A/N: Somehow my muse immediately jumps to Tales of Arcadia with everything I watch at the moment... That's how this little one-piece came about - an AU after I saw the movie Run (by Aneesh Chaganty, 2020).
Disclaimer: I don't own the movie Run, it belongs to its respective creators. I also don't own Tales of Arcadia (Trollhunters, 3Below, Wizards and Rise of the Titans) or any character which you may recognize from the shows, the movie or books. They belong to Guillermo del Toro and DreamWorks Animation.
No more running
"Be calm, my boy. You know, I've been thinking about this all night. About what you said."
Her hair fell over his cheek, but the feeling of mutual trust and always holding each other, so pleasant until a few days ago, didn't set in. How could it when he could only stare straight ahead, bound to the wheelchair, his voice frozen with paralyzing fear as the elevator slowly descended?
"I know," she whispered into his ear, "that I hurt you. But now I'll take you home and everything will be as it was before. Trust me that I'm going to spend every minute making sure you don't remember this."
At the characteristic ping, she straightened up again. "This is our floor, dear. Come."
He wanted to speak. He wanted to scream. He pleaded to every oncoming doctor, nurse and visitor with glances to stop them. Didn't they see his tears? He didn't even notice that his hands were shaking as if he was having a seizure, so loudly was his heart trying to leap out of his chest.
When he could already see her car through a window near the foyer, he gave up.
Out of hope, he had drunk almost the entire bottle of Organophosphates before she snatched it from him. But how could he have communicated in the hospital with a tube down his throat. Even his desperate attempt to write down his situation to the doctor had been thwarted.
A tear tickled his nose more than uncomfortably, but it didn't matter now. For days he had tried everything. And failed.
He would never escape her. She would see to that now.
Security to the south wing.
The announcement washed over him as if it was none of his business. But something changed. His wheelchair was suddenly pushed faster.
All security immediately to the south wing.
Then they stopped and slowly looking up he saw that they were in front of a staircase. The stairs to her freedom. And his hell.
His mother stood with her back to him, holding a revolver in her right hand and looking down.
Then it slowly seeped through to him what he had heard. Security to the south wing… They were in the south wing right now. His body knew what that meant before his mind did, and adrenaline shot through his veins.
His mother looked around frantically, and when she must have found a way out, she came back toward him. His breathing quickened and he knew that this was his last chance.
With all the mental strength he could muster, he commanded his legs to move and pulled them down from the split footplates. Just in time, he managed to wedge his feet, packed in thick socks, under the small casters so that she couldn't push the wheelchair away.
Several times she tried without result before slowly walking around him and looking at him with an expression that would have frightened him three days ago. But now hope fought its way back into the daylight and grasped his fighting spirit along the way!
Tightening everything inside him, he forced his vocal cords to work. And while he looked at her with a trembling body, he mentally tore himself irrevocably away from her. The woman who was his mother. And yet not.
"I. Don't. Need you," he croaked in a voice that only remotely resembled his.
But she understood him. Her face contorted into a grimace and slowly raising her gun and aiming at his legs, she smiled wickedly.
"Oh, you will, my boy. I'll always take care of you."
"Put the gun down!" someone behind him suddenly yelled, and when she turned to the security guards and pointed her gun at them, naked panic was written on her face for a moment.
"WE'RE GOING HOME!" she yelled back.
Then her jacket exploded when a bullet bored into her shoulder. She staggered backward from the force of the impact - and over the edge of the staircase.
He didn't hear the crash; everything around him was like being in a bubble, warm and cold at the same time. He shivered uncontrollably and he hoped it was from relief and not from the overused tension in his muscles.
As more and more people came running, a warm hand was put on his right forearm.
"Hey, kiddo, don't worry. Everything will be fine. Do you remember me? I gave you the pen and pad to write with."
How could he have forgotten her? After his supposed suicide attempt, she was the only one who hadn't looked at him with an expression of disbelief or pity, or treated him with ignorance.
Nodding, he turned his head and looked at her with a blurry vision. "Doctor-"
"Lake. Barbara Lake. May I take you back to your room?"
Nodding again, he groaned as he tried to get his feet back onto the footplates.
"You were very brave," she said quietly before kneeling down and helping him.
He could be wrong, but for a moment he had the feeling that her voice sounded very emotional. It almost made him collapse, but he had to persevere. He had to make sure his mother never came near him again!
And while Dr. Lake pushed him further and further back into the hospital, he tried to relax. To make his body his again, even if it would only be his voice for now.
Ten minutes later, he was back in his hospital bed, and while she started a tape recorder so he wouldn't have to tell his story twice immediately when the police arrived, he slowly and quietly began to tell his story.
The doctor wiped her eyes with a handkerchief several times, but didn't interrupt him. She slowly pressed the button that ended the recording when he fell silent.
"It will be thoroughly investigated, of course, but it sounds to me like your mother is suffering from Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy. I'm so so sorry for what you've had to go through, Kieran," she whispered.
But he quickly shook his head. "That's not my name."
"What are you saying?" Surprise mingled with her sadness for him and with an infinitely sad smile he thought of the blurred image of his real parents.
"Diane Sherman's baby died shortly after he was born. Kieran was barely two hours old. She had a newspaper article in her basement about a couple whose baby was stolen from the clinic that same day." Looking at her, he hoped that somehow he would be able to locate his biological parents. "I was that baby. My real name is Hisirdoux Casperan."
It was as if time had stood still. For endless moments, Dr. Lake looked at him wide-eyed before she collapsed sobbing and clamped her hand over her mouth.
"Dr. Lake! What's going on?" he asked startled and didn't know what to do.
"My maiden name was Casperan."
With eyes showing so much emotion at that moment that he couldn't even name it, she looked at him and clenched her hands into fists. "My sweet little baby, my Hisirdoux, was snatched from me that day. One day before we would have taken him home."
He didn't see that she was shaking. Didn't see that tears were blurring her vision. For he, too, could see nothing anymore, and in a sudden fit of rage, he jerked up his arms to wipe away the veil of tears.
"Mom?" he asked weakly and a rapid heartbeat later found himself in her embrace. It almost hurt that she was hugging him so tightly. But for the first time in days he craved touch and so he returned her hug as tightly as he could.
"I got you. I'm here, my boy. My Douxie. This time I'm taking you home..."