A/N: As part of celebrating 5 years on the site, I'm putting up three new stories to give me a total of 50. This one is an alternative ending to WoundedHeart's story, Someone Waits in the Shadows. A while ago she said she wanted me to write the climax of SWITS for her because I was good at action scenes. I didn't let her specify what was going to happen, and I had as much fun with the chapter as possible. I think she's learned not to have me write things for her anymore…
Chapter I don't Know nor really care: All for Love
As the day light faded, our brave heroes found themselves confined within the shadows of the ship's interiors, time of the essence. They pushed further, their body and minds to the limit as they strove to save their friend from the madman that had tormented them for far too long.
"How much further?" Zack asked.
"Soon," Cody responded as they kept venturing further, fear filling them, adrenaline accelerating them further.
"There!" Zack said, and he jumped through, followed by Cody, who clumsily landed on his back. But that didn't slow them for long. No, with but a hand from his brother, Cody was back to his feet, his speed unhindered, and any pain he might have felt, drowned out by purpose.
"Cody!" a shrill voiced called out, one that made Cody's heart stop. As his eyes gazed the darkness that surrounded him, he fumbled with the flashlight, his haste nearly causing him to drop it. Before he could see the sights in front of him, he felt the soft arms around his neck, her breath in his ears.
"Bailey," he said turning, wrapping his arms around her, a great relief flooding over him.
But it was short lived as Zack's voice reminded them of the danger they still faced. "Where's Maya?"
"She's still with Brad." Bailey's gaze shifted downward, the weight of her cowardice drowning her with guilt as she felt Zack's stare piercing through her. "She told me to go, that she'd handle it."
A single tear was heard falling against the metal catwalks that held them.
"Let's go," Zack said, and Bailey could not be sure if she heard anger in his voice, or if it was just her own anger at herself echoing in her ears.
Nevertheless, Bailey joined the twins in pursuit, knowing that their goals were the same, and whatever sins her fear might have caused her to commit, the end result was all that mattered. Saving Maya, and putting Brad behind bars where he belonged. She kept her eyes set on the floor, for a weapon she could use to set things right, but as she thought about the encounter that was sure to come, she remembered the way he tore into her mind with but a few words, got past the mental defenses she was sure would be enough. Was she not smart enough to face him? Or were all those book smarts really just useless? And even as she pondered this, her mind was once more brought back to her savior, the one who pulled her back up before disappearing without a trace. She barely heard a word out of him, but a feeling in the back of her mind told her that they would be meeting again.
Feeling the blood dripping from her cheek, staining the floor red with crimson, Maya wondered if her foolishness would be the end to her. Who was she to stand up to Brad? She was weak, but too prideful to admit it as his arm yanked her off the ground.
She sent away the only hope she had?
She thought she was doing the right thing, but as Brad pulled her close, his wicked smile less than an inch from her mouth, she felt the truth roaring in her mind. She was scared, that by letting Bailey stay to help she was admitting she wasn't strong enough to face him, that if she showed any weakness, he had won.
"Love me," he pleaded, but she struggled to get away. A futile attempt as her body was flung back to the ground.
"Why?" she asked, but couldn't' get out any more as she began coughing, drops of blood coming up. Was he really going to kill her? No, he said that he loved her, but he saw what a twisted person life had turned Brad into. One willing to sacrifice everything to get what he wanted, desperate for the love that only she could provide.
A thought crossed her mind, that maybe she should just return his love, it would keep her alive, and then when the time was right, she could betray him.
But the thought of admitting that, giving that kind of power to him made her sick.
"I will have you."
She tried getting up, trying to get away, but it was no use, he was on her in an instant, his arms locking her to the floor, his body far too heavy for her to move. He put his mouth next to her ear, a gentle kiss, that in any other time would calm Maya but now forced her to scream, but it didn't last long, instead his hand came across her mouth, silencing any protests, making her entirely at his mercy.
"That was her," Zack said and it made him run faster than he thought possible. He couldn't be late, and wouldn't allow Maya to be hurt. He didn't notice that his twin and Bailey had fallen behind. They weren't important now; all that he cared about now was Maya. Rounding a corner, he saw the faint light, a room obscured by the shadows, and knowing that he heard the scream coming from this direction, he just knew it was the right one.
