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What Nobody Knows...

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When Patrick started out to work that morning, he sure as hell didn’t ever expect to find himself pinned to a brick wall at the end of the day with two things digging into his back. One was a knife and the other was most definitely not a knife.
Patrick Stump had a simple life. He lived in a small but functional apartment. Alone. He worked as a print editor for Hourglass Magazine, a modern music journal, where he spent the hours of nine to five in his tiny office (NOT a cubicle, thank you very much! He had something to be thankful for) five days out of the week. Also, for the most part, alone. He spent his weekends composing sheets and sheets of music that, sadly, was never heard by another human’s ears because he was So. Utterly. Alone.

The only friend he could possibly claim was the receptionist at Hourglass, Brendon Urie. They generally spent their lunch hour every day either sitting in Patrick’s office or going to the café on the corner. Basically the only things they ever talked about were music related. Personal things rarely came up simply owing to the fact that Brendon, like Patrick, was also completely and absolutely alone.

The day in question, a Tuesday just like any other, found Patrick and Brendon at the café, discussing nineteen seventies glam rock. Patrick had noticed the dark haired man two tables over almost entirely because of his ridiculous sunglasses and vibrantly blue hoodie. He could tell the man was watching him and Brendon, but he didn’t dare speak to him.

It would jeopardize his and Brendon’s amazing aloneness, after all.

However, in his current position, pinned to a brick wall on his walk home, clearly about to either die or be raped, possibly both, the sight of the strange blue-hoodie clad man was definitely a relief. He saw the man running the length of the alley and really hoped that, despite being almost as small as Patrick, something about him (maybe even his blinding choice of outerwear) would scare away the man currently pinning him down.

What he didn’t at all expect, on the other hand, was to see the man wave his hand at a pile of rubble and watch as a few bricks flew through the air apparently on their own and begin whacking the mugger in the back and head.

The man screamed and dropped his knife, turning to run away as fast as his feet could carry him, even with bricks still chasing after him. Patrick let out a soft sound of shock and relief before sliding down the wall to catch his breath and get his bearings back. His brightly dressed rescuer rushed over to him and knelt down. “Are you okay?” he asked gently, catching Patrick’s hand in his as he helped him sit back against the wall. “Are you hurt?” he asked insistently, and Patrick just flapped his and at him, trying to catch his breath. “Patrick?”

Patrick froze, going wide eyed as he looked up at the man in his seriously insane sunglasses and hoodie. “Who are you? How do you know my name?” he demanded.

The man cringed, ducking back. “Um, maybe I didn’t think that one through,” he admitted, then sighed, taking off his sunglasses. Patrick’s breath caught when he looked into the warm, kind, friendly brown eyes hovering in front of him. “I’m Pete. Pete Wentz,” he said, then ducked his head. “And- and I’m sort of maybe stalking you,” he admitted. “But! But I totally just saved you from a mugger, so um, please don’t hate me?” he tried weakly, and Patrick sighed.

“Well, you’ve had your chance to hurt me so I see no reason to not trust you enough to let you help me up,” he said, and Pete beamed, stepping back to pull Patrick to his feet. “Since you seem to have superpowers-“ Pete paled and Patrick smirked. “Want to at least walk me home?”
Patrick let Pete Wentz talk about everything and anything he could as they walked to his apartment. When they got there, Patrick turned back to him and eyed him curiously. “Were you gonna ever get around to telling me what the hell you’re doing stalking me tonight, or is all this babbling just your way of avoiding?” he asked, leaning back against his door with his arms crossed.

Pete cringed. “I sorta can’t,” he said, biting his lip. “Not out here where people can hear,” he said and Patrick hummed.

“Everything in me is telling me to not do this, but,” Patrick eyed Pete. “If I let you in will you tell me what the fuck is going on, or am I gonna let you in and they’ll find me sliced up in little pieces tomorrow morning?” he asked apprehensively.

Pete smiled in amusement, eyebrow raised. “You watched me move something without touching it, what makes you think they’ll find anything left?” he asked, and Patrick’s eyes flashed with fear. “Shit,” he said quickly. “No, I’m not going to kill you,” he said quickly. “I couldn’t ever hurt you,” he admitted, then cringed when Patrick eyed him curiously.

“Huh… I’m suddenly feeling my curiosity getting the best of me.” Patrick turned and unlocked the door, leading Pete upstairs and down the hall to his apartment. He turned back quickly one last time. “If you kill me, I swear to God, I’ll haunt the fuck out of you,” he threatened, and Pete rolled his eyes.

“I let you see me using my-“ he lowered his voice and leaned in. “My powers. I really doubt you’d let a normal person in… I hope,” he said quickly.

Patrick snorted. “How do you know I’m not going to offer you a drink with something in it and have my way with you?” he asked, and Pete rolled his eyes.

“Roofies don’t work on me, my DNA doesn’t line up,” he said dismissively, and Patrick just stared, and then opened the door to walk in without another word. When he lead Pete in, Pete looked around curiously. “Hmm, looks different from the inside,” he said, and Patrick turned around quickly, gaping. Pete gave him innocent looks. “What? I told you, I’ve been following you. I’ve been sleeping on your balcony every night,” he said, and Patrick just shook his head, putting his keys on the countertop.

“Why is it that I live my whole life as a blip on the radar and then I’m being stalked by someone with odd powers who seems to think he has to sleep on the balcony of my apartment?” Patrick just shook his head. “This is my life? Really?”

Pete smirked, hopping on the couch to pull his knees up. “Don’t worry, I love your X-Men pajama pants.”

Patrick sat down across from him on the other end of the couch. “As someone who can apparently move things with their mind, that doesn’t offend you?” he asked. “The whole X-Men thing?” he asked.

Pete shook his head. “No, Jane Gray would kick my ass big time,” he said, smiling widely. “Alright, so what do you want to know?” he asked.

Patrick scoffed. “Well, for one, why the hell are you stalking me?” he asked.

Pete cringed. “Getting straight to the point, I see,” he said, then sighed. “Look… I can’t tell you everything without putting you in danger, but-“ He looked up, and then bit his lip. “Okay, I swear this isn’t a come on, but… I’m your guardian,” he said softly.

Patrick looked at him skeptically. “Uh-huh… from what?”

Pete bit his lip. “Look, it’s a long story, and you’re in danger now that you know about it, but there is a group of us. We are all people with powers. It’s not like X-Men, we aren’t ‘mutants’, we’re just… different,” he said. “That guy you have lunch with doesn’t know it, but he’s got a guardian as well,” he said, and Patrick’s eyes widened.

“Brendon? The receptionist?”

Pete nodded. “You are both Keys. I got assigned to you six months ago when we found you. I was the one who told them about him. His guardian is a bitch who isn’t nearly as thorough as I am, but I mean-“ he blushed. “It doesn’t hurt to watch you all the time because you’re sort of beautiful,” he admitted and Patrick hummed.

“So I’m a Key, you’re my guardian, Brendon is a Key too but his guardian isn’t as worried about him as you are me because you’ve got some weird attraction to short, fat, and ugly and apparently Brendon’s hotness isn’t as appealing to his guardian?” he tried skeptically and Pete rolled his eyes.

“Well, Brendon is younger and less likely to be targeted, and his guardian is younger and has his own social life and shit. I’m pretty much a douche so even if I’ve got tons of friends, they all don’t miss me very much when I spend days at a time not checking in because I’m with you.” Pete looked at him curiously. “Speaking of which, have you noticed anything… odd lately? About yourself or people around you?” he asked.

Patrick blinked. “I’m sitting in front of my ‘guardian’ being told I’m a Key,” he supplied pointedly, and Pete grinned.

“Yeah, but I’m not odd… much.” Pete smiled. “Look, it’s like… we don’t know what Keys are for,” he said vacantly. “We can’t figure out who you guys are supposed to be a Key for only that some people like us who are bad want to use Keys to do something bad. All we know is it involves the end of the world.”

Patrick blinked. “Whoa… heavy,” he said, and Pete nodded. “So, who are you guarding me from? And how are you supposed to be a guardian for someone who doesn’t know you’re there?”

Pete shrugged. “This is pretty heavy too but… basically I would die for you,” he said, and Patrick’s eyes widened. “I know it sounds really intense, and it kinda is, but like… as a Key, you’re something precious. If someone from the other side of this equation got you, they could use you in a process to bring about the end of humanity. Because of that, our group is sort of devoted to find and protect Keys. So far, you’re the first we found six months ago. I was the one who found you, so I was given the task to protect you.” Pete cringed. “Now that you know about me, chances are they’ll be more likely to try and get you if they know about you.”

Patrick waved a hand. “Who is ‘they’ and ‘we’ in this situation?” he asked curiously.

Pete smiled. “I am part of ‘we’, and we don’t have a name or anything killer like that, but we’re a group of friends and hangers on who have gifts and we kinda banded together so we would have some sort of ‘normalcy’ in life.” He took a breath. “There are eight of us so far. I mean, there are more friends who have gifts and a few friends who don’t, but the eight of us living together are our little ‘Super Friends’ type group. We have it set up like an organization, but to be honest, it’s just a group of friends dicking around and protecting people,” he said simply.

Patrick nodded. “Okay, and ‘they’?” he asked, and Pete’s eyes darkened.

“We… don’t know,” he said weakly. “We know the leader… or who we think is the leader,” he explained. “Her name is Victoria. She’s the only one we run into, but there are all the time reports in the news of people being beat up and robbed and even killed in ways that seem suspicious and I can only imagine are done by people with powers.”

Patrick nodded, looking at Pete. “You’ve been stalking me for six months and I never noticed you before today?” he asked, and Pete ducked his head.

“I was trying a new fashion choice?” he offered, and Patrick snorted.

“Yes, the blue was what did it. The vibrant blue and then I noticed you staring and wearing giant weird sunglasses,” he said. He sighed. “So wait, you’d die for me?”

Pete nodded quickly. “Oh yeah. I mean, at first I was sorta ‘ew, what?!’ but I mean…” He shrugged. “Six months of devoting the bulk of your life to someone and you kinda get attached and protective. I mean… I feel like I have to, of course, because of the whole ‘save the world’ thing, but also I’d probably lose my shit if something happened to you at this point,” he said, and Patrick smiled a small smile.

“Really? You stalk me for six months and you’re attached?”

Pete shrugged. “You feel like my best friend. I mean, you didn’t know I was ever there, but… I know everything about you,” he said, and Patrick just stared, not sure how he felt about that. “It’s weird but it’s like a one-sided friendship in my head. I can’t explain it and I know it has to freak you out, and I’m sorry, but… I can’t help it,” he said. He shrugged. “It’s just weird cause nobody else has done it with their Keys. Well… by nobody else, I mean Brendon’s guardian, cause he’s the only one besides me, but still… he doesn’t even like Brendon,” he said, shrugging. “I mean, I guess he’d die for him too just because it’s in the job description, but he bitches about like… everything Brendon does and it’s not like that for me.”

Patrick bit his lip. “Why?” he asked, and Pete shrugged, looking like he really didn’t know. “When you say it’s more dangerous now… what do you mean?” he asked.

Pete sighed, standing up to pace. “If you don’t know you’re a key, it’s not as important that they get their hands on you. If they know you know, they might think it’s more important they get you now before you get cautious.”

Patrick nodded. “So… what are you going to do now? I mean… do we just… keep going like nothing happened and hope they don’t know I know?” he asked.

Pete shook his head. “I already devote most of my time to protecting you but now I’m gonna have to just never leave you,” he said, and Patrick hummed. Pete paled. “Sorry if you don’t like that, I can stay discreet but I can’t let you go alone. I mean I’ll have to do my check-ins with the rest of my friends while you’re at work. In a really public place, you’re in less danger.”

Patrick nodded. “Well… to be honest it’s not like anybody will notice you any way you do it so like… you can totally sleep on the couch or something if you want? I doubt a concrete balcony feels nice,” he said, and Pete beamed.

“So you don’t hate me?!” he asked brightly.

Patrick chuckled. “Dude, I live the most boring life in history… at least now I have a meaning in the world,” he said, and then shrugged. “And you’re creepy as hell, but I sure as hell don’t want to piss off the person who is going to be protecting me,” he said, and Pete smiled.

“Sweet!” he said happily.

Patrick stood up, shaking his head. “Alright, I’m hungry, make yourself at home or whatever, I’m ordering Chinese,” he said, going towards the kitchen to get a takeout menu.

It was as he was ordering his food that Patrick realized he was letting a complete stranger who claimed to be his ‘guardian’ have free run of his house. Patrick finished ordering, and then calmly walked back out, almost expecting to see his television gone and the door hanging open. However, all he saw as that Pete had barely moved, sitting patiently staring at the magazines beside the couch. He knew he was crazy, but he just couldn’t find it in himself to really freak out and kick Pete out. Something about Pete seemed easy to trust, even if Pete himself seemed slightly annoying and more than a little weird.
A few days of Pete bunking on his couch, Patrick was curious. “So I have a question,” Patrick started, sitting down beside him. “When you say you know everything about me, exactly how ‘everything’ are we talking?” he asked suspiciously.

Pete shrugged. “You’re twenty-seven, your middle name isn’t your real middle name, you grew up in Glenview, you’re named after your mom, and you have a degree in production, even though you’re stuck as an editor because your first degree was in English.”

Patrick eyed him. “Okay, so you know the basics, not like… stalkerish things,” he said, nodding.

Pete cringed, blushing. “You mean like… how you like to hum Prince in your sleep?” he tried, and Patrick gaped.

“I- I-“ Patrick spluttered. “I do not hum in my sleep!” he cried, and Pete nodded.

“Yep. Usually it’s the one about doves crying. I don’t know the song but I recognize the tune. You hum it sometimes in your sleep,” he said, and Patrick just stared. “And- and you stare at yourself in the mirror and keep sucking in your stomach and looking all bummed but it’s sorta stupid, cause you’re pretty much hot,” he added. “Seriously, just cause you’ve got a tummy doesn’t make you fat,” he argued, and Patrick snorted.

“Yes… having excess body fat doesn’t make you fat… riiight,” he said, rolling his eyes. “So, you really are a stalker?” he asked, and Pete nodded brightly.

“Pretty much.” He shrugged. “There’s other stuff like… you’ve got a brother named Kevin that came over once and that’s the only person who’s even been to this apartment since I’ve been following you,” he said. “You don’t have friends,” he said, eyeing him curiously. “Why not?”

Patrick shrugged. “Well I’m not the most outgoing person in the world, am I?” he asked.

Pete shrugged. “Eh, it doesn’t matter. If I had ever met you as a normal person somewhere, I’m pretty sure I’d have been all ‘oh shit you’re awesome, let’s be friends!’ so whoever doesn’t do that is just lame and doesn’t deserve you to be their friend,” he said, and Patrick laughed.

“You’ve been my guardian for way too long,” he said, shaking his head as he turned and walked out.
Patrick had felt mostly safe with Pete watching him, especially since Pete admitted that he was not only telekinetic, but could adapt the powers of any of the ‘bad guys’ (Pete’s exact words) who came near them and use them against them. However, the day he and Brendon were on their way to lunch and the sky above them suddenly darkened, he sort of knew that they were probably more than a little screwed.

