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ᴅɪᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴍᴀsᴋ ᴏɴ, ғᴜᴄᴋᴇʀ!

Chapter Text

"Hey, Torrent. Come on, wake up, you lazy son of a bitch.", American Psycho said, shaking Toxic Torrent until they rolled over and groaned.

"What is it now?"

"We need to leave. I heard an engine a little ways away, and the only ones who don't drive on roads are-"

"-Dracs, because they don't know how to drive. Yeah, I'm on it.", Torrent said, packing up their things and shoving them inside their rolled-up sleeping bag. They tossed the bundle into the back of the car, where Psycho's was already sitting, and climbed in the passenger seat. Their companion hopped in mere seconds later.

"We need to be fast if we're going to outrun them, since they're so close.", Psycho said. They started the engine and took off like a rocket in the opposite direction of the approaching headlights.

"Why didn't you wake me up earlier?", Torrent asked as they bumped along back towards the road.

"You needed the sleep. You've hardly slept since-"

"Don't. Don't bring it up, just keep driving.", Torrent snapped.

"No, Jon, we're going to talk about it eventually. You've been a mess ever since your mom died, and you need to let her go.", Psycho shot back, suddenly swerving the steering wheel to get back on the road. They looked back, putting one arm around Torrent's seat to keep them steady, to see if the BL/ind van was still following them. Cursing when they saw the all-too-familiar sights of headlights behind them, they turned back around and gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles.

"Please, Pete, save this for a time when we're not being hunted down like animals.", Torrent said, unlocking the glove department and taking out a rare gun, one that uses bullets instead of lasers. Rolling down the window, they climbed out of it until they could get both arms out in front of them. Firing three shots, they took out the two front wheels and the driver, and climbed back in as the van swerved and crashed into a cactus a ways off the road.

"There, now we can talk.", Psycho said as Torrent put the gun back in the glove department of the old Impala.

"We're not doing this. I'm-"

"If you say that you're fine one more time I'll send you to your own grave.", Psycho interrupted. "Jonathan Jacob Walker, you are not fine and you damn well know it. You don't sleep, and when you do you have nightmares and wake up screaming. You don't eat, and I've stopped trying to get you to eat because when you do, you throw it all up again. This isn't healthy, Jon." Torrent remained silent, crossing their arms and looking out the window, which was their way of saying that the conversation was over. Psycho sighed and continued driving, turning on the radio like they normally did when they weren't speaking. As the music faded out and Dr. Death Defying's voice drifted in, Toxic Torrent turned up the volume.

"Bad news from the Zones, tumbleweeds. It looks like Jet Star and the Kobra Kid had a clap with an exterminator that went all Costa Rica and, uh, got themselves ghosted, dusted out on Route Guano. So it's time to hit the red line and upthrust the volume out there, keep your boots tight, keep your guns close, and die with your mask on if you've got to. Here is the traffic...", the familiar voice crackled. Torrent turned the volume back down after that, since the traffic wasn't something either of them payed attention to.

"Jet Star and the Kobra Kid? They're part of the Fabulous Four, right?", Psycho asked. Torrent hummed in answer, remaining silent for a few more seconds afterwards before they spoke up.

"Hey, aren't we on Route Guano?" American Psycho looked at the street in front of them and, sure enough, after a few seconds a road sign appeared, bearing the name "Route Guano".

"Yeah, we are."

 "It's possible that they're still alive, you know.

"I know. Sometimes Dr. Death Defying isn't all that accurate when it comes to who's actually dead and who's still kicking. You remember that one time when he thought I was dead for a whole year?"

"Yeah, I remember. God, he nearly had a heart attack when you showed up at his doorstep." Psycho chuckled, before slamming on the brakes and bringing the car to a screeching halt.

"What the fuck?"

"There, over there. Do you see that?", Psycho asked, pointing out into the now-brightening desert. Torrent squinted to see through the glass, and soon two dark shapes made themselves visible to them. One of them was very obviously supporting the other, dragging their limp body through the desert in the direction away from their car. As the sun rose up further, Torrent made out a head of bushy hair on the person being carried, and a bright, cherry red shone off of the other's jacket in the weak sunlight.

