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No Idle Threat

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Ray didn't have any official means of contacting his brother. He hadn't wanted to see him ever again and even had this not been the case, Hauser's spies' constant presence would have made another meeting impossible.

Still, the fifty years in which Tommy simply didn't exist hadn't changed the fact that Ray knew him better than anyone. He knew where to find him.

Ray made the trip to their childhood home with a heavy heart.

This place was no longer safe but his brother had been strangely sentimental at times. This trait was particularly at odds with the great ruthlessness and violence that Tommy was also capable of but then, Tommy had never been satisfied with being simple. Things might have turned out better if he had. Even Ray, after all this time, wouldn't claim to understand the man absolutely.

Ray parked on the street and slowly made his way up to the house. He could have let himself in blindfolded. He flipped the lights on and sat down on the couch to wait.

He didn't check the time. He knew that if he did then he wouldn't be able to turn his eyes away. Even without looking, he could tell that time paradoxically seemed to be slowing to a crawl and yet flying by. He wanted to get this over with and he didn't want Tommy to show up at all.

He would, though; he wouldn't be able to resist.

Ray didn't know how much time had passed, sitting there alone lost in the memories, before he heard the tell-tale sound of Tommy's footsteps heading up the path. He hadn't locked the doors so that would save time.

Tommy looked a little uncertain as he came into the room. Ray knew that that meant that he was extremely nervous or it wouldn't have shown on his face and in his body language at all.

Tommy glanced questioningly at the couch and Ray stood up.

"I hadn't expected you to come back here," Tommy said finally once the silence between them became painful.

"I'm not the one endangered by being here," Ray said evenly.

"They seem to have found Ghost's key," Tommy said, irritated. "They're not paying any attention to me right now. But now they'll be able to track us. I'm not sure how specific the locations will be but I'll need to be more on my guard regardless."

"You never mentioned this to me earlier," Ray said, finding himself feeling oddly detached.

"You didn't want to know," Tommy explained, shrugging. "Not really. You didn't want to be involved with this at all but, at least at first, you were willing to help me."

Ray waited but it appeared that Tommy wasn't going to give him what he was looking for.

"Ray?" Tommy asked again, a touch of concern entering his voice.

"You haven't asked about Rebecca." He tried not to make it sound like an accusation but he rather suspected that he'd failed.

Tommy winced. "Ray-"

"You stabbed her. Your own granddaughter. I knew that you were a danger to her but I never imagined…" he trailed off, needing a moment to compose himself.

"I had no choice!" Tommy protested.

Ray laughed harshly. " 'No choice'?" he repeated. "What, was she a 'target'?"

Tommy wouldn't look at him. "Not exactly. But Ray…she was going to shoot me."

"You really think that Rebecca would kill a seemingly unarmed man?" Ray asked, trying to reign in his anger.

Tommy shook his head. "It doesn't even matter. I wasn't about to be thrown back into prison like all the rest. Not after everything. If I had to be thrown half a century into the future then I'm not going to spend it rotting in prison as if I'd never left Alcatraz."

"And so you stabbed your granddaughter?" Ray demanded.

Tommy's eyes were hooded. "You're the one who said that I was no one's grandfather."

"You didn't have to prove it to me," Ray said tightly.

"You weren't the only one to say that," Tommy said, sounding far away. "Rebecca did, too. She saw me moments after Ghost's suicide. I didn't even have time to search the body. She chased me all over town and eventually I crashed the car. She…she pulled me out. She saved my life."

"And that is how you repay her?" Ray asked, narrowing his eyes and willing his hands to stop shaking.

"I thought it meant something," Tommy continued, still sounding vague. "Rebecca assured me that it didn't. She said that we were blood, not family. She pointed out that she didn't know me. She drew a gun on me."

"And yet in the end you were the one that attacked, not her," Ray said pointedly.

"I just acted first," Tommy said distractedly. "Ray, I asked her about her parents. About her father. I wanted to know if he was a good man and she would tell me nothing."

"I told you about them. I told you everything. You know more about what happened to them than Rebecca did!" Ray exploded.