Brendon looked up at the sky then around at the street, where a mysterious wind whipped through. “Dude, where did this weather come from? I thought it was clear today,” he said, and Patrick just grabbed Brendon’s arm and looked around for Pete. “Patrick? Patrick?! What’s going on!?” he cried, only to gasp as Patrick spotted Pete coming towards them and broke into a run, dragging Brendon with him.


Pete looked more worried that Patrick had ever seen. “Run,” he said simply, and then spotted Brendon. “Keep running along this street, his guardian will catch up to you,” he said, and Patrick caught his arm before he ran. “Patrick, go!”

“How do we know it’s his guardian, not someone after us?” Patrick asked quickly, and Pete stopped.

“Blue eyes. You’ll know what I mean when you see him,” he said, quickly, and then shocked Patrick by shoving him and Brendon before rushing past them in the direction the wind was coming from.

Brendon looked terrified and confused, but followed Patrick as he dragged Brendon into a run. “Patrick, what’s going on?!” he cried as they ducked under a flying umbrella.

“Can’t talk now, it’ll all come out later, I promise,” he said quickly, tugging Brendon as they continued to run.

They were running around the corner when a car pulled up behind them. “Get in!” A man cried, and Patrick looked at him skeptically, only to immediately understand what Pete meant by ‘blue eyes’. This kid had the bluest eyes Patrick had ever seen. “GET IN!” he shouted, and Patrick nodded, shoving Brendon in the backseat before diving in after him.

“You sure as hell better be Spencer,” Patrick said and the guy nodded as they careened down the road.

“I guess Pete told you about me? He mentioned you found out about him,” he said, and Patrick nodded.

“Was it me or Brendon?” he asked, and Brendon looked scared, confused, and alarmed.

Spencer looked at Brendon in the rearview mirror. “It was you, but we think they clocked Brendon too since he was with you.”

“Patrick, what’s going on?” Brendon asked, looking at him with fear in his eyes.

Patrick cringed. “It’s a long story,” he said, and then looked at Spencer, who nodded. “Okay, so the thing is we’re not… normal.”
Patrick was amazed when Spencer took them to the old rail yards and pulled the car into an old, seemingly abandoned warehouse. He turned around and looked at them. “Look, this is kind of our hideout, okay? We’ll keep you guys here until we find out what all they know and if it’s safe for you to go back to your houses,” he said, and Brendon and Patrick both nodded.

As the climbed out of the car, Patrick bit his lip. “Hey, do you think Pete’s okay?” he asked in concern.

Spencer shrugged. “Hopefully. I mean, he was just supposed to hold off anybody who came after you guys. If he’s not back in a few hours, we’ll worry then, but I’m sure he’s fine,” he said.

Brendon frowned. “So wait, you’ve been letting your guardian live in your house?” he asked, and Patrick nodded, shrugging. “Why?”

“Well, the poor guy was sleeping on my balcony most nights! He’s there to keep me safe so the least I can do is let him sleep on the couch,” Patrick supplied.

Brendon eyed Spencer. “How come I’ve never noticed you?” he asked curiously.

Spencer scoffed. “Because Pete fails at subtle.”

Patrick shrugged. “He got away with it for six months. The only reason I noticed him is because he was wearing bright blue and then on the way home, I got jumped by a mugger and he saved my ass,” he said, and Spencer hummed.

“How did you not notice someone living on your balcony?” he asked, and Patrick shrugged.

“Who really looks out on a balcony facing a brick wall?” he countered.

They were distracted by a large black dog running up. It barked at Spencer, who rolled his eyes. It looked up at them and Brendon squeaked, ducking behind Patrick in fear. The dog, which looked more like a wolf, huffed at them and then turned to head back through the warehouse.

Spencer spotted Brendon’s fearful eyes and snickered. “Don’t worry, Brendon. That’s just Mix. He’s a sweet wolf,” he supplied, confirming Patrick’s thoughts. “Come on, I’ll take you guys to meet the others and work out what happened,” he said, leading them to the hallway the wolf had disappeared down.

When they got to a room with lights, Patrick was strangely relieved to hear Pete’s voice. They walked into the room and saw it appeared to be some sort of common room. There were couches, tables, a television, a pool table, and a door leading into what appeared to be a kitchen. Patrick spotted Pete walking in from a door to the left with a short guy with bushy hair and the wolf who had greeted them. “Patrick!” he said quickly, rushing over. “Are you okay?” he asked, grabbing Patrick’s hands to look him over, as if, searching for injuries.

“Pete, Pete-“ Pete tugged him in a circle. “PETE!” he cried angrily, and Pete stopped. “I’m fine, fuck, stop twirling me around!”

Pete stopped and smiled apologetically. “Sorry, but I was worried when I got back before you guys,” he said, and Patrick smiled.

“You’re obsessed, Wentz,” he said, and Pete shrugged but didn’t deny it.

“So,” the short man started. “I’m assuming, then that these are the Keys?” he asked, looking at Brendon and Patrick.

Pete nodded. “Yeah, this is Patrick, that’s Brendon,” he said, and Brendon crossed his arms.

“They explained but I’m still confused what the fuck happened on the street,” he said, looking around. “And who the hell are you people?” he asked, nudging closer to Patrick.

Pete looked at Patrick. “So, Patrick, this is our headquarters sorta, and you guys will be okay here,” he said, and then looked at Brendon. “And these guys are my friends,” he said, nodding at everybody. “You met Spencer, and Brendon, he’s your guardian, if you don’t know already.”

Brendon nodded. “Yeah, we had that talk in the car, but continue,” he said, and Pete nodded.

“This is Andy,” The curly haired, short man nodded. “He’s our leader, sorta. The wolf is Mix, but in human form his name is Matt Mixon.” The wolf wagged his tail and nudged Brendon’s arm affectionately until Brendon shrugged and petted his head.

“Oh God, don’t do that,” said the tall one with the massive amounts of curly hair. “He’ll follow you around for head pats,” he said. “And don’t even start on belly rubs,” he said, rolling his eyes.

Pete smiled. “This is Joe,” he said, nodding. “He’s totally one of my best friends.”

Patrick looked at Pete. “So, what the hell was that on the street?” he asked, and Pete cringed.

“It was her,” he said, turning around. “Andy, it was her. She was after Patrick. She didn’t figure Brendon out, but she saw them together so he’s not safe either.” Pete tugged Patrick’s sleeve. “She was trying to make it dark and stormy so she could snatch him. I didn’t have to fight her, but I saw her running away,” he said.

Andy sighed. “Alright, we’ll work it out, but for now let’s make call everybody in and see what we can do about finding room for these two to stay,” he said, and Patrick raised an eyebrow at Pete.

Pete cringed. “Yeah, about that-“


Spencer shrugged. “You guys have to stay for a while. It’s for your own safety.”

Patrick gave Pete a look, and Pete shrugged innocently. “If you really want to go home, I’ll come with you and when we both die-“

Patrick rolled his eyes. “Oh shut up, Wentz,” he said, shoving him with a smile.

“Alright, Joe’s gonna take care of you and Brendon and trying to find a spot for you guys. Later we’ll get someone to pick up some of you guys’ stuff but for now I’ve got to go talk to Andy and Mix,” he said, and Patrick nodded.

“Alright, just figure some shit out,” he demanded and Pete nodded.
Pete flopped down on the couch in Andy’s office, smirking when Mix went and sat beside Andy, laying his head in Andy’s lap pointedly. Andy chuckled and stroked his head as he flipped through some papers on his desk. “So, you’re involved with your Key?” he challenged, raising an eyebrow at Pete.

Pete gaped. “No!” he cried, and then flushed. “Well, we’re friends,” he tried, and Andy hummed.

“The way me and Matt are friends, or actually just friends?” he asked, and Pete rolled his eyes.

“I’ve been sleeping on his couch, not sleeping with him,” he said, crossing his arms defensively. “Now how about we work out how to keep my Patrick safe?” he asked.

Andy snickered. “Yep, definitely friends only,” he said, nodding with a smirk.

Pete glared. “Fuck off, you’re in love with a dog,” he said, and Andy snorted.

Mix, however, growled. Andy smiled, stroking his head. “Don’t piss Mix off, he’ll eat you,” he said, and Pete just pulled his legs up from the floor.
Patrick looked at the room he and Brendon had been given. There were two beds and two dressers in the room. Brendon sat on one bed and looked around. “This is like being in dorms all over again,” he said, and Patrick laughed.

“Somehow I doubt your dorms were down the hall from guys with super powers,” he pointed out and Brendon chuckled.

“True.” He looked over at Patrick. “So… what’s up with your guardian?” he asked, and Patrick frowned.


Brendon snorted. “He’s been living with you?” he asked, and Patrick waved a hand.

“He’s been sleeping on the couch, not living with me,” he said, and Brendon eyed him.

“He was freaking out when we got here,” he said, and Patrick shrugged.

“I don’t fully understand, but the whole guardian thing is a big deal, really. I mean, he’s spent seven months of his life following me and protecting me and looking out for me. He’s like… devoted to keeping the ‘bad guys’, whoever they are, from getting a Key and he’d die to stop that from happening. So I mean, if he’s spent all that time and effort on me, of course he was freaked out when he got back and I hadn’t,” he said, shrugging.

Brendon nodded. “And yet my guardian, who took the same ‘oath’ or ‘assignment’ or whatever, didn’t really seem to like me,” he said, and Patrick nodded.

“He doesn’t. Pete says your guardian is a bitch and hates everybody,” he said, and Brendon snorted.

“Great, you get the attached guardian, I get the annoyed guardian.”

They were interrupted by a knock on the door. It opened and Pete came in with a tall, dark haired guy. “Hey Patrick!” he said brightly, and Patrick smiled.

“Hey, so what’s up?” he asked, and Pete came over, hopping up on the bed beside him.

“Well, you’re staying here for a while, under our watch.” Pete looked around. “This room kinda sucks,” he said, making a face. “It reminds me of college.”

Patrick eyed Pete skeptically. “You don’t strike me as the collegiate type of guy,” he said pointedly.

The guy from the doorway laughed. “He dropped out after a year,” he said. “Political science was his major,” he said, and Patrick snickered. “Hi, I’m Matt. You met me in my other form,” he offered, smiling as he nodded his head.

Patrick smiled. “Yeah, I’m Patrick, as you already know,” he said.

Brendon snorted. “Yes, we all know each other’s names, now tell me something… are we gonna be here long?” he asked, and Matt cringed.

“Not too long but a while. We’ll all be trailing you guys to work and back every day. Pete and Spencer will walk with you guys, so you need to make up a fake story for that for anybody who might ask. Friends, coworkers, whatever.”

Brendon sighed. “You obviously don’t know much about us,” he said, and Patrick nodded.

“We’re sorta pathetically boring and friendless. Our coworkers barely know we’re alive,” he said.

Matt smiled. “Well, either way, you need a story ready. Now, they’ll walk you, but at the same time, someone else will be walking along trailing behind or ahead. If you guys go to lunch, meet up with Spencer and Pete and we’ll be around as well.”

Pete snorted. “Generally if Andy and Matt are following us around, it’ll be tiny ass Hurley walking Mix on a leash like he’s the family pet,” he said, snorting. “Let’s just say the kinky images it induces are both hot and terrible,” he said, and Patrick laughed.

Matt rolled his eyes. “Wentz, we do not bring my collar and leash into the bedroom,” he said firmly. Pete opened his mouth and Matt held up a hand. “And for the last time, we do not have any sort of interaction that could be conceived as bestiality,” he added, and Pete sighed.

“You take the fun out of teasing, Matt,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s so fun to imagine kinky leash-play,” he said, snickering.

Brendon just hummed. “Collars are hot,” he said absently, earning disturbed looks from the others. “What?! It’s true!” he defended, ducking his head bashfully.

Pete just smiled. “I like you, Brendon,” he said, sliding his arm around Patrick’s shoulders. “I think he’s gonna be a fun roommate for you,” he said, and Patrick snorted, but didn’t make Pete move his arm.
“This sucks,” Spencer said, grumbling as he held Brendon’s hand. “Ew, your palms are sweaty,” he said, and Brendon huffed.

“Well I’m living with a giant target on my back, wonder why that would make me nervous?!” he hissed and Spencer glared.

“Hey! Play nice,” Pete directed. “You’re supposed to be his new boyfriend. You have to at least pretend to like him some,” he argued.

Spencer hummed. “Can’t I just be his new fuck-buddy? I can pretend to think he’s hot much easier than pretend to be sickeningly in love.”

Pete smiled, curling his arm around Patrick’s waist delightedly. “It’s very easy to do this cause I know everything about Patrick and I can totally be a good fake boyfriend.” He kissed Patrick’s cheek with a smack. “Hey, can we have funny pet names?” he asked and Patrick snorted.

“You’re enjoying this way too much, Pete,” he said, groaning when Pete tried to kiss his face again. “Really, I don’t do PDA in a real relationship, I’m not letting you hang all over me for a fake one.”

Pete sighed. “I’m wounded, fake-boyfriend. You are a mean fake-boyfriend.” He let go of his waist and held his hand, lacing their fingers together. “So, I’ve worked it all out!” Pete started. “You and I met at the park. I was walking my dog-“

“You don’t have a dog,” Spencer supplied and Pete shushed him.

“I was walking my dog and you were reading on a park bench. My dog ran over to you and jumped in your lap and you freaked out but then thought he was adorable so you cuddled him and petted him and when I ran up to apologize, you looked up, I saw your smile, and instantly fell tragically in epic love with you,” Pete said, and Patrick chuckled.

“Oh yeah? That’s how you see our fake-dating happening?” he asked

Pete nodded. “Yes. And when I told you you’re beautiful, you blushed and ducked your head and I asked you out and we had a romantic dinner and I walked you home and you kissed me and then fell passionately in love with me and invited me inside under the pretense of coffee but then when I got inside, you threw yourself at me and we had hot, passionate, sweaty, dirty-“

Patrick gaped at the filthy glint in Pete’s eyes. “PETE!” he cried indignantly. “Don’t you dare imagine hot, dirty anything with me, and really! Do you think I put out on a first date?!” he asked and Pete shrugged.

“You fell madly in love with me, it doesn’t count!” he said cheerfully.

Brendon just snorted. “Great, my fake-boyfriend only wants to be my fake-fuck-buddy and yours wants to have your imaginary babies,” he said, and Patrick chuckled.

“Pete must not get laid often,” he answered and Pete cried out in contempt.

“I so totally get laid! All the time! With more than one person even!” Pete defended and Spencer snorted.

“Pete, you have barely come home any in the last seven months. You spend all your time shadowing your Key. Unless you’re getting some from random hookers, you seriously aren’t,” he teased and Pete huffed.

“Fine,” he admitted. “But it just proves dedication to protecting the world! If I take a break to have a girlfriend, Patrick would be all alone and unsafe,” he said, laying his head on Patrick’s shoulder. “I’d be a bad, bad superhero if I did that.”

Patrick snorted. “You’re lucky I like you,” Patrick said, and Pete beamed.

“Of course you do, I’m small and have a big smile and puppy eyes. You have to like me! It’s human nature.” He looked wiggled his eyebrows at Brendon. “I’m like a little baby doggy.”

Brendon just giggled. “You’re funny, is what you are,” he argued. “Why couldn’t I have the fun fake-boyfriend?” he whined. “Sure, Spencer, you’re hotter than Pete-“


“But you’re a jerk. At least Pete’s fun. And he’s cute enough since there’s no actual dating stuff going on,” he said, and Patrick chuckled.