"Do you think that's them?", Torrent asked.

"I don't know, but they're definitely not from BL/ind.", Psycho said. They revved the engine again, shooting forward until they had pulled up parallel to the pair. Torrent was the first to exit the car, Psycho soon following, and raced over to the duo.

"Hey, are you guys alright?", Torrent yelled. The standing one looked over his shoulder at them before turning himself and his companion around to face the two killjoys.

"Does it look like we're alright?", he snapped. 

"Chill out. We're here to help you.", Psycho explained.

"How do I know you're not from BL/ind?"

"Do you think someone from BL/ind would drive that kind of car?", Psycho asked, pointing to their cherry red car. 

"Guess not. You don't really look like you're from BLI either.", the stranger said.

"I'm American Psycho, and this is Toxic Torrent."

"Kobra Kid, and this useless lump is Jet Star.", Kobra Kid introduced. Psycho nodded as Torrent dashed forward to help support Jet Star.

"We just heard about you two on Dr. D's show. He thinks you're dead."

"Oh, fuck. Poison and Ghoul probably heard it, too, then." He looked up and met Psycho's eyes. "I don't like asking for help, but it's a long way back to our hideout, Poison took the car to go rescue the Girl again, and Jet needs serious medical attention, so could we hitch a ride? Our team mates are probably freaking the fuck out right now."

"Of course. Hop in.", Psycho said. Kobra shot him a grateful look before he and Torrent started dragging Jet Star to the backseat of the glaringly red Impala, which almost matched his jacket. Once everyone was inside, Psycho started the engine and sped off down the road, following Kobra Kid's instructions. Along the way, the three conscious people in the car made friendly conversation to pass the time.

"Okay, turn left here and drive west for about half an hour.", the blonde-topped man said finally "And then we'll be there. By the way, I never asked you guys for pronouns."

"We both use they/them. I'm genderfluid, and Torrent's just... Torrent.", Psycho said.

"Okay, cool. Jet and I are both trans boys."

"Who else is on your team, besides you and Jet?", Torrent asked.

"Party Poison and Fun Ghoul. Party Poison's my sibling, and Fun Ghoul's his datemate. Poison's genderfluid and Ghoul's agender. What about you guys? Anybody else on your team?"

"No, it's just us. We've been friends since childhood, so we tend to stick together.", Psycho answered. Kobra nodded before asking another question.

"How long have you guys been in the Zones?"

"Our whole life?", Torrent said. When Kobra gave him a confused look, Torrent elaborated.

"Our parents were killjoys, too." They conveniently left out who their parents were, though.

"Really? Wow, so you guys have been living this life since you were babies."

"Yep. How long have you been in the Zones?"

"Ever since I was ten. G-... Poison was fourteen, and he was going to be sent off to the Retinal Resort since he had been questioning everything too much. He woke me up in the middle of the night, we gathered our things, and we fled. We bumped into Jet and Ghoul later on, when we were raiding the BL/ind headquarters. They were being held as hostages, so we freed them and they joined our team. I never thought we'd make it this far, though."

"Yeah, you guys are almost as famous as our parents now.", Psycho said. More silence followed this until Kobra pointed out a small diner about half an hour later.

"This is it.", he said. "Thanks for the lift, guys."

"We'll help you carry Jet inside.", Torrent offered. Kobra nodded, and soon the four killjoys were walking through the front door of the diner.

"Honey, I'm home!", Kobra called out. Setting Jet down on a small booth just inside the door, the tall man turned around just in time to get attacked by a man with bright red hair, letting out a high pitched screech as they squeezed the life out of Kobra. Psycho guessed that this man was Party Poison, Kobra's genderfluid sibling. A rather tiny person followed Poison- Fun Ghoul- and wrapped their arms around the siblings. Poison was openly crying now, burying his face into his brother's shoulder as both Kobra and Ghoul comforted him.

"I thought you were dead! Don't you ever fucking do that to me again, you piece of shit!"