He rushed to her, his eyes filled with hatred as he saw Brad on top of her, he was shirtless filing Zack with nightmares of what could have been. Zack threw all his weight at him, in a desperate attempt to win her freedom, knowing for a second that Brad was stronger than him, but remembering all too well that this was for the woman that he loved.
Zack collided into Brad, and as Zack had hoped, it was enough to free Maya. She scrambled to freedom, not believing her eyes, as her knight in shining armor stood in front of him. Though she knew it was something far more noble. It was a teen who's heavy breaths showed he was worn out, who's shaking body showed he was scared. Nevertheless he fought through those fears and came to save her, risking everything for her freedom.
"Enough. Maya is mine!" Zack prepared his body for battle seeing just how muscular Brad's body was, the scars on his chest scaring him, showing what he had endured, and he saw the glint of desperation in Brad's eyes as well, eyes that would do anything to get what they were after.
But as Zack waited for Brad to charge at him, it never happened. Instead Brad got up, and took a few steps backwards, his hands fumbling for some kind of object that Zack could not see due to the lack of light. His mind raced through the possibilities, but in an instead Brad had found what he was looking for, and raised it at Zack. The glint of the faint light on the metal told Zack exactly what it was, and his body froze with fear.
"Put the gun down!" Maya screamed, but Brad was done listening to her, knowing that she loved Zack now, and that the only way to sever that bond was to get rid of his rival in love. Then she'd see the kind of person she needed to be with. Not letting anything else get in the way, he took aim, and fired a single shot.
Time stood still for Zack as he saw the tiny bullet screech through the air.
He tried moving but his limbs went numb.
He tried screaming but his voice went dry.
He tried closing his eyes but they could only stare at his impending doom.
He tried bracing himself for the pain, but it was beyond anything he could imagine. He felt the bullet enter into his stomach, causing him to suddenly feel famished and nauseous. He felt the blood flow like water from his gut. He felt the air seem into the flesh, a sensation like a thousand burning needles stabbing into him all at once overwhelming his senses. He doubled over in pain.
"I need more practice, I was hoping to kill him instantly," Brad monotonously mentioned. "Oh well, it's not like bullets are that expensive."
However, as Brad readied to fire again, something collided into his face, his gun firing harmlessly into floor below. He glanced at the shoe falling from his vision as he tried to maintain his balance. But before he could figure out just what happened, he was knocked to the ground as the shoe's owner hits him with the full force of his body. The gun fell from his grasp as fought for control, and as he looked into the face above him, he recognized those eyes of rage as identical to the ones of fear belonging to Zack.
But he knew all about Cody.
How his body was weak from too many hours studying.
How the element of surprise was all that he had.
How adrenaline was the result of his fury and that the bruises he felt would be all this kid could muster. Brad really didn't have anything against him, but he couldn't let anyone get in his way of getting his Maya back.
As Cody brought his fist down across Brad's face for the tenth time, Brad pushed him away, any damage Cody might have done to him not slowing Brad down one bit. Even though Cody had been pushed away, his anger was far from subsided, and part of him wanted to check on Zack, the other part of him demanded justice.
But Brad's years of physical training kicked in, and as Cody ran at him, Brad grabbed his wrist, and with his free arm, slammed his fist into Cody's stomach. With the breath knocked out of him, Cody couldn't find the rage to fuel his muscles, and instead became but a puppet entirely at Brad's command.
Though only seconds passed since she entered the room, Bailey felt like she had been standing there for days, the sight of Zack shot, his blood flowing like a river freezing her in place. When she saw her boyfriend struggling with Brad she looked down, afraid of seeing him hurt as well. An object caught her attention, the gun he had used on Zack. She ran to it, glad that Cody was able to put up somewhat of a fight. She felt a glimmer of guild as she raised the weapon, all her life hating killing no matter who it was. But she loved her friends, and knew that there were times when protecting that which she held dear had to override her conscious.