“Hey, stop trying to steal my fake-boyfriend!” he cried with a wink. “Besides, at least if we ever, for any reason, have to fake a kiss, you have a really hot dude to kiss, I’d have to kiss a horsey smiled puppy,” he said, and Pete gasped.

“I am wounded, Patrick. WOUNDED!” he cried, clutching his heart dramatically.

Patrick smiled in spite of himself. “You’ll live.”
Patrick and Brendon’s work day went as well as expected. Nobody noticed the extra hangers-on chilling with Patrick and Brendon at their respective workspaces and when they walked down the street, they blended in with the other couples strolling along.

After they went to collect some stuff from their apartments, Patrick and Pete returned to find Spencer and Brendon were still out. Pete went to snoop through Patrick’s things, or so he told Patrick, while Patrick went to talk to Andy about Brendon and Spencer.

When he got to the office, Andy was alone at his desk. “Oh, Patrick, come in,” he greeted when Patrick knocked on the open door. “What’s up?” he asked as Patrick took a seat in front of his desk.

“Have you heard from Brendon and Spencer?” he asked and Andy nodded.

“Yeah, Spencer called to say Brendon demanded they go shopping for some stuff before coming home,” he said, then chuckled. “You’re worried?”

Patrick shrugged. “Well yeah, why wouldn’t I be? I know you guys know we only ever talk at work, not outside of it, but he’s the only friend I have, so of course I’m worried.”

Andy smiled a genuine smile. “Yeah, I know that feeling,” he said, shaking his head. “No, he’s fine. Don’t worry, Spencer may have an attitude, but he’s good at what he does.”

Patrick nodded. “And what do you do?” he asked curiously. “I mean, what’s your power or whatever?”

Andy shook his head, putting his hands on his desk to shift in his chair. “I don’t have any powers,” he said, getting comfortable. “I just manage everybody’s comings and goings. I’m the leader of the group, I guess, though we’re pretty much all equal.”

Patrick raised an eyebrow curiously. “So you’re the leader but you have no powers? How did you even get involved?”

“I was working for the CIA,” Andy said and Patrick’s jaw dropped. Andy grinned. “Yeah, I know right? I was something of a child genius at math and science so I got recruited out of high school and trained for gathering intelligence by the CIA. About eight years ago I was promoted to a group with the express task of capturing and detaining people with powers.”

Patrick shifted, interest increasing. “Why did they want to detain them? Not everybody is bad, clearly.”

Andy chuckled humorlessly. “Yeah, well not all the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor but our ‘lovely’ government still locked most of them up in camps during the war, didn’t they?”

Patrick tilted his head. “Alright,” he allowed. “But how did you go from detaining people with powers to leading a group of them?”

“My first mission after promotion was to go undercover as a college student. Pete was actually my target,” he said and Patrick’s eyes widened. Andy chuckled in amusement. “I was sent in as a student in Chicago at his school. He was really popular but try as I might I couldn’t really get to really talk to him. I wasn’t the most socially adept person, as you could imagine,” he said and Patrick snickered.

“Oh trust me, I know that one.” He looked at him curiously. “How did you finally get to know him? I mean hell, why didn’t you detain him?”

Andy smiled at something on his desk in a fond way Patrick wasn’t expecting. “Because of Mixon, actually,” he said and Patrick shifted.

“Okay, I’ll take the bait,” Patrick said. “You guys are together, right?”

“Yeah, I saw Matt with Pete a lot, they were pretty good friends, so when Matt flirted with me when I was at a party Pete threw, I figured I could get close without much trouble if I started dating one of Pete’s friends,” he said and Patrick looked surprised. “I was trained to be callous, I was trained to be emotionally detached. I had to be,” he explained. “I was getting intel to possibly detain a person who did no wrong just because he had powers. I was meant to be cold.”

Patrick smirked. “If you tell me you changed sides because of love, I reserve the right to tease you,” he warned and Andy grinned bashfully.

“Well, it was more complicated, but basically I did.” He shrugged. “I started dating Matt to get in with Pete, and it worked. But Matt was really sort of awesome. I didn’t expect to actually like him, you know? I was surprised someone that hot flirted with me, but we had a lot in common once I got to know him, so I guess he recognized that in me when he hit on me at that party. We ended up getting really close. We’d been together about two months when I had all I needed for Pete, and I was meant to be there a few more weeks before we moved in on Pete. I’d noticed Matt had stuff around his apartment that made it seem like he had a dog. Fur on his jacket, a strap on the bedroom door so that a dog could turn the handle, stuff like that. And when I asked, he mentioned he had a big dog so he had to keep it from his landlord. I saw his dog a good few times when I was over, but eventually I realized I never saw them together and I got suspicious, you know?” he said and Patrick nodded.

“That would be suspicious, your boyfriend leaving and then a dog coming out of the room he went in, then the dog leaving and your boyfriend coming back,” he said and Andy laughed.

“Yeah, and when I started thinking ‘oh shit, what if he’s one too?’ since we knew animal transformation was a power, I got really conflicted,” he admitted. “Because I liked Pete, he was a great guy and I hated to turn him in, but even if I’d never let myself think it, I knew when I was faced with the prospect of turning Matt in that I couldn’t. I loved him. I knew all along better than to fall for him since it was all a cover and I would never see him again after the mission was over, but you don’t spend three months getting to know somebody who is pretty much perfect for you and fully shut off your emotions.”

Patrick smiled. “So what did you do?”

Andy groaned. “I held off on my suggestions of when to move for too long and they decided to bust Pete without my say-so. Only I found out about it and I knew Matt and Pete were both at Pete’s house that night so Matt would get found too.” He shrugged. “I went and warned them, got them to leave. I had to explain then, and they both were so hurt,” he said with a wince at the memories. “Pete wanted to kill me and Matt was hurt so bad that he had been a cover. It took me quitting my job to prove I wasn’t still on the government’s dime and to convince him I really did care about him. After that, though, I had to go into hiding.” He gave Patrick a grave look. “You don’t just resign from undercover CIA work, you know?”

Patrick cringed. “Ew, I bet not.” He smiled in amusement. “So you’re telling me you’ve been dating Matt Mixon for eight years?” he asked and Andy nodded, grinning.

“When I put myself in danger just to prove I loved him, Matt realized I wasn’t lying. He forgave me and since Pete was already on the CIA’s radar, we all ran for it. We hid out and started meeting people to ask to join us,” Andy said simply.

Patrick grinned. “That’s really cool. And seriously sweet, God, if I was a romantic kind of guy, I’d probably be all gushy about how cute your story is-“

“Please, don’t,” Andy said, cringing.

“Don’t what?” They both turned to Matt walking in, slapping the door casing on the way in. “What’s Patrick doing?” he asked, going to sit on the edge of Andy’s desk.

Andy smirked. “I was explaining why I have no powers and still run this operation and he decided that if he was a more girly guy, he’d find our story super romantic.”

Matt smiled at Patrick. “Fuck yeah it’s romantic! I managed to make a hardened CIA operative give up his job and basically give up his life all for loving me. How awesome am I?!”

Andy shoved him some, rolling his eyes. “I lied, I hate you. I never loved you-“ Matt cut him off with a kiss, cupping his cheek.

“You do too love me, admit it.”

Andy grinned. “Alright, you’re not so bad.” He smirked. “You still can’t beat me in a race,” he said, then flew out of his chair, running for the door before Matt even stood up.

“I have four legs!” Matt shouted, running across the room only to transform mid-step and rush out as a massive wolf.

Patrick just chuckled and stood up to go find Pete.
Patrick went into his and Brendon’s room only to find Brendon and Pete snooping through his things. “Pete, what did I tell you?” he asked and Brendon jumped back like he’d been shocked by Patrick’s record collection.

“I’m sorry, Patrick! Pete was doing it and I’m curious and I wanted to see-“

Patrick smiled. “Dude, I’m teasing.” He walked over and sat on the bed beside Pete’s box he was snooping through. “Found anything good?” he asked and Pete smirked.

“Oh, the usual. Your underwear, a notebook full of song compositions- those are good, by the way, Brendon sang them to me-, a picture of you where you look about twelve, stuff like that. I hoped you had a diary but I guess you aren’t actually a twelve year old girl,” he said, pouting as though he was really sad he couldn’t read Patrick’s diary.

Patrick rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I’m a grown man who lives the most boring life ever.” He shot Brendon a look. “And you sang him my compositions? How do you sing a composition?”

Brendon shrugged. “Mostly just make the sound with your voice. Pete requested ‘lala’s instead of humming,” he said and Pete snickered.

Patrick looked impressed. “You sight-read and sang my compositions? How?”

Brendon smiled shyly. “I have perfect pitch. I can pretty much hear a note and name it, and at the same time, I can read a note and make it,” he said, trying to shrug it off.

Pete beamed. “Isn’t it cool?!” he asked Patrick excitedly. “He’s got a great voice, too.”

Patrick smiled. “I didn’t know you could sing, Brendon,” he said and Brendon nodded.

“Yeah, I can pretty much sing and play anything really,” he said offhandedly. “I was the youngest of the family and my parents wanted to keep me occupied,” he admitted.

Patrick grinned. “I was in band in high school. I got a music scholarship when I went to college. I’m good at learning instruments too.”

Pete shoved the box out of the way and lay down, absently laying his head on Patrick’s lap. “So wait, if you guys are friends why don’t you know this stuff already? It’s pretty basic information.”

Patrick flushed. “Well… we’re work friends. I mean, we have lunch and talk about work things, really. I don’t really know much about Brendon, just that he likes good music and stuff,” he said and Brendon grinned shyly.

“I’ve never even called Patrick after work or anything,” he confessed.

Pete hummed. “But… you’re both cool, why don’t you have tons of friends? Hell!” He leered at Patrick from his lap. “You’re gorgeous and Brendon’s pretty hot too, why are you guys single?”

Brendon scoffed. “Are you kidding? I am so spastic the only reason I ever got laid is because in college everybody was too drunk to care how lame I was,” he said and Patrick laughed.

“Same here, dude. I finally lost some baby fat in college and people noticed me for a little while before I got fat again,” he said, shrugging.

Pete frowned up at Patrick. “What about like… real relationships?” He glanced over at Brendon. “Both of you actually.”

Brendon shrugged. “Not really. I had a girlfriend for about five months once in college, first girl to every really notice me, but she ended up just telling a bunch of people all about the nerdy virgin she ‘corrupted’ so everybody in my dorm laughed at me all the time,” he said and Patrick cringed.

“That sucks, man.” He shook his head. “I had a girlfriend all through college, actually,” he said honestly. “Met her my first year and dated her for three years. She wasn’t that cool really, but I was too grateful to leave her and she enjoyed me treating her decently so she didn’t leave me either.” He chuckled. “And then she cheated on me and I finally left her,” he said, shaking his head in amusement. “It was terrible then but now it’s just amusing to look back.”

Brendon sighed. “I was so traumatized I never went out with another girl after that,” he said, grimacing. “Only boys. And even then, they never lasted very long.”

Patrick grinned. “I dated some guys too after my girlfriend, but same thing, I was lucky if I got a second date.”

Pete just shook his head. “God, who the hell were these people? You’re both really awesome. And pretty damn hot. I’d have been all over you guys!” he said seriously. He looked up at Patrick. “What about since college?”

Patrick shook his head. “Nobody. Not a single date. You?” he asked Brendon, who shook his head.

“No. I haven’t so much as got flirted with in about two years,” he said simply.

Patrick grinned. “Pete flirts with me all the time, so I can’t say that,” he teased, poking Pete’s side to earn a smile. “But yeah, not a single date in… God, four years I guess? Yeah, about that.”

Pete sat up. “And I don’t get that,” he stressed, looking frustrated and confused. “Patrick, you’re sort of ridiculously beautiful,” he said, reaching out to pet his face. “You have the whitest, most perfect skin and big, sexy lips! And your eyes! God, you have the prettiest eyes,” he gushed. “And freckles and red hair, and you sing pretty and you’re cute and tiny!”

Brendon giggled. “Oh come on, Pete. You’re biased. You have some kind of reverse Stockholm syndrome after all these months devoting your life to protecting him.”

Patrick laughed, turning to smile at Pete. “Dude, that’s totally the best description of your obsession yet! Reverse Stockholm Syndrome!”

Pete just smirked at Brendon with a filthy wink. “I’ll Stockholm your Syndrome, Urie,” he said and Brendon burst into amused giggles, which only made Patrick and Pete both smile brighter.
Patrick was surprised to see more people they hadn’t met in the two days they had been there at dinner that night. “Oh, Patrick, Brendon,” Pete started, leading Patrick over to sit him down beside where Pete had been. “It’s about time you meet us all!”

The small guy sighed heavily. “Not all,” he said in a gruff voice.

The man they had met with the curly hair smiled and waved. “Hi, I’m Joe, if you didn’t get my name,” he said and Brendon smiled.

“Hi, I’m Brendon, this is Patrick,” he replied politely, making a few of them chuckle.

Pete leaned against Patrick’s side, pointing. “The skinny one is Mikey, the short one is Frank,” he explained. When Spencer and another skinny guy came walking in, Pete nudged him. “Oh yeah, the other skinny one is Ryan.”

Ryan eyed Patrick and Brendon. “Which one did you say was annoying, Spencer?” he asked and Brendon huffed, glaring at Spencer.

“You told him I’m annoying?! It isn’t my fault you’re a jerk!” he complained and Pete grinned.

“Patrick, Patrick, Brendon looks cute when he’s angry,” he said and Ryan raised an eyebrow.

He stared at Pete for a moment before humming. “He wasn’t kidding when he said you had finally gone crazy,” he said with a nod of finality. “Congratulations, you broke Pete,” he said with a solemn hand over his heart as he bowed his head to Patrick.

Patrick just turned to look at Pete, lowering his voice. “I can’t tell if he’s joking or not.”

Pete snickered. “Don’t worry, it takes time learning his emotions. They’re super subtle.”

Patrick nodded. He turned to the two sitting around a laptop. “Frank, what did you mean by ‘not everyone’?” he asked and everybody stilled. Mikey stood up abruptly and left without a word. Frank cringed and sat back, rubbing his palms into his eyes. Everybody seemed to grow silent, making Patrick’s stomach grow cold with dread. “Oh.”

Frank took a breath. “Gerard was-“ He swallowed. “Mikey has an older brother,” he started. “His name is Gerard Way. He’s a witch, one of the best,” he said with a sad smile. “He was taken from us,” he finished weakly.

Pete nudged Patrick. “You see, Victoria, the one who is trying to use you and Brendon to end the world? She brainwashes people with powers. People like us. Good people who would never hurt anybody.” He looked down with a faraway look in his eyes. “She does something to them to make them do her bidding. She makes them do horrible things.”

Patrick frowned. “She got him? Gerard?” he asked and Pete nodded sadly.

Frank let out an angry sound, slamming the laptop closed. “Gerard is the least violent person in the world. He has tried his best to convince us to capture and not kill no matter what. He doesn’t even kill spiders, he lets them go, even if spiders should all be killed with fire, he lets them go and doesn’t resent them from being evil. Gerard is the sweetest person alive and she’s made him do terrible things,” he spat, rage etched into very line of his face as he stared away from them all, clearly somewhere else entirely. “We’ve never got anybody back, but when- not if, WHEN- we get him back, he’s never going to be okay. He’ll-“ He deflated some, chin dropping towards his chest. “He’ll live his whole life with the memories. He’ll know what he did. He’ll never be okay ever again. Hell, he may not even survive knowing what all he did,” he choked out.

