Running for Fire: Chapter 9

“Oh god Tallie. Oh god.” Cas was a mess. He was holding me tight against him, his breathing ragged, saying my name again and again, great shudders running through him. What had he seen? He was still shaking, still holding me, and all the time there was a member of The Justice Programme leaning against the co-op, smoking a cigarette. There was very few things I could think of that would make him shake and sob. I didn’t want to imagine the worst, that he had seen one of us die, because that wold be unbearable.

“Cas tell me, tell me! What did you see?”

“I- I- I saw you Tallie. You, and you- you died.” Shock washed through me. Cas was sobbing his hair ruffled, in a kind of daze, I pushed it out of his eyes. Dead. Me. I had thrown myself into the path of every demon or danger we came across, never caring about the consequences, excepting that I would die for my friends, never believing that I would actually die, never stopping to look for another way out. I didn’t want to imagine the worst, that he had seen one of us die, because that wold be unbearable. The pain it would have caused any of us was too much for me to even attempt to visualise, let alone bear. And I could die. One wrong move now, and I would be dead. I wish I could say that that wasn’t scary, that I would accept my death, but I didn’t’ feel like that. I didn’t want to die. I really, really didn’t. I shoved the though away. I would only die if we did things a certain way, Cas had only seen one of the paths spiralling out in front of us. We would be fine, we would get each other out of here.

Cas was still speaking, his words fast and uneven. “You were there but you weren’t, there was no more fire in you Tallie, and there was nothing I could do and you just stared but you weren’t seeing and-“

I composed myself, shoving thoughts of death away. “Sh, Cas, Imo ay, I’m here, I’m alive, I didn’t die, I’m not going to die, and we are both going to get out of his. Okay? “He looked up at me, his face all raw and open, and I reached up and placed my hand to his face, not caring how close we were, I needed to get us both put of here.

“You’re alive?”

“Yep”

“You’re not going anywhere”

“Never.”

“Okay. We’ll get to back to that, I need you to swear on that, but first do we have a plan?” Cas voice seemed to be back to normal but I knew how much effort he was putting into disguising it. I imagined if it had been the other way around, if I had seen him dead. I couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine it.

Instead I grinned. “Oh yeah, I’ve got a plan. But you are so not going to like it.”

● ●

“You’re mental. You’re completely insane, you know that right?” Cas was staring at me in disbelief. Ok, my plan wasn’t perfect, it did go against rule number 1. Well not against, but definitely pushing the boundaries. Rule number one since Metropolis fell was simple: DO NOT BE DISCOVERED.

“Have you got a better idea?”

“Yes! Give me a minute and I could come up with one.” Cas began to pace.

“We don’t have a minute! That douchebag could be walking towards us as we speak.”

Something flashed in Cas’ warm eyes. Taking a deep breath, he sighed, his eyes finally meeting mine. He was just a teenage boy. A teenage boy wearing jeans and a hoodie. We were all teenagers. Fighting for our lives. Yet his eyes were still so warm.

“I’m in.”

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