"Hey, Poison, calm down. I'm okay, trust me." Ghoul started sniffling too, but then they stiffened when they spotted Torrent and Psycho.

"Uh, Kobra-"

"It's ok, they're not from BL/ind. This is American Psycho, and that's Toxic Torrent. Their parents were killjoys, so I don't think we have to worry about them selling us out." Kobra explained. Torrent offered up a half-smile and raised their hand, while Psycho smiled brightly. Kobra blinked, obviously not used to seeing Psycho's smile yet, but stepped back as Ghoul went to shake their hands. Poison, however, stayed by Kobra's side, arms looped around his torso.

"I'm Fun Ghoul, and that's Party Poison. Pronouns?"

"They/them for both of us. You?"

"Poison doesn't care, and ze/hir for me.", Ghoul answered. It was then that ze noticed Jet in the booth, and ze screamed.

"Oh God, he's not dead is he?"

"No, he's alive.", Kobra answered. At that moment, as if on cue, Jet Star's eyes opened a fraction and he groaned.

"Jet!", Poison yelled. He remained in Kobra's arms, though, clinging tightly as he watched Jet sit up.

"What the fuck happened?", he asked. While Kobra filled his team mates in on what happened, Psycho noticed Dr. Death Defying and Show Pony emerging from a room in back. The crippled soldier gave Psycho and Torrent a quick nod.

"Nice to see you two again.", he said before turning to witness the scene in front of him. He took in Kobra and Poison, attached at the hip, Jet sitting in the booth looking half-asleep, and Ghoul laying upside down on the table, and sighed heavily.

"I'll be in my office. Damn killjoys, can't even stay dead for an hour after I sign off...", he mumbled. Psycho knew he was just kidding, and that he was glad to see that Jet and Kobra were unharmed. Show Pony skated after him, waving to Torrent as he left. 

"So, have you guys actually worked out a plan yet?", Kobra asked, facing his sibling.

"Yeah, we have. We thought it was just Ghoul and I, so having you two will make things easier. And you two can help, if you want.", Poison said, looking at Psycho and Torrent. "Until now, we've been travelling with a ten year old girl, who we call The Girl because she's a trans girl and she hasn't picked a name yet. Korse stole her from us, and we're gonna get her back and hopefully take down BL/ind as well."

"We're in. What can we do to help?" Poison grinned wickedly before diving into detail about the plan.

Chapter Text

"Sir, we have a security breach in Sector Three.", a subordinate- Shadow had no idea which one- reported. 

"Switch to the cameras.", Shadow instructed. One of the many screens in front of them flickered for a second before showing a crystal-clear video feedback. Two men were attacking the guards at the front gates, and the guards were no match for these men. One of them in particular caught Shadow's eye; black hair with fringe falling in his dark eyes, a black stubble on his chin, and one of the brightest smiles Shadow has ever seen. His companion was more dull to Shadow, but no less attractive, with short brown hair and a semi-beard covering his strong jaw. Both of the men were smiling, and Shadow scrunched up his eyebrows in confusion. They were basically committing suicide; why did they look like they had just been handed the world on a silver platter?

"Call in reinforcements. They shouldn't be too much trouble.", he ordered. Another subordinate- Shadow really had to label these guys- pressed a button and spoke clearly into the microphone next to it, calling in two units to report to Sector Three. Just as he watched the rest of the C/R/O/W units swarming the two men, Korse opened the door behind Shadow and entered the room with a woman he's never seen before and The Girl clutched in his grasp.

"I see you managed to get her.", Shadow said.

"Of course I did. That'll lure that stupid gang here in no time.", Korse spat. Shadow had almost completely forgotten that the whole point of capturing The Girl was to draw the "Fabulous Four" to the headquarters. They've been causing BL/ind even more trouble than usual these past few months, and Shadow honestly was starting to get ticked off.

"What's going on here?", Korse asked as he approached the camera board.

"Nothing major, sir. Just two people attacking the guards at the front gates. We've already sent reinforcements to take care of it."