Patrick gave Frank a long, heartbroken look. “Gerard’s a good friend of yours, huh?” he asked gently and Frank sighed, turning to meet his eyes, though everybody else, Brendon included, couldn’t bear to look at the pain in Frank’s eyes.

Frank smiled sadly. “Gerard is everything to me,” he whispered before abruptly standing, all but sprinting from the room.

Patrick cringed. “Oh wow.”

Pete sighed. “Yeah, that about sums it up.”

Brendon just shook his head. “Well shit.”

Pete grinned at him. “That sums it up even better,” he said and Brendon managed a small, sad smile.

“So she turns heroes into villains, huh?” Brendon asked and Pete nodded.

“It sucks man. We had to fight Gerard once since she took him,” he said and Spencer and Ryan both grew stiff from where they sat. Pete nodded at them. “He tried to kill Spencer and Ryan both. I had to do what I could to stop him without hurting him. We know there’s a way to bring him back, to erase what she did.”

“He means besides killing her,” Matt said as he came walking into the room. He looked up to see them all staring. “What? Wolf hearing,” he pointed out, shrugging. “But we know if we kill Victoria, all her persuasion is erased. Her powers disappear when she dies. But so far, we’ve never managed to save anyone. She’s never taken anybody of ours, but lone people with powers that she used before?” He shook his head sadly. “We’ve had to kill some of them. We always do what we can to escape without hurting them, but if it’s kill or be killed, you can’t really help but kill them.”

Brendon gaped. “That’s horrible! Are they all good people?”

Matt nodded desolately. “Almost every one. She gets off on it.” He made a face. “Forcing good people to do terrible things. She gets a thrill out of the knowledge that one day, every single one of them will snap out of it and remember how it felt to kill innocent people. If it doesn’t drive them insane, it’ll definitely scar them for life.”

Pete tugged on Patrick’s jacket. “We hoped we’d get Gerard back before she made him do anything too bad, but it’s been two months. We already know of at least three people he’s killed. God knows what else she’s forced him to do.”

Matt’s mouth slid into a grim line. “Well, all I can say is, she better hope she doesn’t run into Frank in a dark alley,” he said darkly.

Brendon’s eyes widened. “You think he could kill her? Or that he would if he had the chance?”

Matt raised an eyebrow, as if the answer was the most obvious thing ever. “I would. Hell, I’d probably kill her myself if I ran into her, but if I was him?” he shook his head, giving them a harsh smile, one that looked more wolfish than his human form generally showed. “I’d kill her with my bare hands.”

Patrick hummed. “I take it not everybody takes as much of a non-violent approach as Gerard seemed to have, huh?”

Matt gave him an absent wave of his hand. “I don’t want to hurt anybody and I’m an apex predator most of the time, but you heard him mention what Gerard is to him. I can damn well guarantee that you don’t react the way you normally would when your best friend in the entire world is in danger.” He gave Patrick a somewhat cold look. “Take it from somebody with past experience on the subject: nothing strips away every bit of compassion you ever had like someone trying to hurt someone you would die for.”

Patrick swallowed hard, feeling a heady rush of fear that he had no reason to feel as he contemplated the fire in Matt’s eyes as he spoke. He watched him walk out without another word and could only imagine how terrifying it would be to be the one who incurred the wrath of Matt Mixon. Patrick didn’t even notice he was shaking until Pete squeezed his hand.

“Don’t worry, as long as you aren’t secretly here to attack Andy, you’re totally safe from being ripped to shreds by an enraged werewolf,” he comforted and Patrick laughed weakly.

“You say that with authority,” he said and Pete grinned impishly.

“Well, he did say he had experience,” he said and Patrick groaned.

“Oh my God, the people in charge of keeping me safe have killed people before. That’s so comforting, thanks, Pete,” he groaned and Pete smiled.

“I promise we only killed people who were going to kill us…” he trailed off then made a face. “Okay, and that time this guy caught Andy and was going to use him as bait. Matt actually did eat him-“

“Okay, okay, I really don’t need even more information, thanks!” Brendon cried, shutting Pete up. “God, I’ll never sleep now. I’ll have nightmares I accidentally tripped somebody and got my head blew off for my troubles!” he said, only to glare when Spencer gave him a condescending look. “SHUT UP!”

Ryan chuckled flatly. “I like these two, Spencer,” he said, and Patrick fought a laugh at the fact that the young man still had absolutely no inflection to his voice.

“Don’t worry,” Pete whispered to Patrick. “I’ll totally train you how to tell his moods.” Patrick just snickered, fighting full on giggles at Pete’s words.
Andy was searching through the recent reports of violent crimes, searching for patterns that might indicate super powers when there was a knock. “Come in,” he said, eyes not leaving the screen.

“It’s nearly time to eat dinner,” Matt said as he came in, walking over to flop down in the chair across from Andy’s desk.

Andy hummed. “Save me something.”

Matt rolled his eyes. “Or, you can come eat dinner,” he said, shifting to hang his leg over the side, curling against the other arm. “Andy, when’s the last time you actually ate a meal?”

Andy glanced up over his laptop screen. “Gee, I totally forgot how a well-balanced diet was more important than saving the world,” he said in a snarky tone that earned him a grin.

“Ooh baby you know how I love that sass,” Matt teased and Andy snorted, rolling his eyes. “Come on, Hurley.” He sat up straight, leaning over to rest his elbows on Andy’s desk. “You need to eat, okay? You haven’t left this desk all day long. Hell, you didn’t even sleep in a bed last night, you took a nap on the couch in here. You are running yourself ragged-“

Andy slammed his pen down. “Yeah well some evil bitch has kidnapped a friend and is forcing him to do terrible things, I think working out a pattern to search her out before she makes him do something so bad we have to kill a friend to save people is more important.” He pushed his hair behind his ears. “OR, even worse, before she snatches one of our Keys and destroys all of us on this damn rock!” he cried.

Matt just raised an eyebrow, clearly unaffected. “Yes, because you’re clearly handling things so well right now-“

Andy shoved back from his desk. “Oh fuck you, Mixon, I’m the one in charge of saving the world, I’m allowed to be stressed!” he spat, standing up. Matt moved almost too fast, blocking the door before Andy even got there. Andy narrowed his eyes. “Get out of my way.” Matt shook his head and Andy glared. “Seriously, move!”

Andy grabbed Matt in a rush, attempting to get around him, only to end up crying out as he overbalanced due to Matt using his momentum to spin Andy back around, pinning him to the wall beside the door. “Shh, shh, relax, Hurley,” Matt said, looking down at him as he held his wrists to the wall on either side of his head. Matt smiled a tender smile. “I know you’re stressed, baby, but you’re no good to us if you don’t sleep and eat and worry yourself sick, okay?” Matt looked into the angry blue eyes with his wide, warm brown ones, knowing that Andy couldn’t resist for long.

Andy deflated, all the fight leaving him as he sagged against Matt. “I know, I know. I just- I can’t let her make us hurt him,” he said weakly and Matt slid his hands from gripping Andy’s wrists up to his hands, pressing their palms together as he slotted his fingers into Andy’s. “And she knows the Keys.”

Matt pulled Andy away from the wall, tugging Andy flush against his chest, guiding Andy’s arms around him before sliding his hands back along Andy’s colorful forearms, up his shoulders, and around his neck. “Hurley, we’re all right here with you,” he promised, looking down at him. “And I know after all these years how you tick, dude. You’re going to just start messing up going this far without rest and food.” Andy opened his mouth and Matt narrowed his eyes. “Snacks and naps do not count.” Andy sighed so heavily his hair even seemed to lose some of its volume. Matt leaned down and pressed a kiss to the crown of his head. “Come to dinner and then we can go to bed,” he suggested, turning his head sideways to lay his cheek against Andy’s hair.

Andy chuckled. “You’re just trying to get me naked, aren’t you?” he accused playfully.

Matt smiled, letting out an amused sound. “Oh yeah, you know me so well. No better way to seduce you than to feed you and get you to sleep-“

Andy shoved him off, laughing. “Oh fuck off.” He pulled away and looked up at Matt with a grateful smile. “Thanks, Matt.”

Matt leaned down and pecked his lips. “Welcome. Now!” He clapped his hands. “Food! You need energy to be so angry and stressed all the time,” he said, swatting Andy’s ass before hooking an arm around his shoulders to lead the way.

Andy just glared. “Smack my ass again and you’ll learn the true meaning of ‘CIA special ops training’, Mixon,” he threatened, earning a smirk.

“Oh you’ve used that same threat for years, never once fooled me,” Matt said, earning a disbelieving eye roll that was followed by a more subtle but nonetheless affectionate nudge to the side.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. One day, dude. One day,” Andy said, leaning against Mixon as they walked out, trusting someone else to carry the weight of the world for a while.
Brendon raised an eyebrow when he came into the kitchen, where everybody was gathered around the pile of takeout containers on the counter, and saw Patrick and Pete walking in ahead of him holding hands. “You do know that, fake boyfriends stuff aside, Patrick’s mostly straight after that whole ‘college phase’ thing, right?” he asked, hopping up on the counter beside Pete so he could poke him in the ear.

Pete made a face and shivered, scrunching his shoulders up. “Tickles!” he whined. “And yeah, me neither,” he said with a straight face as he wrapped himself around Patrick somewhat. “Patrick’s just cool and stuff,” he said, kissing Patrick’s cheek.

Patrick made a face but shrugged at Brendon’s doubtful eyes. “He’s like a pet monkey or something. I can’t tell him no. He just likes touch,” he defended.

Pete grinned. “Yep! Besides, like I told you, I’m not into dudes. They’re cute and all but besides some kissing, I’m sooo not into man-love.” He nodded his head at Mixon, who was holding a takeout container in the air, smirking evilly when Andy reached for it, giving him a warning look, as if he was about to attack him if he didn’t hand it over. “That’s their job.”

“What’s my job?” Matt asked, head popping up. “I saw Pete pointing,” he explained when Pete shot him a surprised look.

Brendon smirked. “Man-lovin’ apparently,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.

Matt smirked, winking. “Why, you interested?” he asked and Brendon shrugged, grinning slyly.

“Well, I wouldn’t say no, that’s for sure,” he said, looking him up and down.

Andy cleared his throat, not bothering to look away from the box he was trying to reach out of Matt’s hand. “I’d like to remind you, it would actually be a LOT easier to keep Victoria from using you to end the world if you were dead, Urie. Just saying,” he said and Brendon blinked, eyes widening as his jaw dropped.

Patrick chuckled. “Yeah, didn’t you hear? Matt’s taken,” he said and Brendon eyed the two as Andy leapt onto Matt, legs wrapped around his back as he tightened his arms around his throat in a sleeper hold, growling at Matt to put down the takeout box.

Pete saw Brendon’s skeptical look and smiled. “They’re actually stupidly sappy over each other, they just hide it most of the time in front of others. Matt uses Andy’s refusal to be sweet around other people as an excuse to pull pigtails,” he explained.

Spencer snickered. “Yeah, you should see them when Andy’s too tired to make Matt stay professional,” he said, earning a grumpy huff from Andy, who was still attempting to choke Matt out and grab the food.

Patrick chuckled in amusement. “Andy told me the other night they’ve been together about eight years,” he said to Brendon, nodding back at the fight.

Brendon hummed. “I was sixteen eight years ago,” he said absently and Pete huffed, pouting.

“I’m old,” he whined, leaning his head against Patrick’s shoulder.

“Don’t worry,” Matt choked out in a rough voice, still fighting with Andy, who had him still locked in a chokehold. “Andy’s almost as old as Pete.”

“WHY WON’T YOU PASS OUT?!” Andy snapped, grumbling as he squeezed tighter.

In the end it was Mikey who walked over and stole the food right out of Matt’s hands without looking up from his phone, turning to walk out of the kitchen without another word. Andy and Matt both stared at him until Andy deflated and let go, sliding off of Matt’s back. Matt choked out a gasp and bent over, hands on his knees. “Fucks sake, Hurley. One day you’ll do that and actually kill me,” Matt wheezed and Andy smirked, slapping his ass as he passed him.

“And one day you’ll stop stealing my food, Mixon,” he said, picking up a fork. “Fair warning, I may have to kill Mikey, that’s the only vegan food in the whole mix,” he said to Spencer, who saluted him.

“Good luck, he’s hard to kill. I’ve tried,” he said simply, earning chuckles from all around.
Patrick watched Mikey sitting across from him, texting away and opened his mouth about five times before shaking his head and going back to eating his lunch. “You want to know what I’m doing, right?” he asked, startling Patrick.

Patrick smiled apologetically. “Well, you just keep texting,” he said and Mikey smiled sadly.

Mikey put down the phone. “I keep texting my brother’s phone,” he admitted and Patrick felt his heart drop.

“Oh wow,” he said and Mikey laughed weakly.

Mikey shook his head. “I don’t know, I just hope he’ll get them. It’s stupid, I know, but I can’t help hoping he’ll see them and maybe one day it’ll snap him out of whatever she’s doing to him to make him do what she says.”

Patrick shook his head. “I’m so sorry,” he said and Mikey shrugged.

“You didn’t know.” Patrick started to speak but stopped, taking another bite. Mikey eyed him and waited, but Patrick didn’t speak. “You want to know what I do, don’t you?” Mikey asked and Patrick smiled, somewhat embarrassed.

“Yeah, sorry. I know maybe that isn’t something you just ask-“

Mikey shook his head. “No, it’s totally something you can ask.” He looked at Patrick and narrowed his eyes slightly. “I’m telepathic,” he said, but Patrick gaped when he noticed Mikey’s mouth didn’t move.

“How did-“

Mikey grinned. “I told you, I’m telepathic. I can put my thoughts in people’s heads.”

Patrick flushed. “Do you hear our thoughts?” he asked and Mikey laughed.

“Not unless you direct it at me. I can hear things people want me to hear. I can’t just rape your brain,” he explained. He looked down at his phone then looked up. “My brother’s a witch,” he offered and Patrick blinked.

“A… witch?”

Mikey nodded. “Yeah, he does spells and potions and stuff. Like a witch in a fairytale,” he said, chuckling. “We always tell him he’s too pretty to be one,” he said, smiling sadly down at his phone. “He was always the one that was smarter and better looking, but I was always more popular when we were kids. It was weird like that.”

Patrick cleared his throat. “So, what about everybody else?” he asked, hoping to distract Mikey. “I know Pete is telekinetic and I think he said he can adapt others powers once, but he and Matt are the only ones I know.”

Mikey perked up. “Well, Joe has the coolest power, he can control fire!” he said excitedly, making Patrick smile. “Frank can turn invisible, which was a bitch for the longest,” he said, groaning. “We were roommates in college and he’d scare the fuck out of me and whoever was over, usually Gerard. He turns his clothes invisible too, so I can’t even look for a shirt walking on its own or anything, it was so annoying.”

Patrick snorted. “Thank God that isn’t Pete’s power,” he said and Mikey grinned.

