Chapter Seven: I Saw You Die!
Greg's phone buzzed and he snapped it up, thumbing the power button. He read the screen once, twice, then sagged in pure relief. "Message from Spike, guys."
"He's okay?" Lou demanded.
"Yeah, Lou; according to him, situation is contained and our primary subjects are down. Ed, go ahead and take the others down."
"Copy that, Boss," Ed acknowledged. "Word, Jules, go around and pin 'em from the other side."
"Copy," both constables replied.
Frowning, Greg reviewed the message. "Winnie, put in a call to Giles; Spike's requesting his presence at the Witchwood location."
"On it," Winnie agreed.
"Any idea why?" Sam asked.
The Sergeant shook his head. "All Spike said was that Giles needs to see something, Sam." Leaning forward, he added, "Let's see if we can get there first."
"Copy." The sniper pressed down on the accelerator, swooping around the next turn with racecar driver precision.
Spike was waiting for them outside the subject location, expression grim and eyes shadowed. Greg hesitated long enough for Sam to bring the truck to a halt, then scrambled out of the truck, arrowing straight for his constable. Hazel narrowed at the line of red on Spike's mouth, then narrowed even further when he was able to reach out and tip the bomb tech's chin up without any reaction from his constable. Gryphon vision analyzed the injuries for a moment before he pulled his hand away.
"I'm okay, Boss."
Parker opted not to dispute the obvious lie. "Situation?"
"Contained, like I said."
Guilt flashed. "You remember when me 'n' Wordy got rescued from that factory?"
"Sure," Sam put in. "Wait…that guy's back?"
"Shoulda called Roy, not Giles," Sam grumbled. "He wanted a shot at that guy."
"Yeah and then Giles would've taken all our heads off," Spike retorted.
Greg blinked. "Spike?"
The bomb tech shook his head and turned to lead the way inside. Greg and Sam followed after trading confused glances; what was wrong? As they climbed the stairs, Parker felt his magic lurch, like calling to like. But it didn't feel like either Lance or Alanna…
The home was sparse, but well furnished; the officers paid scant attention as Sam hurried to Natalie, pulling his sister up into a hug. Greg's eyes darted around the room, pausing on the computer and two bound men on the floor; he cast both men lethal glares. They'd tried to take one of his own and the Sergeant harbored no illusions as to Spike's ultimate fate if he'd remained in their custody.
Dismissing the subjects, Parker turned his gaze on the final occupant of the room, a wizard clad in Unspeakable robes trimmed with silver runes. Dark blue eyes met his for an instant before the brunet ducked his head.
"Boss, Sam," Spike said, "this is Revan."
Sam swore and Greg's jaw dropped open.
"You." Giles Onasi hissed, fists clenching.
Revan paled, but tilted his chin up. "Me," he confirmed softly, the slightest tremble in the word.
Fist impacted flesh, sending Revan hurtling to the ground. "I saw you die!" Giles screamed. Rage glowed. "I don't believe it; I saw your body! Merlin's beard, I buried you! They let me out of St. Mungo's for the funeral and now here you are!" Shaking, the Auror halted, tremors of grief, realization, and fury mixing. "Did you laugh?" he demanded suddenly.
The fallen man paled, shaking his head and babbling denials.
Giles ignored them. "Bet that was a real riot for you and your Unspeakable buddies," he snarled. "Watching me rip myself apart over a man who wasn't even dead!"
"Giles, no," Revan pleaded, scrambling back to his feet. "I never laughed at you. You didn't need me anymore." Onasi froze, attention locking on his former partner. Licking his lips, Revan continued, "You moved on, Giles. You got a new partner. A better partner. You didn't need me ruining that. That's why…that's why I wanted them to know what happened. So they could help you forget me."
Without warning, Giles lashed out again, unleashing a roar of utter despair as he landed his blow, hitting Revan so hard that the younger man was thrown into the chair Spike had been handcuffed to. Around the men, the moment hung, Team One, Natalie, and even the two subjects gaping at the conflict. Panting, Onasi stared at his onetime partner, the rage draining away into grief so acute that it seemed to rend the fabric of reality.
"I saw you die," he whispered. "So stay dead."
Without another word, the Auror turned on his heel and Disapparated with a sharp crack.
Spike edged over to the Unspeakable, ignoring the bruises already darkening Revan's eye and chin. Lost blue eyes rose to him, but the Unspeakable remained silent. Bewildered. As though he had no idea why Giles had reacted so badly.
"Revan?" the bomb tech asked carefully. "Who was your very first friend?"
Sorrow shone in those dark blue eyes, right along with grief and loss. "Giles," Revan whispered.
The room rocked once more, even the two subjects astonished by the Unspeakable's reply.
Spike lifted his gaze up to his boss, both of them grasping what had happened. Then Spike returned his attention to Revan. "He never forgot you, Revan, and you're still his friend."
"I am?" Confusion rang.
The bomb tech nodded. "Sure you are; that's why he's so mad right now."
"You don't get mad like that at someone you don't care about," Lou put in over Spike's shoulder.
"Well, maybe an archenemy," Spike mused.
Lou swatted his best friend without looking away from Revan. "Knock it off, Scarlatti." Ignoring Spike's mock affront, he said, "Right now, Giles is mad 'cause you hurt him. You left and let him go on thinking you were dead for over a decade. Then you go and drag everything back up again, right when he's spent all those years burying it as deep as he can."
"And you didn't come forward yourself," Wordy tacked on. "If Spike hadn't made you stay today, you wouldn't have. He knows that, too."