Brad wrapped his arm around Cody who was too weak to resist, and upon seeing Bailey holding the gun, raised him as a human shield.
Bailey froze, gasping in shock as she pulled the trigger, knowing in an instant what she did on impulse could never be undone.
Cody never saw the bullet coming; his eyes stared at Brad, trying to convey all his hatred. He heard the bullet, but couldn't place the sound in time, he only felt the pain of the bullet hitting his body, the blood pouring out, the fiery sensation of skin and flesh being torn too much for his fragile body to handle. He fell to the ground, his hand raised to the wound, but as he did so, he felt the numbness take hold, unable to do anything, but close his eyes. His hatred faded into weariness as he gave into the desires of his body, letting himself fade from consciousness.
Bailey dropped the gun, in an instant, running to her boyfriend, forgetting about the battle around her, the evil man that still stood unharmed barring a couple bloody cuts and bruises. She let loose an avalanche of tears, ignoring the blood that poured out from him which covered the ground and her knees as she fell upon them in a scarlet river. She let her medical side take hold for just a moment, telling her to look for a pulse, for breathing. Through shaky hands and tear blurred vision, she reached down, felt his chest rise unsteadily, showing that there was still life in him, but that it could fade at any minute. Moving her hand up to his neck, pressing it into his freshly shed blood, she felt nothing.
For a second.
But then a pulse, weak, barely able to reach to the surface of the skin. She felt a tingle of relief, though knew how desperate this was, how she had to stop this madman before anyone else got hurt.
"Brad, please, stop this," Maya begged, at the side of her boyfriend who was still conscious, though unable to stand.
"Do you see what you have done," Brad said through an almost laugh. "I love you Maya, and I will have you, no matter what it takes. Don't you see, we can just end this now."
Maya saw she had no choice. She had to get her friends to the doctor. She couldn't forgive herself if she could have saved them. Maybe she'd give Brad the wrong impression, maybe she'd have to give herself fully to him, but she cared about her friends more than she despised him, and right now, that was saying a lot.
"Brad, that's enough," a strong voice said, one that Maya had never heard before, but one that Zack knew, and one that Bailey had heard only moments ago when she was hanging on for dear life from the catwalk.
He walked into the room, surveying the room, seeing the pain his friends were in, and knew that now had to be the stupidest time to ever do something like this. That after those three years of cowardice, unable to express his feeling, he'd have the courage now of all times. He cursed his dyslexia for making him get here so late, sure that he was going the right way before, only to get turned around. Still, maybe he could make things right, that his heart would guide him to happiness, and all of them to safety.
Zack looked up, and as he saw the red hair sticking out from this person who looked so much like his old friend. But he knew this could never be, that the pain was messing with his mind, that he was hoping for a savior in this darkest night.
"Bob, what the hell are you doing here?" Brad asked, taken aback at the appearance of this old friend.
"I knew you were here," Bob said calmly, "I wanted to save you before it was too late."
Bailey, Maya, and Zack stared up, lost for words.
"You need someone to love you," Bob said as his voice began shaking, but he blinked and set his eyes forward, the tension building his mind, knowing that he had risked too much, come too far for give into cowardice now. "Ever since I saw you back in middle school, I had a crush on you," he finally admitted, and instead of the anger he had feared every say since then Brad showed a look of compassion.
"You felt it too?"
"I never thought I'd see you again," Brad said, "I was always afraid that if I loved them they would run away like you did. The start of seventh grade, when you moved, I thought I was going to die. I tried to find another, and I thought if I'd just show them how much I cared, show them that there wasn't anyone else but me they should have, then they'd have to love me back. But every time, I wanted them to be you."
Across the blood stained room, the two ran, their arms wrapping around each other, and their lips met, interlocking as passions kept secret for years finally emerged.
"I'm sorry Maya," Brad admitted.
"We have to get them out of here," Bob said and Brad agreed, seeing the destruction wrought by his own foolishness, but with a steady hand on his shoulder, knew that whatever consequences followed, there was someone who would be at his side.
Tiger: You wanted me to write this chapter…you got a chapter. :P