“Ryan’s is cool too. He can fly,” he said and Patrick rolled his eyes, imagining how awkward Ryan would look flying. Mikey chuckled. “Yeah, it’s just as funny as you probably picture it.” He waved a hand. “Then Spencer’s like me, telepathic, but he’s also a technopath. He can control technology. He never has to get up to turn off the light or something.”

“That would be really useful,” Patrick said and Mikey nodded. “What about Matt, does he only turn into a wolf?” he asked.

“Yeah, he only turns into a wolf, but he’s really strong as a person too.” He shrugged. “Although that could just be the fact he’s about six and a half feet tall and as big as about four of me,” he added and Patrick snickered.

“No shit, first time I stood next to him, I basically had to look straight up to see his face.” He snickered, sipping of his water. “Is it wrong to wonder how the hell he ended up with Andy? I mean really,” he wiggled his eyebrows. “The guy’s about an inch taller than I am, how does that even work?”

Mikey snickered and made a face. “I don’t WANT to know, actually.” Patrick laughed, shaking his head at the look on Mikey’s face.

“Well, what about Frank and your brother?” Patrick asked gently. “Are they…”

Mikey smiled sadly. “They always had feelings for each other but they’re too stupid to do anything.” He chuckled weakly. “I’m sure if Gerard makes it-“ Patrick cringed. “Frank will never let him get away again,” he said softly. He looked up with a nostalgic look in his eyes. “I knew when they met it would happen someday. Most people… most people I knew thought Gerard was a freak, you know? When we were younger, he was so shy and self-conscious and getting out of high school and losing all the baby fat he carried around didn’t make him any bolder. Gerard’s always been amazing, he just didn’t want to believe it because nobody besides me cared.” He smiled a bright, happy smile, even if his eyes were shadowed with pain. “When he got out of the house, went to school, got a job… we all thought ‘yes! It’s finally his time to shine!’, but he was never outgoing. He’d go to work, not talk to anybody, go to school, hide in the corner desk… he just hid himself because most people can’t really handle the full Gerard experience,” he admitted.

Patrick nodded. “When did you guys meet Frank?”

Mikey groaned. “Frank ended up my roommate in college. We were friends and when he moved in with me to help me with rent, I was worried he would be mean to Gerard when he came to see me. Frank hasn’t shown much since you’ve been around, but he’s actually really energetic, really outgoing, and ridiculously charismatic. He could make a cold-hearted killer smile just being himself. He has the charm and the charisma that he doesn’t need his power to get into places most wouldn’t,” he said, shaking his head in amusement. “But he also is kinda harsh. He likes ruffling people, you know? I was so sure he’d see Gerard, this guy who was shy and quiet around strangers, out of his shell around me and tease him for it.” Mikey looked down at his phone again. “Around me, and now around all of our friends, Gerard is not at all shy or quiet. He doesn’t care. If he knows you, he trusts you. He trusts people too easily and because of that trust, he lets himself come out of his shell. And Gerard is dorky and awkward and loud and he rambles and thinks out loud and talks to himself without any filter. And the reason he’s quiet around strangers is because people teased him for his personality when we were kids and he never got over that.”

Patrick gave Mikey a supportive smile. “I take it Frank didn’t react the way you worried?”

Mikey made a face. “First thing he said the first time he came home and Gerard was sitting on the couch with me was ‘how the hell did you get somebody that pretty to talk to your ugly ass?’ and Gerard got all offended because I’m his baby brother-“ Mikey rolled his eyes in exasperation and Patrick snickered. “So clearly I cannot possibly be insulted around him without him going all defensive. So instead of being shy, Gerard just glared at Frank and went ‘watch who you call ugly if you like your teeth in your mouth’ and apparently I befriended a freak, because Gerard getting an attitude somehow stole Frank’s heart or something,” he said, miming gagging for Patrick’s benefit. “Seriously, he got all quiet and wide eyed and went to his room and didn’t come back out. Frank never backed down, seriously. And Gerard felt bad about hurting Frank’s feelings so he got all guilty and when Frank finally came out, Gerard like… walked over and grabbed his hand and seriously apologized for being rude, and I swear to you, Patrick, the look on Frank’s face was like he was looking at a miracle. After Gerard left, Frank spent the next week like a blushing schoolgirl with a crush.”

Patrick laughed. “And they STILL aren’t together? Or wait, is it only Frank?” he asked and Mikey groaned.

“No, that’s the worst part. Within a month of meeting they were best friends. Seriously, they love all the same things, Frank can be just as much of a geek as Gerard and me, so they got along. They both were never brave enough to risk that friendship to even express their interest but that was years ago. By now, they’re basically like an old married couple, only without sex and with more longing glances than you could imagine.” Mikey shook his head, sighing a heavy, pained sigh. “They love each other. Everybody sees it, they both just never had the guts to risk so much for the chance for more. But Frank won’t leave it that way.” He cringed. “Losing Gerard has sucked for everybody, it’s worse for me since he’s my brother, but Frank… he’s so angry all the time. He regrets all the wasted time. I know for a fact if we get him back, nothing will stop Frank from making sure Gerard never lives a day without knowing how Frank feels. It’s sad as fuck, and I miss him so much, but I honestly wish he was back because of how much it hurts Frank.” Mikey groaned. “He’s not himself. He hasn’t been since Gerard went missing. I haven’t seen him genuinely smile, a real Frank smile at least, since the night Gerard disappeared.” Mikey bit his lip. “I just want things right, you know?”

Patrick chortled weakly. “I found out recently that I’m a tool that could be used to facilitate the end of the world, Mikey. I totally know about wanting things back to normal.”
Patrick and Mikey were walking home with Brendon skipping along ahead of them, talking backwards over his shoulder to them, when things went wrong.

Out of nowhere, a purple cloud washed over them and all the people around them. Mikey grabbed Patrick and Brendon and shoved them against the building beside them. “Hang on, we’ll duck right here and wait for Joe. He’s trailing us,” Mikey said and Brendon caught Patrick’s hand, getting a squeeze in return.


Mikey’s head popped up and his eyes widened dramatically. Brendon shot Mikey a look then turned to Patrick. “Who-who was that? That isn’t Joe’s voice-“

“MIKEY WAY! I KNOW YOU’RE THERE!” the same voice called out again.

Mikey stood up straight, white as a sheet as he tried to find the voice in the purple cloud. People were running and screaming, so nobody noticed the three of them huddled beside a building. “Mikey, who is that?” Brendon demanded and Mikey turned back to look at him, and then turn to Patrick.

Patrick grabbed his elbow. “Mikey?”

Mikey swallowed hard. “You guys need to run,” he said. “I’ll distract him, you run. Joe will be right on your heels, I promise-“

“Joe will never reach them in time, Mikey!” The voice was scaring Brendon and Patrick because it was abnormally loud, drowning out the screams. “She’s going to take them now-“

Mikey turned to Patrick and Brendon and nodded. “Run. Run fast.” He stepped away. “Seriously, go!” he cried, grabbing Brendon’s hand to tug him into a run. Patrick ran with them, keeping right on Brendon’s heels as they ran. Mikey had his phone out as they ran. “PETE! Pete, get us out! They’re here. Gerard knows I’m here, he knows I’m with them. I can’t see Joe anywhere so it’s just us!” he cried, grabbing Brendon and Patrick to shove around a corner, rushing them ahead of him. “Please hurry, we’re running but the cloud is following us,” he cried before shoving his phone back in his pocket, running faster.

Patrick just shared a look with Brendon, both of them somewhat terrified by how scared Mikey sounded as he hurried them on.
Andy was at his desk when the door flew open. “Andy!” Frank cried, voice full of terror. Immediately, Mix jumped up from his spot curled up beside Andy’s chair and padded over to Frank, looking up at him curiously.

Andy sighed, knowing it wouldn’t be good, whatever the news was. “What is it?” he asked and Frank rushed over to his desk.

“Andy, it’s… it’s Joe,” he said and Andy’s head popped up. Frank gave him a pained look. “Mikey was out with Brendon and Patrick, walking them home, when she found them. Joe was their tail so he tried to stop Gerard- it was Gerard, Mikey heard him- while Mikey got them to Pete so he could get them away, and they took him!” he cried. “They took Joe! Nobody saw it, but he didn’t ever catch them up and they’ve gotten back just now and found a picture of Joe tied up stuck to the bumper of the car,” he finished.

Mix’s heckles raised and he growled before trotting over to Andy, who was just staring in shock. Mix laid his head on Andy’s lap, licking at his hand before whining slightly and nuzzling his middle. Andy took a shaky, gasping breath and turned to his desk, shuffling some papers before turning back, clearly overcome. “I don’t-“ He swallowed hard, blinking up at Frank. “Joe?” he whispered and Frank nodded. Andy choked out a sound. “Fuck, not again,” he spat out in a strained, tight voice so full of pain he could barely be understood. He looked down at Mix, who sat straighter, licking Andy’s hand again before Andy shattered, curling his arms around the wolf’s neck as he began to shake uncontrollably, choking on every breath he took. He pressed his face into dark fur and didn’t even react when that fur transformed into a mixture of skin and cotton, leaving him clinging to a very human Matt, who was kneeling in front of his chair.

“It’s okay, Hurley,” Matt said, shifting so that he could curl his arms around Andy. “Just breathe, breathe okay?” he said in a low, soothing voice. He turned his face and pressed a kiss to Andy’s auburn curls before glancing up at Frank. “How are they?” he asked and Frank just shook his head.

“Mikey’s distraught. Brendon’s terrified, Pete’s pretty upset, and Patrick’s trying to calm them both down. The others aren’t back yet, so they don’t even know. Spencer was there, watching over Brendon, but he took off to find Ryan once Pete and Mikey were getting them to safety, so he hasn’t been back to hear that Joe’s missing,” he answered weakly. “I just… it’s happened again,” he finished lamely.

Matt sighed and shook his head. “Go check on the others. Call a meeting, once Andy’s calmed down he’ll need to talk to everybody, get a handle on the situation,” he said softly, still stroking Andy’s back the entire time.

Frank nodded, turning to leave without another word. Matt shifted some, sitting back on his heels to pull away from Andy. Andy looked up and just stared weakly, looking thoroughly defeated. “Matt… now she’s got two of them,” he whispered in a broken sound.

Matt nodded. “I know, Hurley,” he said, tucking Andy’s hair behind his ear. “You okay?” he asked and Andy let out a broken laugh.

“Oh yeah, just great, now two of my friends are under the control of the most evil woman I’ve ever met,” he answered, only to put his face in his hands. “What do I do? What can I possibly tell my guys?” he asked, only to lift his head and give Matt the most lost and devastated look Matt had ever seen on his face. “I’m losing this fight, Matt. We never lose.”

Matt just cringed. “Aww baby,” he sighed, taking Andy into his arms when Andy took a ragged breath. “Come here, it’s going to be okay,” Matt said, pulling him up as he stood. Andy stood with him, clinging to him weakly. “Listen, I’ve got your back, okay?” Matt kissed his hair. “I’m here for you, no matter what. Just be strong for the guys right now, okay? Later, you can be however weak you need to be, I won’t judge you, I’ll be your shoulder and all that, but for this moment right now, can you please just try for me, Andy?”

Andy straightened up, glancing up to fix Matt with a defiant look. “Of course I can, I’m a leader. I don’t get to be weak, Mixon. I’m not going to let my men see me weak when they need me to be strong.”

Matt grinned. “Well, nothing kicks your ass into gear like calling you weak, huh?” he asked and Andy scoffed, rolling his eyes as he pulled away from Matt. “Aww, don’t be like that, even leaders get weak spots. Hell, I’m a mixture of a pet and a boyfriend, it’s my job to be strong for you when you need to be weak and can’t show anybody else-“

Andy rolled his eyes. “You are not my pet, Mixon. That just makes it sound really fucked up. You may be my boyfriend and you may sometimes be a wolf, but if anybody else was to hear ‘his pet is his boyfriend’, I’ll get called a dog-fucker,” he argued and Matt smirked, leaning back to sit on the edge of Andy’s desk, watching Andy pace.

“Yo, Hurley,” he said, catching Andy’s hips as he walked past, lazily pulling him in between his knees.

“What?” Andy asked absently, looking as though he was thinking a thousand things at once.

Matt smiled and squeezed his waist gently. “I know you usually only show momentary lapses in your stony exterior in case of emergencies, but you do know that if it gets too much, you can be straight with me-“ Andy snorted, earning a sly grin from Matt. “Well, not that straight,” he teased, sharing a smile with Andy. “But really,” he continued, his smile softening. “If you need more than a momentary lapse, if you need a rock, it’s sort of what I’m for,” he pointed out. He winked. “I’m not just for keeping your bed warm and hanging out.” His voice softened in tone and his eyes revealed something more serious. “You do know that, right?”

Andy sighed but nodded. He put his hands on Matt’s shoulders, looking into his eyes. “I may not show my weakness more than in shocking moments, Matt, but you have always been my rock. I may not say it or show it, but the unseen support I get from you every day is half the reason I’m sane, okay? Don’t think I don’t appreciate how much you carry me throughout this life of ours, Mixon.” He leaned in to peck his lips. “Every day, you give me strength, even if you aren’t actively being my rock.”

Matt smiled. “Okay.” He dropped his hands from Andy’s sides and let him step back to resume his pacing. “What do we do now?” he asked and Andy sighed, turning to face him with a grave look on his face.

“Find a way to carry on.”
Andy paced as the others all sat around the table. “So… Joe’s gone,” he said softly. “Victoria got him when she was after the Keys,” he said and Mikey sniffed, looking down. “It’s not your fault,” Andy said and Mikey looked up with a sad expression.

“I was out with Gerard when they took him too. I’m- I’m useless,” he whispered, hanging his head.

Pete shook his head. “Mikey, nobody’s strong enough to even fight Victoria. She’s like me, she adapts powers. She’s too strong for anybody to fight her. She took Gerard and Joe alive because she can use their powers,” he pointed out. He twisted his hand around Patrick’s, looking at him. “She has our witch and our pyro. She knows what she’s doing, too,” he said sadly. “She’s getting all the strength she can before making a move on you and Brendon.”

Patrick and Brendon shared a look and Brendon bit his lip, sniffling as he looked around through wide eyes. “We need to stop going out, don’t we?” he asked and Patrick nodded.

“I don’t know about you, Brendon, but all the vacation time I’ve been storing up looks like it could get used pretty soon,” he said and Brendon nodded.

“Yeah, I think so too,” he said, turning to press his face into Spencer’s shirt, earning a cringe from Spencer, who awkwardly patted his back, making faces at the gross sounding snorts Brendon was making against his shoulder.

Pete looked up at Andy. “If this is her pattern, it’s going to be Frank or Spencer next,” he said, and Andy nodded. Patrick tugged on his hand and raised an eyebrow and Pete cringed. “Frank can be invisible. Spencer can control technology with his mind. Either one of those powers in a crowded area would be golden for her to adapt. I would say me or Matt would be next, but with Gerard’s witchcraft she doesn’t need telekinesis and you can’t adapt shape-shifting easily,” he said with a wry grin. “I tried, it hurts too bad to acquire, you need to be born with it.” He nodded. “Andy has no power for her to adapt, so he wouldn’t be taken, just killed. And Mikey-“

“Mikey’s power is useless to her,” Mikey said weakly. “So I’d be killed too, right?” he asked, looking up with tears in his eyes. “She’ll make him do it, you know she will,” he whimpered. He blinked and tears cascaded down his cheeks, free of his long lashes. “Pete, she’s going to make Gerard kill me. I know it. Nothing would be worse torture to him, Pete,” he choked out, shaking his head. “She uses them not just to adapt their power but to torture them,” he spat, letting out a sob as he lifted a hand to wipe his cheek. “She-she’s hurt him enough and in the end she’s going to make him kill me. And after he’s killed the only family he has left she’ll let him go, Pete. She’ll let him go and then what?!” He shook his head, whining. “I can’t- I can-“

Frank sighed and stood up. “Sorry, Andy,” he said softly, going to put his arms around Mikey. “Come on, Mikes. Let’s just go for a walk, okay?” Mikey nodded and let Frank get him up and walk him out of the room.