"I wanted to hear her perspective," Tommy explained. "Ray, I only saw him once since being sent to Alcatraz and he didn't even remember me."

"You were robbed of your time with Van and then you turned around and stabbed Van's daughter," Ray said darkly.

"Is that all you've come to say?" Tommy demanded. "Because I'm well aware of what I did."

"Are you?" Ray asked rhetorically. "And forgive me but it's rather difficult to focus on anything else right now."

"Then why are you here and not at the hospital with Rebecca?" Tommy challenged.

"My presence is no longer needed there," Ray said softly.

Tommy's brow furrowed with confusion and he frowned, just confirming that he had no idea what he'd done. "What do you mean?"

"Rebecca is dead, Tommy. You killed her," Ray said, making no effort to hide the condemnation in his voice. He wondered if Rebecca had forgiven for having had contact with her grandfather before she died. She hadn't said anything but then, she wasn't the type to make the first move. He'd never know now and he hated the fact that he wouldn't. He hoped that she had although he knew that he didn't deserve it.

Tommy's eyes widened and he staggered back as though he'd been struck. "W-what? No…"

"You did," Ray said firmly. "You killed the only bit of Van that still existed. You made me leave to take care of your son because you cared and then you so coldly disposed of your granddaughter and then ran."

"She wasn't dead when I left," Tommy said slowly, sounding like he was trying to convince himself.

"No," Ray allowed. "And people arrived shortly after to get her to a hospital. But it wasn't enough. 2012 medicine wasn't good enough. You stabbed her too deeply and hit too many vital areas. She flatlined and they weren't able to bring her back."

Tommy was shaking his head. "That's not true. It can't be true."

"I agree," Ray said quietly. "And yet it is. I saw her body. I heard them call it."

"I-I didn't mean to kill her," Tommy said, his eyes wild and desperate for Ray to believe him.

"I know," Ray agreed. "If you had, you'd have known."

The relief in Tommy's eyes was palpable. "Ray-"

"It doesn't matter, though," Ray interrupted. "Because she's dead at your hands just the same. You put your own freedom above your granddaughter's life and the consequences of that are predictable. And you might know intellectually that your granddaughter is dead but that is nothing compared to what it's like for me. I raised her just like I raised her father and you stole a daughter from me tonight."

"Ray…" Tommy tried again but there was really nothing to say.

"You can't take this back. You can't make this right," Ray said flatly.

"Can't I try?" Tommy demanded.

"I don't see how and believe me, I've had the time to think about it. You destroyed the only good thing that you ever managed to create and you did it so carelessly, so callously that you didn't even realize," Ray accused. "You can't undo that."

"There's nothing that can be done about the past," Tommy said heavily. "Whether it's fifty-five years ago or a few hours ago. But maybe, someday-"

Ray couldn't hear it. "I told you what would happen if I ever saw you again."

Tommy's eyes narrowed. "You said if I ever sought you out. You came here."

"I don't believe I specified," Ray said coldly. "And Rebecca is dead." He pulled the gun out of his jacket and aimed it carefully.

A hint of fear entered Tommy's eyes but he didn't really believe that Ray would shoot him.

"Ray-" he started to say.

"I'm sorry," Ray murmured, wondering why he was apologizing and to whom.

Tommy certainly didn't deserve it; he was the one who had ruined everything. Rebecca, perhaps? He had tried his best to protect her but in the end it hadn't been enough and maybe if he hadn't tried to protect Tommy when he first came back, maybe if he had been more open about what he knew…Maybe, maybe, maybe. There was always going to be a maybe and he'd have plenty of time to painstakingly contemplate them all in whatever time he had left, soon to be alone on his path to the grave. Perhaps if things had been different…but they weren't. And that had led them to here.

He hadn't made the same mistake Rebecca had. He was standing too far away for Tommy to be able to surprise him with an attack. Part of him wondered if his brother really would after what he'd found out about Rebecca. Ray had fifty years on her and an attack that had killed Rebecca would take him down much quicker. It didn't matter, though. Tommy wasn't going to get that chance.

His hands steady, Ray pulled the trigger.