"But he can't move on," Revan protested. "If he buries what happened, it will always be there." Rubbing at his eyes, the Unspeakable dropped his gaze. "And he doesn't need me anymore."
"Wrong." Revan's head shot up at Sam's flat denial. The blond sniper shook his head. "Revan, even if he gets it all out, talks about what happened for the rest of his life, it's still gonna be there. You can't change the past. Or forget it."
"And friendship isn't about someone needing you or not needing you," Jules put in smoothly. "Revan, once you two were friends, that was it. No do-overs, no takebacks; you were friends. Just because Giles moved on didn't mean your friendship got replaced. It can't be; that's your friendship. No other friendship will ever be like it."
"You can't force things either," Parker interjected. "Revan, Giles wasn't at a point where he was capable of dealing with what happened to his family or what happened to you. You tried to force him to deal with it because that's what worked back when you first met him."
Unconsciously, Revan nodded.
The Sergeant sighed, running a hand over his head. "It might've worked back then, Revan, but at that point, he hadn't lost you, too. He hadn't lost Brian or nearly lost his new partner, either. You can only push a man so far before he pushes back." He paused, studying the Unspeakable. "My team is right; you disappeared for over a decade. Why come back now?"
Revan's shoulders hunched. "He's my friend," the brunet whispered. "I couldn't let him lose anyone else." Shuddering, he met Parker's eyes. "I did whatever I had to, to protect those he cared about."
Startled, the officers traded glances. Then Spike asked, "What about those you care about, Revan?"
The slumped man managed a shrug. "Don't have anyone else," he mumbled. "I don't even have as much Wild Magic as Mum did." Oblivious to the sharp breaths around him, Revan huddled into himself. "They were mad when Mum died, said she must've done something to make sure I didn't get her magic."
"Who was your mother?" Lou asked, speaking for his mute-with-horror boss.
Revan's head curled up, eyes blank with remembered pain. "The Fox. They called her the Chartreuse Fox. I never knew her real name."
Lou drew breath, then stopped at his boss's curt gesture. Gingerly, Parker approached Revan, crouching down to meet his eyes. "What happened after your mother died, Revan?"
Another limp shrug. "They sent me here. Unspeakable Croaker said the Canadians could get some use out of me and good riddance. He wanted a real Wild Mage, not a wizard pretending to be a Wild Mage."
"Then they sent you to the Auror Division?" Sam asked.
Without looking up, Revan nodded. "Giles impressed them; he wouldn't turn on his Oath to protect and serve, even after Morgana died. They told me he was too valuable to lose." A tear snuck down his face. "They even gave me something of Mum's to take with me."
Parker waved his team quiet before any more questions could be asked. "Okay, you're going to come with us and we're going to get both Giles and Roy over to the barn so you can do this all at once. Get it all out, then we figure out what comes next."
Confused blue blinked at the Sergeant. "I'm supposed to check in," Revan mumbled.
"Not today, buddy," Spike replied.
"Maybe not ever," Lou agreed.
"But…I'm an Unspeakable."
Spike shook his head firmly. "No, Revan, you're one of us now and we don't leave teammates behind."
"Absolutely correct, Constable Scarlatti," Sergeant Parker concurred, angling a deadly glare towards the two men who'd kidnapped his constable and another constable's sister.
Feeling the force of that glare, David glanced up, intending to return the favor, only to freeze as Parker's eyes narrowed, a predatory shimmer in hazel irises. In that moment, the criminal realized that if he'd succeeded, it never would've been over. The stocky police Sergeant would've tracked him to the ends of the Earth to avenge his fallen constable.
After a long minute, Greg stepped back and turned his attention to his team leader, gesturing once. Ed dragged the two subjects out of the room at his boss's silent order, keeping his frown to himself. Aside from the moments surrounding the explosion, Greg had gone out of his way to avoid verbalized orders, depending on Team One's ability to infer and read between the lines. Worse, his friend was starting to pull back, pulling away from his teammates as though he felt separated from them. Aloof and alienated.
Trouble was, Ed wasn't sure if this was yet another thing to worry about or just Greg trying to improve the team's standing with Toth. Though he hoped it was the latter, a growing part of him very much believed it was the former. But if there was something wrong with Greg, then what was it? And how could they fix it?
Author note: *curtain drop* *Cue ending Flashpoint music* As always, I hope everyone enjoyed the latest installment of my series. Our subjects may not be happy, but unbeknownst to them, one of them didn't end up dead and another didn't end up shot, which would both be good things, even if they're on their way to jail. And Spike got to reverse the hack even more than he did in canon, thanks to Revan's intervention.
So, again, I hope everyone enjoyed and please do leave a review if you have time. Doesn't even have to be much, but I do so adore reviews and I will respond to each signed review.
Ahem...moving on. Rather than heading for the next story in the main 'It's a Magical Flashpoint' series, we are going to take a brief detour off the beaten track to a Side-Story that is very much involved with the aftermath of this particular case, but which I felt wasn't directly part of the main storyline. So, without further ado, we will be starting the Side-Story "I Don't Have Friends" this Friday, July 24th 2020 in the main Flashpoint archive.
On a Real Life note, I am continuing to work at my current job, but I've also updated my LinkedIn page to hopefully attract recruiters. I've looked at job postings, but most of them have a huge list of things a candidate 'must have', most of which I don't, so I get intimidated and scared off. So I guess my prayer request is two-fold: Please pray that I would continue to be a dedicated worker in my current job, but also pray that the Lord will give me a new job soon.
In turn, I pray that all of you who are searching for jobs or maybe are having trouble with your jobs would have the help, strength, and guidance you need from the Lord. May He grant each of you a good day and a great week.
See You on the Battlefield!