Patrick looked at Pete, who had so much sadness swirling away in his eyes as he stared at the tabletop, jaw clenched into a hard line. Patrick leaned into Pete’s side, closing his eyes as he let Pete rub their heads together, squeezing his hand harder than ever as Andy continued on, trying to work out a plan before their numbers dwindled any lower.
Patrick smiled a comforting smile when Pete came into his and Brendon’s room and crawled into Patrick’s bed. Patrick stood up from the desk he and Brendon shared to go sit beside him. “You okay?” he asked and Pete nodded, waiting for Patrick to get situated before curling up with his head against Patrick’s middle, arms around his waist. Patrick hugged Pete and kissed the top of his head, ruffling his curls. “I’m so sorry about Joe,” he said and Pete sighed, tightening his hold around Patrick.

“Joe’s basically my best friend,” he said then looked up at Patrick. “Well, besides you,” he said and Patrick smiled, petting his hair soothingly. “I’ve known him since he was a kid. Hell, he couldn’t have been but fifteen or so when we met. Been friends since.” He bit his lip. “I hope he’s okay. I just… I don’t want her to make him hurt someone. He hates fighting. He does it because it saves people, but he hates hurting anybody. And his power is one that can REALLY hurt people, you know?”

Patrick sighed. “I’d imagine. Fire is a pretty rough power to wield without hurting people really badly.” He smiled sadly, looking into Pete’s big brown eyes. “What do you think Andy is going to decide to do?”

Pete groaned. “Attack. We’re going to have to soon. There’s no other option. We’ll have to use Mikey as bait, I guess. Get out there and set a trap for her.”

Patrick cringed. “Mikey’s really fucked up over this all. Think he’ll be down with being bait?”

“It’s the only way he can really be useful,” Pete said, wincing. “I hate saying that, cause Mikey’s a friend. He isn’t useless, he’s a great person and he’s such a strong man, but everybody else has concrete powers, you know? They all have something we can use in the ambush. Unless we use Andy,” he said, and Patrick snorted.

“I can just see Matt Mixon’s reaction to the slightest suggestion of putting Andy in the direct line of fire,” he said and Pete grinned.

“Yeah, they’re a pretty close pair.” He rolled so that he was looking up at Patrick, head in his lap. “So, you know their story, right?” Patrick nodded. Pete smirked. “Hurley plays like they aren’t very lovey-dovey, but Mix totally sneaks snuggles by turning into a wolf. Seriously, Hurley doesn’t do all the snuggling shit but as soon as Matt turns into Mix, Andy gets all cuddly because he’s soft and warm and shit. Matt loves how sneaky it is, because Andy doesn’t seem to remember that snuggling with a dog is only different when it’s a dog, not your boyfriend in wolf form.”

Patrick laughed. “Awww, he really does seem to love Matt though. Snuggle-sneaking or not, they seem so in sync with each other. And they bicker like old couples,” he pointed out.

Pete smiled. “Andy Hurley may play tough, but he gave up a good life for that guy. He’d kill somebody in a heartbeat over Matt. I mean, he’d do the same over any of us if he had to, but if someone hurt Mixon, he’d probably kill them just for revenge, not as a last resort.”

Patrick hummed. “Sounds like what Mikey told me about Frank,” he said and Pete groaned.

“Frank needs to stay out of a fight because for one, he will not let us hurt Gerard. Gerard isn’t himself, he’s trying to kill us all at her command, but Frank would still take a bullet for him. He couldn’t actually let us hurt him. Mikey can’t stand the idea, but he can’t really stop us. Frank would be able to stop us,” he said with a dark look. “I don’t want to hurt him, Gerard is an old friend, but if it’s a kill or be killed situation, I’ll do what I have to do. I mean, I’d try to not KILL him, obvious,” he said and Patrick nodded. “But I know that Gerard would rather someone stop him than let him keep hurting people. Gerard is such a sweet, big-hearted guy. He will never get over this if he survives it and we’re able to fix him,” he said softly.

Patrick nodded, petting Pete’s frizzy hair softly. “I know, I get the idea that Gerard is going to be messed up. I hope you guys can save him.”

Pete groaned. “God knows I do too. I want this all over. See, before Victoria, our work was pretty simple. Stop a few purse snatchers and muggers, maybe the occasional bank robber, you know?” he said and Patrick chuckled.

“Let me guess, the police take the credit for all the saves you guys do?” he asked and Pete grinned up at him.

“Yep! But hey, it works out. Can’t stay secret if you take the credit for saving the day, can you?” he asked and Patrick shrugged. “It’s better this way.”

Patrick hummed. “So if you don’t get any credit, how do you guys live? I mean, even if we’re squatters here, you guys have an arsenal, I saw it. That had to cost money,” he said and Pete grinned innocently.

“I’m kind of rich,” he said and Patrick raised an eyebrow. Pete shrugged. “My family, they have a lot of money. As long as we don’t go crazy, we’re living off my trust fund basically. And every once in a while a rich aunt or uncle will die and I’ll get more money. Plus Andy has deals with a few gun runners who know he was in the CIA, so they’re afraid if they don’t give him cheap stuff, he’ll report them for illegal stuff. And this really was an abandoned warehouse, we’re technically just squatters,” he added, earning a snort from Patrick.

“This crap just gets weirder and weirder every day, Wentz,” he said, stroking his hair back to look into Pete’s eyes. “Every damn day.”

Pete nodded. “Yeah, pretty much,” he agreed, earning a smile and a headshake from Patrick.
When Andy gathered them to detail the plan of action, the last thing Patrick expected was for it to dissolve into a bickering match.

“Look,” Pete started. “Mikey is the most obvious form of bait. He’s Gerard’s brother, he’s the least threatening- sorry, Mikey- and we can use him giving us all the details telepathically.”

Frank shot him a glare. “We are not putting Mikey out there as a sitting duck. He would have no way to defend himself. Gerard or Joe would both kill him under her power and I will not face Gerard killing his own brother. I’m not going to entertain the idea that we could get him back and him have the knowledge he murdered his own baby brother, it’s just fucking insane-“

Spencer spoke up. “Then who will we use, Frank? You and I are too valuable to the team, Pete too. I mean, we could use you, Andy,” he suggested and Matt let out an angry sound.

“The hell we are! Andy doesn’t have any powers, we’re not putting him in the fucking line of fire- literally in Joe’s case- with no way to protect him! You can’t guarantee his safety, can you?!” he demanded. “Look, Ryan is a good option, he can fly away just as we head in-“

“Except she’ll adapt my power and come after me, Mixon,” Ryan argued. “I mean, Gerard’s got some good powers but he can’t manufacture flying for her, do you want to risk her getting airborne? Are you actually that stupid?!” he fussed and Andy slammed his hand on the table.

“HEY! No insulting each other!” he said, and then turned to Matt. “And why the hell can’t I be used? She won’t think I’m a threat, will she? I’m smart enough and trained for this shit. I can get in and set a trap or something,” he explained.

Pete sighed. “Andy, I hate to say it, but we need leadership. What the hell are we going to do if you get killed? You think any of us would be fit to run this operation? We need you-“

“What if we use Matt?” Spencer suggested. He looked over at Matt. “You’re non-adaptable, you’re strong, and you’re fast. You can get captured and then take them out-“

“We are not taking anybody out!” Frank argued, glaring daggers across the table at Spencer. “Joe and Gerard are coming out of this as unharmed as possible,” he said in a voice that left absolutely nothing to question.

Spencer sighed. “We want them to come out of this unharmed, but if we have to-“

“You are not hurting him unless there is no chance of saving him,” Frank continued and Andy sighed, shaking his head.

“Guys, STOP okay?!” he cried, but that only spurred the rest of the table into raucous arguing, nobody getting a point across. Patrick looked over at Brendon, who was huddled down between Spencer and Mikey, looking terrified by the entire proceedings. He looked at Pete, who was vehemently arguing for Mikey’s ability to do the job right. He looked at Frank, who looked damn near crazed in his assertion that nobody was going to hurt the two men who were being controlled by Victoria. Patrick turned his eyes to Matt, who was doing everything in his power to argue to Andy why having no powers was enough of a reason to knock him out of the contenders list for who to be the live bait. All around the table, people were arguing, some loud and some more civil, all but Mikey, who was just staring down at his hands, almost as if he was dazed.

Patrick took a deep breath and close his eyes before opening his mouth, pausing a moment before speaking. “I’ll do it,” he said, softly at first, only Brendon even noticing, if the way he jerked his head around was anything to go buy. He looked around the table and cleared his throat. “I said I’ll do it,” he spoke up, and Pete jerked his head around, staring at Patrick like he was crazy. Patrick narrowed his eyes at the ones still fighting and stood up. “WILL YOU SHUT UP ALREADY?!” he cried, his chair falling to the floor with a slam loud enough to silence them all. “Thank you!” He shook his head. “I said, I’ll do it, I’ll be the bait,” he said and everybody just stared.

Andy cleared his throat. “Patrick, that’s not-“

“No, listen,” Patrick started. “You guys are all part of this, the entire scheme, in order to protect people, right?” he asked, looking around. “The way I see it, she uses Gerard and Joe to do the dirty work. She doesn’t get involved herself unless she absolutely has to.” He nodded. “For you guys, if you have a power she wants, she’ll have them take you to her. Otherwise, she’ll just have them kill you.” He looked at Andy. “Answer me this, has she showed herself any time that wasn’t an attempt on me or Brendon?” he asked. “Since she’s had Gerard, has she even shown up to the fight?” He looked around the table and saw everybody exchanging glances. “Exactly.”

Pete touched his hip. “But Patrick-“

“Now what we’ll do,” Patrick started, shaking his head at Pete. “Is use me as bait, okay?” He looked at Andy. “You send me to work like normal. You hang back and have nobody with me, keep Pete out of her realm of sight or sound. She sees me without him or without somebody directly near me, she’ll strike. But what you’ll really do is be hiding out. Keep yourselves really hidden, and when she strikes, you get her.” He looked over at Mikey and Frank. “I’m sorry, I really am, but chances are Gerard and Joe will be there and they will have to be stopped. I hope you guys can stop them without hurting them, but someone will have to get them while the rest of you focus on Victoria.” He looked around. “You have to remember, I am something she DOES NOT need to get her hands on. But, it’s the only way to be sure to draw Victoria out herself and not just Gerard and Joe in her stead.”

Andy looked at him, staring Patrick down for a while before sighing, deflating quickly. “God, this is reckless.”

“But it can work,” Patrick said with finality. “I’m trusting you all to not let her use me to destroy the world, okay?” He looked down and sighed before lifting his head again. “But all in all, I’m insignificant. I’m just another blip on the radar. I never talk to my family, I have no friends, I have such an insignificant life that I won’t be missed that badly if this goes wrong-“ Pete tugged on his sleeve but Patrick kept on. “But you don’t let her use me to hurt other people, you got me, Hurley?” he asked with a hardened look in his eyes.

Andy swallowed but nodded. “Yeah, I get it.”

Patrick nodded, and then sat down again. “Good.”

Everybody exchanged silent looks before Pete made a strangled sound. “Andy, you can’t be serious! He’s a Key! We can’t walk him out right to her-“

“You heard him, Pete,” Andy said in a subdued voice. “She only comes out when a Key is out.” He shook his head. “It’s true, to get to her, we need to use a Key as bait. Patrick volunteered.”

Pete just bit his lip, giving Patrick a pleading look. “Patrick, don’t.”

Patrick smiled sadly. “Hey, you have tons of other friends, Pete. If anything happens, you’ll be okay. It’s me or Brendon and I’m sure as hell not sending him out there,” he said, looking over at him. “He’s terrified, he’s just a kid.” He shook his head. “Besides, you guys can do this. I believe in you, okay?”

Pete bit his lip but nodded. “I guess I don’t have any choice, do I?” he asked, leaning his head against Patrick’s shoulder as they turned back to Andy, who began detailing the plan further, going ahead while they had time.
Patrick bit his lip as he walked, hands in his pockets and head down. He headed straight for the plaza near the building he worked in, still hoping they were all set to go because he really wanted to avoid starting the end of the world. As he approached the steps leading up to the building, what he had been both dreading and expecting happened.

One second, it was a normal day. And in the blink of an eye, there was a blast of light, heat, and sound followed by terrified screams from the edge of the plaza, followed by another blast and more screams from the other side. Patrick dropped down to the steps, covering his head as the statue twenty feet to his left exploded, showering the area with debris. He stood up, looking around frantically, only to be knocked down as people streamed past him, running away. He tumbled down to the bottom of the steps and sat up, quickly struggling to his feet. He looked around and was shocked to see everybody running away through smoke and flaming debris, as well as dust settling from the concrete that had been blown to bits. In the middle of it all, he saw a man walking towards him. He was dark haired, pale skinned, and strode forward with a somewhat unnatural light around him.

Patrick stumbled back towards the steps as he kept coming. “Who are-“ Patrick was silenced as the man waved a hand and the steps behind Patrick were suddenly blocked over by a brick wall out of nowhere. Patrick stared, and then turned back, his back against the new wall. “Gerard,” he said knowingly, earning a smirk as the man drew nearer.

“Ah, so you know his name,” Gerard spoke and Patrick was immediately reminded that Victoria was commanding his every move. Patrick could see that his eyes were an unnatural shade of blue, almost like that of a persons whose eyes were clouded over, making them blind. “I bet you know his name as well,” Gerard spoke, turning to the left some. Patrick glanced over and his heart dropped when he saw Joe walking over, balls of fire just like what had caused the destruction around them floating over his upheld palms.

“And I’m certain you’ve been told my name,” a new voice spoke and Patrick snapped his head back to see a figure coming through the smoke. As the woman drew nearer, Patrick was startled by how pretty and normal looking Victoria was. She was a tall, dark haired woman dressed in a plain dress, one who could’ve been anywhere and not drawn attention.

Patrick swallowed hard. “Victoria,” he spoke, fighting to give her a smile that didn’t betray how terrified he was. “So nice to finally meet you,” he said and she smirked darkly.

“Patrick, Patrick Stump,” she said, walking closer. She stopped and leaned against Gerard. “Our pretty little Key,” she said into Gerard’s ear, making him smirk to match his master’s dark glee. “Such a shame, isn’t it? He’s a good looking boy, too bad he has to die,” she said, reaching out to cup Patrick’s cheek, no matter how bad he flinched away. “It’s so hard to come by a face this pretty and I have to go and ruin it,” she said and Patrick let out a shaky laugh.

“You only think that,” he tried, braving a smile only to have it slip off his face as her dark amusement turned to vicious glee.

