At the sound of the cold steel gun barrel clicking into place the blood rushed to his head. The fear in his heart took shape, the thoughts of failure he thought he had pushed away came rushing back. He could hear the noises of the sleepless city nearby as he remained in place hidden by the darkness of a moonless night. The sweat drenching over his brow only fueled his nerviness, making cold clammy hands shiver, trying to hold the gun steady. He could feel his entire body shaking, from the cold or the fear, he didn't know which, but he waited as he pulled his coat more firmly around himself. Either way, it was too late to turn back. This man needed to die and he needed to be the one to kill him.
In the distance he could hear the distinct sound of thunder and hoped he would be finished by the time the rain hit. He hated rain, the cold damp feeling that it invoked always made him think of that cold September night of his freshman year in college. When his dignity was ripped from him and his life fell into ruin.
So many faces. All of them laughing, ridiculing, and taunting, their voices eternally embedded in the deepest parts of his mind. He remembered the way he'd crawled up into a fetal position in an effort to gain some warmth from Mother Nature's wrath after they had left him. His clothes by then scattered by the wind after they had been torn from his body. His blood dripping slowly into puddles around him, mingling with his tears and the pouring rain. Every part of him battered, bruised and broken. A small trauma compared to the humiliation of having to see those faces in his nightmares every time he slept from that day forward.
He never saw it coming. They were guys he'd felt like he'd known forever. They were bound by a pledge given when they entered into a brotherhood, a fraternity filled with tradition and held together by a common goal. He was proud of himself for getting in and becoming one of them. Being an only child he finally felt like he belonged somewhere. He had brothers, family. Until the day that family betrayed him, leaving him for dead.
"Brandon, don't do this." Brandon turned toward the voice just as he felt the first drops of rain descend on him.
"What are you doing here?" Suddenly his fear escalated and a greater panic rose in him. "You can't be here," he added pulling Tony into the shadows next to him.
"What do you expect me to do?" Brandon released the hold he had on him and turned him around. "I'm not going to stand by and watch you ruin your life. This is murder, Brandon. I don't care what provoked it the end will still be the same. You will have killed another person."
"Another person, the man's barely even human."
"I know what they did to you was unforgivable and I know that it will stay with you until the day you die. But…"
"But what?" Brandon looked into his eyes.
"I don't want today to be that day," Tony looked on with pleading eyes. "He's not worth dying over."
"I'm not the one dying tonight."
"You pull that trigger and you might as well be." Tony placed his chin on Brandon's shoulder and leaned in. "Please think about your future. Think about our future."
"You don't understand. Go home."
"There were four of them that night. Are you planning on killing all of them?"
"I said go home."
"No, you do this, you do it in front of me." Tony waited for that to sink in while he tried another tactic. "I know how you feel. Believe me I know. But if you spend the rest of your life with hate in your heart, they win. Don't let them do that to you. You have so much love to give, don't let them destroy that."
"Please, just go."
"No." Tony folded his arms in front of his chest. "As hard as you may want to believe this. You're not made of stone. Killing him won't help you forget." Tony again stepped forward pulling him into a fierce hug. "Come home with me."
Suddenly the door to the backroom opened and the man he hadn't seen in five years stepped outside. He could smell the stench of the alcohol from where he stood and cringed. A perfect target, and with the darkness and the silencer no one would be the wiser. One pull of the trigger and it would all be over.
But even so, with the gun raised and his aim set, he hesitated.
"Brandon," his name left Tony's lips on a whisper. "Please."
Brandon turned and pressed his lips hard against Tony's, leaving behind a small part of himself. Walking out into the night, he called out a name and raised his gun, firing one shot. A body fell to the ground and a cry was heard in the night. While a cold piece of medal slipped from a hand.
With a single shot, both that man, and the nightmares, became a thing of the past.
AN: Okay kind of a strange little tale, but it was nagging at me and I wanted to try and see if I could get anywhere with it.
Brandon was in the Suite life of Zack and Cody. The episode was called Scary Movies and he played the candy delivery guy who ultimately went out with London. He was played by Tahj Mowry.
Tony was in the Suite life of Zack and Cody. The episode was called lip' syncing and he played one of the actors on stage. He was played by Mark Indelicato.