sarcastically, the corners of her mouth lifting up despite the situation.

The FBI agent couldn't handle this anymore. She was tired of Darlene's stupid jokes and sarcasm, tired of all the lies Darlene told to protect herself, to never let anyone in. She was tired of being patient with her, and playing the good cop.

Dominique suddenly stood up, grabbing Darlene by her newly bandaged arms, ignoring the brunette's wincing at the pain. She pushed her against the wall, and placed each of her hands on the wall above Darlene's shoulders, effectively trapping her.

"I am sick and fucking tired of all of your bullshit. You are clearly not ok and neither am I, so it's in our best fucking interests to work together," Dominique stated through gritted teeth. "We've both been through hell and back, so we can both help each other, so start fucking cooperating with me!" Dominique shouted, frustrated. She knew this wouldn't be easy, but she didn't really expect to find Darlene bleeding out on the floor. Their roles were reversed compared to a few days ago, Dom thought, scoffing.

Fear flooded Darlene's face for a second, but as fast as it had appeared, it had disappeared, and a strange look had washed over the brunette's face, a look that Dom couldn't exactly place.

"It's ok Dom," Darlene whispered, trying her best to sound soothing. "I understand that you're angry and frustrated with me, I do, so it's ok. You can beat me up if you want, use me, I'm all yours. I'll make it up to you, I promise," Darlene finished, sounding almost insane with how calmly she spoke.

Dom finally placed the look on Darlene's face. It was a look of acceptance, a look of defeat. The FBI agent's heart broke upon hearing those words come out of Darlene's mouth. Sure, Darlene had put her through a world of shit, but she didn't do it intentionally. Darlene only wanted to fix the world, not cause pain and loss. Dom wanted to simply remove that pain from Darlene, the burden that she must feel for causing things that were out of her control. And so, the redhead leaned in and hugged Darlene.

She held her as tightly as she could, pulling the brunette away from the wall and wrapping her arms around her torso, holding her as close as possible while also being gentle. Dom's blood ran cold when she felt how thin Darlene was under her t-shirt. Her small frame was now even smaller than usual, making Darlene look very vulnerable.

"Shh, it's ok," Dom cooed, echoing Darlene's words as she held the small girl against her body. Dom readjusted one hand to cradle the back of Darlene's head and bring it into her shoulder so that Darlene was more comfortable. The redhead was surprised to find that her shirt immediately felt wet as tears started to trail down Darlene's cheeks.

Shortly afterwards, Darlene brought her arms up and around Dom, reciprocating the action. It felt nice to finally hug someone, to be held and feel human touch. It's been so long since either of them had any human touch, had any affection directed towards them. It felt so good to be held and comforted, that Darlene's light crying turned into silent sobs. Everything just seemed to register all at once.

She hated herself. She had caused the death of Cisco and Angela. Innocent Angela died because of her. Dom nearly died because of her. She slept with Dom only to stab her in the back a few hours later, and then months later literally stab her, leaving her to bleed out on Angela's apartment floor on Christmas Eve.

Nobody deserves such a cruel fate as Dom did, especially not someone as amazing and wonderful as Dom. Someone so kind, smart, funny, good-hearted, and awkward as Dom. Out of everyone that Darlene had hurt, Dom had deserved it the least.

She shook against Dom's body, muffling her sobs in Dom's shirt. Dom simply stood there and rubbed Darlene's back through her t-shirt and cradled her head while whispering comforting words and phrases.

"You're going to be ok."

"We're safe."

"No one's going to hurt you."

"I've got you."

"I'll always be here for you."

The two simply stood there for Lord knows how long, holding onto each other as if letting go would cause them to collapse. Because when one of them fell apart, the other would always be there to pick up the pieces.