“What, you mean your little friends and their plan to use you as bait to get me?” she asked and Patrick’s blood froze in his veins. She tutted. “Patrick, Patrick, Patrick, do you really think I’m an idiot?” she asked, turning to stalk back towards the center of the plaza where the wreckage of the fountain lay within the circle of smoke and debris. “Hurley thinks he’s so clever, doesn’t he?” she called out loudly, looking around. “Come out, come out wherever you are!” she called, then turned and settled on the rooftop next to them with her eyes. “Or I’ll kill your fearless leader,” she threatened with a snap of her fingers.

Patrick watched in shock and horror as, with a loud cry from him, Andy came flying off of the rooftop, the rifle in his hands falling sixteen stories down to the ground as he flew towards Victoria and was slammed to the ground as if a giant hand had picked him up and slammed him onto the concrete at her feet. Patrick honestly thought he was dead until he groaned and moved, rising up on his forearms only to suddenly be jerked up by an invisible culprit, held up by his arms, his body forming a cross not of his own volition. Andy took a ragged breath, lifting his eyes as blood dripped down his face from his head. “You’re completely surrounded. Give up,” he choked out and Victoria just sucked her teeth, shaking her head in amusement.

“Awww, you really think you have a chance,” she said, then smirked as she stalked around Andy. “Silly human, world domination is mine,” she hissed, sliding her hands along his arm as she circled his body. “What should I do with you,” she said, tapping her finger to her lips. “I could always… kill you,” she threatened, stopping behind him to lean down and kiss his cheek. “But that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Yes, it would,” she said in a baby voice as she circled around. “I wonder what your little friends would think if I…,” She looked around them, glancing up at a few rooftops and down at street level before turning back to Andy. “Hurt you,” she said, then snapped her fingers.

Patrick’s eyes widened in horror as, at the snap of Victoria’s fingers, Andy’s body went taught and he let out a loud scream before biting his lip, teeth clenched and eyes shut. Victoria laughed viciously, looking around again. “Always the hero,” she said loudly, voice booming through the plaza. “Your leader, refusing to scream from the pain in order to keep up his appearance before your eyes!” She turned back to Andy and Patrick felt sick when she held up a hand and clenched her fist, making Andy jerk, head flying back in a cascade of curls, only for him to finally break as she twisted the clenched fist in the air, wresting a loud, agonized scream from the man tethered by invisible bounds.

When she released her hand with a delirious laugh, Andy’s body went limp and he let out a broken sound. He lifted his head weakly, eyes hard. “Torturing me won’t save you. My men know I’m trained to withstand anything. And they’re trained to stay on task when a member of the team is compromised,” he spat out angrily.

Victoria tutted. “So, every one of your men is going to sit there while I twist your bones into dust?” she asked, raising her voice so that it carried. “Every one of you will follow orders and stand by to watch your leader die!?” she called out, and then stalked up to Andy, leaning in so that only he and Patrick could hear. “And what about your little pet?” she asked, smirking when Andy’s eyes flashed fear. “Ah, I know all about that mutt. Your lover,” she cooed. “Think he’ll stand there while I break you?” she hissed. “Or maybe, I can break you faster by killing him,” she suggested and Andy’s jaw clenched.

“I will kill you in a heartbeat if you touch him,” he swore, eyes full of fire.

Victoria smirked, standing tall. “You can’t do a damn thing if you’re dead,” she said, then turned to walk away, snapping her fingers and flinging her hand out as if tossing something over her shoulder.

Patrick watched in horror as Andy flew into the air at least fifteen or twenty feet, screaming in agony and writhing in midair, before all of a sudden it was like the strings of the puppet were cut and Andy plummeted to earth, landing beside the destroyed fountain with a sickening thud, body lying in a crumpled heap. “ANDY NO!” Patrick cried, gazing in dismay at the sight of the leader of the entire operation lying broken and so still.

Victoria laughed darkly. “Oh yes,” she said, pouting at him condescendingly. “Aww, hate seeing your friends hurt?” she asked, noticing the tears on his cheeks. “Watch and learn,” she said, turning to Gerard. “Bring them,” she said, nodding at Joe. “Help him.”

“NO!” Patrick cried, watching in horror as everybody was suddenly inside the bubble created by the wreckage and fire and smoke, scrambling to their feet almost as if they had all just been dragged into the plaza and dropped into heaps.

Victoria eyed her victims with malicious glee. “Welcome to the end of the world, boys!” she said, then turned to Joe first and then Gerard. “Kill them all,” she said simply, leaving Patrick staring helplessly after all of his friends, fully aware that they really had no chance.

Patrick had never suspected this to be the way the world ended.
Pete watched the entire situation with terrified eyes. Patrick cornered, looking terrified, Gerard and Joe doing things they would never do on their own, and worst of all, Matt’s face while Andy was being tortured. Matt was at his side and it was only Pete holding onto his arm that kept him from jumping out of his hiding place to go try and stop her while she ripped agonized screams from their leader.

The worst part, however, came when all of a sudden everybody cried out in alarm as they were transported inexplicably to the center of the rubble where Victoria was holding Patrick hostage, leaving Pete the only person untouched by her stolen magic. Pete didn’t know what had happened, he was so confused by the fact he was the only one, it seemed who had escaped being dragged into the center of it all. He hunkered down, crawling along the ground behind the bushes he and Matt had been hidden in, peeking through the branches to see what was going on in the circle.

He looked up and saw Patrick huddled against the wall watching in horror as Gerard and Joe, under Victoria’s control, let loose a rain of fire and wind and strange colored mists upon all of their friends, who were fighting just to stay alive. He saw Victoria had her back to Patrick, gloating as she looked down upon those struggling. He knew what he had to do. If he could get Patrick and run for it, Patrick could get back to their base, where Mikey was keeping an eye out on Brendon, and he could focus on helping his friends rather than trying to keep an eye on Patrick.

He crept along the flowerbed until he ran out of real-estate. He made sure nobody was looking and then scrambled across the open brick walkway to dive onto the ground behind the battered reflecting pool. He crawled until he was behind the wall Victoria had built. He leapt up and grabbed the top, pulling himself up with a grimace. He looked down and saw Patrick huddled about four feet to his left. “Patrick!” he hissed and Patrick looked up, eyes going wide. Pete looked up to see if Victoria noticed and sighed when he saw she hadn’t. His arms weren’t the strongest, so he was scrabbling at the wall with his toes to stay up. “See the water?” he asked, nodding to the reflecting pool he’d passed. “Go to the other side, I’ll be there.”

He dropped down and scrambled back, ducking around a planter only to let out a relieved breath as he saw Patrick carefully wading across the pool, eye on Victoria, Joe, and Gerard as he did so. When he got to the other side and hopped out, Pete rushed over, yanking him down to the ground. “PETE!” Patrick hissed, hugging him. “Oh my God, I-“

Pete shushed him, hand on his mouth. “Look, I’m going to sneak you back to where me and Matt were hiding. From there, you can make a run for it. Go back home and tell Mikey to get you and Brendon out of here. Get you out of the city. She cannot get you guys, okay?” he said, and Patrick bit his lip, but nodded.

They crawled along until they got into the clear behind the hedges. Patrick turned to Pete and bit his lip, then hugged him tight. “Please don’t get killed, okay?” he whispered and Pete turned his head into Patrick’s neck, squeezing him tight. “I’ve never had a best friend before, I want to keep you,” Patrick whispered and Pete cringed.

“I’ll do my best, okay?” he asked, and Patrick nodded fearfully. Pete smiled bravely. “Run, okay? Keep Brendon safe. Help Mikey.” Patrick nodded and Pete chuckled. “God, you’re so brave to be normal,” Pete said and Patrick smiled.

“Says the man who just saved my life,” he said, then squeezed Pete’s hand. “Okay, good luck.”

Pete nodded. “You, too.”
Frank ducked another fireball and immediately gave up his plan to get to Gerard and try and stop him before the others had to kill him to make him stop. He went invisible, immediately running aside to avoid Joe’s blasts. He ran around the outer edge of the fight to get to Joe. He leapt on him. “Sorry, Joe,” he whispered in his ear as he locked his arms around Joe’s throat, cutting off his air supply. He closed his eyes as Joe tripped and stumbled around, sending errant balls of fire all over the battlefield. He only hoped nobody was hit as he did his best to choke out one of his friends. He grunted as Joe fell to his knees. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered, closing his eyes as he held on, knowing if he let go too soon he wouldn’t pass out.

Frank only hoped that he could choke him unconscious without killing him.
Spencer walked towards Gerard with a stony expression. He dreaded hurting him. He didn’t want to hurt one of the nicest people he had ever known, no matter what the circumstances. He sent a thought to Ryan, who was hovering high in the air behind Gerard. I’ll distract him, you get him. Try not to hurt him too bad.

“Gerard?” he tried as he approached, wishing in vain that Gerard might snap out of it. “Gerard, it’s me, Spencer-“

“Spencer Smith,” Gerard cocked his head to the side, unnaturally blue eyes boring into Spencer’s natural ones. “You really think that can work?” he asked, stepping towards Spencer. He made a tsking sound and smirked the most twisted, sick smirk Spencer could imagine. “Gerard is mine and you know it,” he said, grinning as he raised his hands, both of which began to glow bright red. “And now, you will be too!”

Spencer stumbled back. “Ryan!” he cried, watching as Ryan shot down towards Gerard, only to have his smile of triumph freeze into a grimace of terror as Gerard simply put up one of his hands, stopping Ryan dead in the air.

“Now,” Gerard said, never taking his eyes off of Spencer. “Did you really think I didn’t know he was there?” he asked, snapping his fingers suddenly. Spencer let out a cry of fear when Ryan suddenly dropped to the ground like a rock, impacting the concrete with a sickening thud. Spencer watched and let out a horrified noise when Ryan made no move to pick himself up.

“Ryan?!” he cried, looking up to see a sadistic grin on Gerard’s face.

“And now it’s time to say goodnight, Spencer Smith,” he said, raising his hands once more. “Goodnight, and goodby-“

Before Gerard could do a thing, before Spencer could fight back, a shout rang out, stopping them both. “STOP!”
Pete glanced up from his and Frank’s invisible attempts at dodging Victoria’s jets of light and lobbing rubble in her way when he heard a voice cry out loudly. He and Frank both looked back, as did everybody else, to see someone who hadn’t been there before standing in the middle of all of the smoke, the haze, and the ash. “No,” Frank breathed and Pete’s heart leapt to his throat.

Mikey had come up behind Gerard and cried out to stop him from killing Spencer. “I said, stop it,” Mikey said, tears on his face as he took a few steps towards Gerard, head held high even though he was visibly trembling. Pete saw Spencer nod and rush away into the smoke and knew Mikey must’ve told him to run.

Pete faltered. “He’s- what is he doing?!”

Frank let out a pained sound. “Trying to save us,” he whispered, only to cry out as one of Victoria’s lights struck him suddenly.

“FRANK!” Pete cried as Frank became visible, crumpling to the ground in a heap. He looked up just in time to run from Victoria’s blue streak. He was still invisible, still feeding off of Frank’s power, so he knew he was alive, but Victoria also knew there were two of them for sure now. She would know where he was as soon as he used his power to heave broken bricks at her. As Pete ran around, dodging her blows, he could only pray Gerard didn’t kill his brother.
Mikey took a breath as Gerard turned his focus to him. Mikey whimpered when he saw the misted over eyes in place of his brother’s friendly hazel eyes. “Hello, Gerard.”

Gerard chuckled evilly. “Mikey Way, what a surprise! My own little brother-“

“You are not my brother,” Mikey spat, lips trembling as tears streaked his face. “Y-You are a monster. My brother is nothing like you.”

Gerard pouted mockingly. “Awww, wittle Mikey’s cwying!” He chuckled darkly. “I’m not a monster, I’m a god you little bitch. Your brother is just a puppet, I am the master.”

Mikey sniffled. “You can’t win. You won’t. You’re going to lose and when you do, I hope you suffer just like you’ve made him suffer.”

Gerard hummed. “Well, you’re entitled to your own opinion,” he said, kicking a rock with his toe. Then smirked up at Mikey with an evil glint in his eyes that made Mikey’s’ blood run cold. “Speaking of suffering,” he said, then reached out and clenched his fist. Mikey gasped, choking as his hands flew up to his throat, fingers scrabbling only to find nothing there. He pulled at his shirt, mouth opening and closing as he struggled to breathe. Gerard chuckled. “How badly do you think he’ll suffer for this?” he asked, stalking closer to Mikey. “How badly do you think he’ll hate himself?” Gerard leaned closer, getting right in Mikey’s face. “How badly will he suffer having the memory of squeezing the life out of his dear baby brother?” he spat and Mikey stumbled, falling to his knees as the edges of his vision began to go black.

All of a sudden the weight was gone and Mikey gasped, inhaling a deep breath as his head spun. “P-please,” he choked out. He looked up, sitting heavily back, barely able to stay upright as he sat back on his heels. He shook his head. “Don’t make him-ACK!” Mikey heaved as his breath was cut off again. His eyes were wide as he looked up at Gerard, who squatted down in front of him so that they were level, watching him closely with a dark, hungry look.

“Yes, I will make him,” Gerard said in a condescending voice. “And there’s nothing you can do! Your powers are puny and useless,” he said, releasing Mikey as soon as his eyes started to go vacant, smirking down at Mikey’s heaving chest as he doubled over, barely still conscious. Gerard hauled him up, holding onto his shoulders. He lowered his lips to Mikey’s ear. “And he’s going to feel it all. He will remember. He’ll know every single detail of what he’s done when I let him go,” he whispered.

Mikey let out a broken sob. He lifted his head. “Please, don’t make him do this,” he whimpered. “Please, please don’t hurt him anymore,” he choked out.

Gerard chuckled. “Too late!”

Mikey’s body seized as he felt the same crushing blow to his chest and the squeezing in his lungs. He looked up into Gerard’s uncharacteristically blue eyes and used the only power he could. It’s okay, Gerard. She says you’ll remember, so remember this. It’s all okay. Mikey felt his consciousness ebbing away and focused hard. I love you, no matter what. You didn’t do this, none of it. You couldn’t ever do anything like this so don’t blame yourself for it. Mikey’s vision started to go dark but he fought to keep his eyes open, looking up into the face of someone who was not his brother. I love you, Gee. You’re my big brother. He thought of his Gerard, the real one, and his infectious laugh and his inability to ever see Mikey’s faults because he was so proud of his baby brother. He managed a weak smile as his vision dimmed. “It’s gonna be okay,” he mouthed, unable to even whisper.

All of a sudden, the pressure lessened some and he managed a small breath. He looked up suddenly, hope filling him as he saw Gerard’s pale blue eyes flash hazel. He felt more tears slip down his cheeks as the pressure fell away completely. “No, NO! This can’t-“ Gerard snarled, only to suddenly fling himself backwards away from Mikey with a strangled cry.

Mikey let out a hoarse laugh before falling backwards, laying on his back as he took deep breaths. He looked up at the sky, trying to replenish the oxygen in his body. “He did it,” he whispered weakly.

“Mikey?!” He looked up with a broken sob as he found Gerard, eyes fully hazel, crawling to him. “Oh my God, what did I do?” he cried, pulling Mikey into his arms. He held him against his chest and rocked. “Oh my God, oh God, Mikey-“

“S’okay,” Mikey whispered hoarsely. “You didn’t do it, you didn’t hurt me, she did-“

“I did it-“

Mikey shook his head, smiling up at Gerard weakly. “I know you, that wasn’t my big brother. You are my Gee.”