"That's why you're my second in command, babe. Nothing else going wrong? We can't have our guests showing up to an unclean headquarters, can we?", his superior drawled, placing his hand on the small of Shadow's back, near the waistband of his white uniform pants. Sweat started beading on the back of Shadow's neck, and he gulped. This was normal for Korse- the touching and the smooth-sounding voice were common when they were in the same room. It made Shadow uncomfortable, sure, but what was he supposed to do? Tell his boss to fuck off and more than likely lose his life? Thankfully, Korse removed his hand as he drew nearer to the camera board. 

"Wait, I know those two from somewhere...", he mumbled. "Bring up images of The Originals." The subordinates mumbled between themselves before typing away. Soon, five pictures of wanted posters appeared next to the video feed. Korse took over, pushing two people away from their stations and moving two of the wanted posters next to the two attackers. The resemblance hit Shadow all at once. He could see the same eyes, nose, cheekbones, and mouth on the woman in one picture and the bearded man, and his companion and the man in the other picture looked almost identical, save for the multitude of tattoos on one and clear skin on the other.

"Toxic Torrent and American Psycho. We've held Psycho and their father in captivity for several months, and they both just recently escaped. Toxic Torrent has been attacking us ever since we killed off Star Stream. We're not dealing with ordinary Killjoys, lads, we're dealing with two of The Children." Shadow's blood ran cold as Korse took over and called every single available unit to Sector Three and telling them to keep the two Killjoys alive. He turned to look at Shadow afterwards, and Shadow shivered at the unreadable expression on his face. 

"We need to get you out of here. You're the best chance this company has, and if anything happens to me you're to take over. Understood?" he said. Shadow nodded, but his head was flying with confusion.

"What's going on, sir? They're just two men; they may be Children, but we can still easily overtake them."

"That's the thing, sweetheart. I think they're only a distraction. You see, these gangs are easily united by their hatred for us, and these two could have easily been persuaded to team up with another team in order for them to sneak in and out while all our forces are in one place.", Korse explained. "Did you ever stop to think about why they're smiling like that when they're about to die?"

"But then why did you send all of our units to one place if you suspected another attack?"

"We're simply giving them what they want. I'll be waiting for the others, and as soon as we catch them on security cameras- which we will- then we'll be ready to take them out."

"Sir, this is ridiculous. You have no idea how many people you're up against, and there's only one of y-"

"How sweet, you're trying to protect me. Shut up and follow me.", his boss growled, and Shadow immediately shut up and did as he was told. Korse led him into a secret room, which looked like an operating room with a desk in the corner.

"Stay in here, but don't touch anything. I'll come to get you afterwards if I survive.", Korse said, leaning in and kissing Shadow's cheek. On instinct, Shadow stiffened and backed away, and, judging by the look he received afterwards, that was the wrong thing to do. Korse left without another word, however, leaving Shadow to worry over his future by himself. If Korse didn't come back, then he would be the head of Better Living Industries, and he doesn't know how he would deal with that. He sighed, making his way over to the desk as he heard the door close. There were papers scattered here and there, but Shadow obeyed his orders and didn't touch anything.

That is, until a dash of blood red amongst the yellow or white papers caught his eye. Reaching out to take it out from underneath several other papers, he revealed a small book with a blood-red cover, and when Shadow opened it up the pages were the same color with someone writing in white ink. Shadow's eyes skimmed the contents carefully for several minutes before standing up. He shoved the book inside his jacket and went towards the door. He didn't know what was happening anymore, but he did know that he had to get the hell out of here.

Sneaking past the security cameras was a pretty easy thing to do, since he knew where every single one was and where the blind spots were. As soon as he reached the back doors, he met four badass looking mother fuckers, all dressed in vibrant colors, and at once Shadow recognized them as the Fab Four.

"Don't shoot!", Shadow yelled once the leader raised his gun. "Follow me if you don't want to get caught." He darted to the side, inside of a rather large supply closet, and soon the door opened again and all four followed him inside.

"Why are we in here again?", the shortest one asked. Pulling up the several wanted posters, Shadow remembered that hir name was Fun Ghoul, along with hir gender identity and pronouns. BL/ind took it upon themselves to know everything about everyone they went up against, if only to have material to use against them.