Gerard just let out a sob, pressing a kiss to the top of Mikey’s head as he held him, rocking him. “You’re okay now, Mikes. I promise, I won’t hurt you again.”

Mikey managed a smile, only to suddenly remember the battle wasn’t over when the sound of a loud, pain-filled, anguished cry rang through the air.

When Matt was hauled into the ring of fire and debris by Victoria, his landing knocked him unconscious. When he began to come to, the fights were already raging around him. He could see Spencer fighting Gerard, he could see Ryan in the air, and he could hear but not see someone fighting with Victoria far at the other end of the plaza. He didn’t see any sign of Patrick, and he only hoped he was gone somewhere safe. When Matt struggled to his knees, his eyes landed on the one thing he had never wanted to see.

Andy was lying in a crumpled heap near the destroyed fountain. He scrambled across the ground quickly, unable to get to his feet as everything spun. He got to Andy’s side and collapsed. “Andy?” He moved to his knees and rolled Andy over, careful of his head. He gasped when he saw the blood all down one side of Andy’s face. “Fuck, baby,” he whispered, cupping his face. “Andy? Hurley? Hurley you with me?”

Andy groaned and turned his head and Matt let out a soft sigh of relief. “Hurley, can you look at me?” he asked and Andy’s eyes fluttered.

“M-Matt?” he breathed and Matt smiled, nodding.

“Yeah, Hurley, it’s me.” He brushed Andy’s hair out of his face. “Hey there,” he said and Andy managed a weak smile.

“What happened?” Andy asked hoarsely. “Why aren’t you fighting? Is it over?”

Matt cringed. “No, they’re still fighting. I just woke up. She got me good,” he said and Andy coughed weakly. Matt’s eyes widened when he saw Andy’s eyes flutter. “Baby? You okay?” He started to gather him into his arms, only to have Andy cry out weakly. Matt sat back with Andy across his knees and lifted the hand that had been on Andy’s side, heart plummeting when he saw all of the blood. “Oh shit,” he said and Andy groaned.

“It’s not good, is it?” he asked weakly.

Matt leaned over Andy to look, only to feel his heart drop when he saw how much blood was coming out of the deep gash in Andy’s lower left side. He looked up and saw a piece of iron rebar from the fountain covered in blood with a pool where Andy had lay before Matt picked him up. “Oh fuck, baby,” he breathed, looking down at Andy with a panicked feeling clawing at his insides.

Andy sighed, taking a ragged breath. “You should go help,” he said softly. He looked up at Matt. “I’m no good, you can actually help them.”

Matt shook his head. “No way,” he said, pressing his hand over the wound. “I’ll stay right here until we can get you help,” he said, keeping pressure on the gash in Andy’s side. “I’m not much good to them now anyhow. I think they’ve got it,” he said, not looking away from Andy. “Patrick’s gone, he got away, so we’re okay. They’ve got her covered,” he said, stroking Andy’s hair gently.

Andy groaned. “Fuck, I need to fight-“

“You need to stay still,” Matt argued. He looked at how pale Andy was. “Just… rest, okay?”

Andy nodded. “Okay,” he said, looking up at Matt while Matt stared right back. They sat there for a few minutes, just sitting silently, looking at each other deep in thought.

Matt felt his heart racing as Andy’s breathing grew more and more shallow. Andy winced. “Matt, I hate to tell you this-“

“Shhhh, whatever it is-“

Andy shot him an annoyed look. “I’m fucking dying and can’t even get a full thought out before you interrupt me.”

Matt shook his head. “You’re not dying,” he argued fiercely.

Andy smiled weakly, blue eyes glassy. “Yeah I am, Matt. You know better than that.” He turned his head some. “It’s okay. The guys will be okay. Hell, that’s assuming we beat her, how’s it looking?”

Matt shook his head, refusing to look up. “Fuck the guys, we are gonna beat her. You included.”

“Mixon, Brendon and Patrick have to stay out of here. Whoever’s back with them, when you get out, if she isn’t dead, take them all and run. You hear me? Run-“

Matt let out a weak sound. “I’m not going anywhere without you, Andy,” he whispered and Andy gave him a sad smile.

“You have to, Matt,” he whispered and Matt shook his head, tears filling his eyes.

“No, Andy. You’ll be okay, I know you will.” He smiled weakly. “It’s me and you, right? Saving the world together, it’s what we do. It’s- It’s our job. Me and you, not just me.” Andy let out a weak cough and Matt held him closer, only to choke out a weak cry of fear when Andy’s head dropped back. “Andy?!” He pulled him closer and Andy opened his eyes slightly, shakily lifting is hand up to Matt’s face. Matt swallowed hard. “Hurley, don’t you fucking give up on me yet. Don’t you dare,” he growled and Andy smiled.

“Fuck, I never tell you, but you’re so beautiful, Mattie,” Andy whispered weakly. He sniffled, a tear slipping down his cheek. “I love you, okay? You’ll be okay. Nobody fights forever.”

Matt let out a weak sob. “No, Hurley. You can’t- you have to keep fighting.” Matt closed his eyes and whined. “Please don’t leave me,” he whimpered and Andy let out a weak chuckle.

“Sorry, Mix, I don’t have a choice,” he said and Matt let out a weak laugh.

“You fucker,” he whispered, and then stroked his fingers through Andy’s bloody, filthy curls as he looked into his eyes. “I love you, too,” he whispered. He leaned in and kissed Andy, whining and pressing his forehead against Andy’s as he fought tears. “Please,” he breathed.

Andy chuckled, opening his eyes to look up into Matt’s warm, brown eyes. “Stop her, Mattie,” he said and Matt nodded.

“I promise, baby,” he whispered, swallowing thickly as he looked into Andy’s eyes. “It’s okay, baby,” he said, clenching his eyes shut. He opened them quickly, however, when Andy’s hand slowly slid off of his face. He lifted his head, throat closing as Andy went limp in his arms, his eyes sliding shut as his head fell to the side. Matt shook his head. “Andy? Baby?” He shook him lightly, feeling of his pulse, only to find it racing, heart so close to giving out. “Baby? BABY?!” he cried, letting out a sob as he pulled Andy to his chest, rocking as he cradled him. “NO!” He let out a choked sob. “No, Andy no!” he cried, tears falling down his face as he let out a pained cry, barely breathing through the pain.

“Awww, so he did die! I’m better than I thought!” Matt raised his head, eyes full of rage as he saw Victoria looking straight at him from her spot overlooking the fight. He saw Frank lying not far from her and saw her occasionally flicking away bricks, so he knew Pete was somewhere nearby. However, all he could see was her. She smirked. “Ooh, struck a nerve, huh?”

Matt stood up, lifting Andy’s body in his arms. He stared her down, eyes full of rage as he walked towards her, ignoring anything around him as he carried his lover, who lay limp in his arms, across the plaza. “You did this,” he spat as he approached her. “You- You killed him. YOU KILLED HIM!” he screamed, fire in his eyes and in his voice as he approached her, shaking with hatred. He looked down at Andy and let out a sob, looking up with fresh tears on his cheeks.

She smirked. “Yes, and I bet it hurt,” she said. She looked up and nodded at Gerard, who was walking over. “Get that out of my way,” she said, waving a hand. Matt froze, watching as Gerard walked over to him. “I want to face the last one head on,” she said, looking into Matt’s eyes.

Gerard walked up to Matt, only to lift his head and wink. Matt barely managed to show no reaction as he saw Gerard’s familiar gaze and realized he was free. He let Gerard take Andy from him with a tilt of his head. Gerard bit his lip apologetically but nodded the tiniest bit as he took Andy from him. Matt looked up at Victoria as Gerard left and smirked. “Biggest mistake of your life,” he said in an icy voice.

Victoria raised an eyebrow. “Oh really?” She grinned. “The way I see it, you’re down a leader, down half of your team, and I have your Key. I spill his blood and the energy of the sun will fill me! How does that make me the one who made a grave mistake?”

Matt’s glare turned to a vicious smile. “The Key got away from you,” he said and she turned around to look back where Patrick had been behind her, eyes wide as she spun around, looking for him. “And you killed the man I love,” he added, eyes dark as he advanced on her.

She shot him a smug look. “Oooh so scared, what will you do? I have every power you all had and a strong assistant-“

“You don’t have me anymore,” Gerard said, startling her. He held up his hands and a blast of lavender light surrounded her. “And there go all of my powers. Without my witchcraft, you’re fucked,” he said simply. “Eat it, bitch!”

She spun back to Matt. “No matter, I have you-“

“You can’t adapt my power,” Matt said with a dark sneer before transforming mid run, covering the ground towards her twice as fast once he was on four legs.

Gerard’s eyes widened and he turned away, crouching back down beside Andy’s body once more as the sound of growls, screams, and yelps filled the air around them all.

Everybody knew soon enough that it was all over.

Beep. Beep.

Andy opened his eyes slowly, confused by the sounds of beeping. His eyes focused and the first thing he saw was an IV packet. He frowned and followed the tube down to his arm. His eyes widened and he turned his head, trying to lift his hand only to find it wouldn’t move. He turned his head to the other side, only to feel his racing pulse settle some as he saw his hand was held in a larger, darker hand. He wiggled his fingers free and stroked Matt’s black hair softly. “Mixon?” he grunted softly.

Matt groaned groggily, rolling his head to the side, only to have his eyes fly wide when he felt Andy’s hand in his hair. He jerked his head up, eyes widening. “Oh God, Hurley!” he breathed, a smile splitting his face. “Oh baby, you’re awake,” he whispered, standing up. He leaned over and kissed Andy, who smiled against his lips. “Fuck me, I’ve never been more relieved in my life,” he said softly. He sat back down with a huff, groaning as he ran his hands over his face. “Dear God, Andrew John Hurley, if you ever do this to me again, I will kill you myself,” he said, relief hanging off of every word he spoke.

Andy smiled weakly. “How did I live?” he asked softly. “Did you get her? Who else made it?” he asked and Matt shushed him, leaning on the bed again.

“Everybody made it, she’s dead, and you’re alive because of Gerard,” he said proudly. He smiled. “Gerard is so much stronger than anybody knew,” he said with a laugh of amusement. “He broke her control while she was distracted and hid it from her until the end.”

Andy gaped. “He broke her hold? Nobody’s ever did that before,” he said and Matt nodded.

“Mikey did it. She was making him kill Mikey and I guess there was enough of Gerard still in control to fight to save his brother. He broke her hold and then hid it until he saw you ‘dead’.” Matt shuddered. “I thought you were dead, baby. I honestly thought I was holding a body. He took you at her order, since he was faking it still, and then he saved you.” He smiled, reaching out to touch Andy’s face. “Gerard saved you.”

Andy groaned. “Fuck, I’ll never stop owing him for that one, will I?” he asked and Matt laughed. “Hmmm, okay,” Andy readjusted against the pillow to look at Matt better. “So she’s dead?”

Matt nodded, giving Andy a shy smile. “I kind of like… went bloodlust sort of?” he said, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly as Andy gaped. “She’d killed you, okay? I thought this woman had just murdered the love of my life, so I let Mix take over and… didn’t rein him in at all. Let him go nuts on her.”

Andy cringed. “Ew, that doesn’t sound pleasant. How did she not stop you? I mean, she still had powers adapted.”

Matt shook his head. “It wasn’t enough. Gerard took her magic and she was a sitting duck. I mean, invisible wouldn’t help her, I’d smell her. She could throw shit at me but I was too fast, I kinda got her before she had time to plan. Needless to say, she’s taken care of.”

Andy nodded. “Now, most pressing,” he looked at the room in general. “I’m in a hospital and I haven’t been assassinated yet,” he said and Matt laughed.

“Fake IDs. Gerard worked them up fast. Also,” he cringed. “Your hair is blonde,” he said and Andy squeaked, grabbing a lock of hair to tug around, groaning. Matt laughed. “Yeah, not a good look, but Gerard will fix it when we’re home. Oh, and your name is Joshua, if the nurse asks.”

Andy shook his head. “You guys are all insane.” He yawned. “So, how is everybody? You said everybody lived but they can’t all be okay.”

Matt chuckled weakly. “Well, Frank has a broken leg and a concussion, Joe and Gerard are both pretty fucked up over the things they were made to do, being suffocated aggravated Mikey’s shitty respiratory system so he’s got bronchitis now, Ryan has a broken arm and a gash on his head from the impact of falling, and I had a concussion too, but they said it was minor so I’m fine.”

Andy frowned, reaching out to touch Matt’s head. “You sure? You should be at home resting-“

“I watched you die,” he said fiercely, eyes hardened. “You don’t seem aware but I’m never leaving your side again,” he said, smiling weakly. He touched Andy’s face again. “Eight years is not nearly long enough, you got that? I’ll be damned if I’m ever watching you die in my arms again, baby. You better be good until we’re old, dude.” Matt laughed wetly, shaking his head. “Cause I can’t take that again. That was just… brutal.”

Andy smiled. “Love you, okay?”

Matt nodded, smiling as he leaned in to kiss Andy. “Love you to-“

“AWWWW I LOVE YOU BOTH!” They startled apart when Pete shouted as he slid into the room. “Hurley! You’re alive!” He bounced over and offered him a high-five over his shoulder.

Patrick ambled in more reasonably and shook his head. “I’d apologize for Pete, but he seems really excited to be alive now.” He shrugged and Andy and Matt both laughed.

“Hey, Pete,” Andy said and Pete sighed.

“Thank you for not dying,” he said very seriously, hanging over Matt’s shoulder. “Matt cried. I never want to see a man this big cry ever again,” he said and Matt shoved him off so that he fell back to the floor.

Pete just went and hung over Patrick, who let him cling to him with a longsuffering eye roll. “Glad you guys are okay,” Patrick said and Andy smiled.

“Glad you guys came to see me. Shocked you guys aren’t all too scared to leave home anymore,” he said and Pete and Patrick shared a horrified look, cringing. “What?” Andy asked curiously.

Pete snickered. “Wellll, let’s just say Frank made good on his ‘if Gerard lives, I’m making sure he knows I love him’ thing,” he said and Matt laughed.

“Oh God, is Gerard fussing over him? Gerard’s mothering can get pretty overwhelming-“

Patrick shot him a look and shook his head. “Worse,” he said and Pete giggled into Patrick’s neck.

“Apparently, the broken leg isn’t as much of a hindrance as you’d think it would be in the bedroom,” he said and Andy and Matt gaped.

“Wait you mean-“

Patrick nodded. “Oooh yeah,” he said with wide eyes. “If you haven’t learned this before, Gerard is really loud,” he said and Pete giggled even more gleefully at the horrified looks on Matt and Andy’s faces.

“Seriously, all the sex is overwhelming way worse than fussing over Frank’s leg would be,” Pete said, and Patrick nodded.

Andy made a face and flopped back against the pillow. “You know, Matt, I was in a hurry to get out of here, but I think the risk of CIA assassination might be worth missing that for a few more days, what do you say?” he asked, and Matt snickered, shaking his head.

“God, I’m glad you’re okay, baby,” he said and Andy smiled, squeezing his hand.

“Yeah, yeah,” Andy grinned. “Love you too.”