"There aren't any security cameras in here. This place is rigged with them every five feet. If you want to get The Girl and get away unharmed, you're going to need my help to get past them.", Shadow explained.

"Why are you helping us? You're Shadow, Korse's right hand man.", Party Poison asked. Shadow nodded to confirm Poison's statement.

"This has to be a trap.", their brother Kobra Kid muttered.

"It's not a trap. I found something, and I can't go on working for BL/ind knowing what they've done.", Shadow said, pulling out the book he found. He handed it to Poison as Ghoul turned on the lights. The four read over his discovery silently, and once they were done they handed it back to him.

"There's enough evidence in here to bring down the entire Industry, and that's only in the first couple of pages.", Jet Star finally whispered.

"You should have known this already. I mean, you're second in command."

"Korse didn't tell me everything, apparently." The five of them remained silent before Shadow spoke up again.

"This is his journal. Or, at least it's his handwriting in the last third of it."

"So, are we going to stand in this closet all day? Torrent and Psycho are getting their asses handed to them out there while we gossip.", Ghoul yawned. Shadow nodded, leading them out of the closet and through the blind spots until they reached the door to Korse's office. The (former?) BL/ind employee held back while the four Killjoys stormed the office. Korse was gone, of course, but the woman and The Girl, as well as a few subordinates, were still inside. Once they ran back out, The Girl running beside them, the alarm went off, screeching at constant intervals.

"All units, report immediately to Sector Seven! We have another security breach! Do not hesitate to shoot on sight!", the unidentified female called throughout the intercom.

"Shit! Shit shit shit!", Shadow cursed. He tried thinking of an escape route, but by then they were surrounded  by Dracs and C/R/O/W/S. The Killjoys immediately went into action, firing and killing every enemy that dared step forward. Shadow himself brought out his rarely-used ray gun and joined the battle, his own white weapon a stark contrast with the red, yellow, green, and blue ones of his new allies. Of course, Korse showed up in the middle of everything, pinning Poison up against a wall and pointing a gun under his chin. Kobra Kid screamed and tried to reach his sibling in time, but Korse pulled the trigger and Poison slumped to the ground. Shadow could only watch as Kobra was shot down on his way to help Poison, and he fell to the ground almost instantly. Fun Ghoul, that brave motherfucker, made sure Jet Star and The Girl made it outside safely before blocking the door with hir own body. Ze got shot too, obviously, but at least The Girl and Jet had a head start.

"I thought I told you to stay in the room.", an angry voice whispered in his ear. Shadow froze as he watched Jet Star get knocked flat on the hood of a Trans-Am. Korse's cold fingers tightened themselves around Shadow's biceps, dragging him backwards. A white van pulled up, followed by a bright red Impala, and Shadow only had enough time to see The Girl take a flying leap towards the van before Korse dragged him around a corner, shot his chest with his ray gun, and punched his head hard enough to knock him out.

When Shadow woke up, he was immediately surrounded by warm bodies on either side. He was in a sitting position, his hands tied behind his back and his feet stretched out in front of him and tied to a leg on either side. Turning his head, he found that he was next to Kobra Kid and Fun Ghoul, while Jet Star completed the circle.

"Glad to see that you're finally awake, my dear.", Korse cooed. He was sitting on a chair a few feet in front of Shadow. "You're the last one to wake up; you've been out for nearly three days." Shadow's chest was soaked in blood, but someone had obviously tended to his wound since it only gave off a dull throbbing when he shifted. He wasn't sure if he could say the same about his companions, though.

"I thought we had an understanding, babe, I really did.", Korse sighed. "I inherited this business from my father, who started it from the ashes of the H-"

"Don't lie to me. I know that it was BL/ind that started the Helium Wars.", Shadow spat. Korse raised one eyebrow before smirking.

"Seems like my little darling knows too much for his own good. I would hate to kill you, though... You're such a pretty young thing..." Korse leaned forward and reached out to cradle Shadow's face in his hand, but Shadow violently jerked away before he could touch him. He heard Ghoul chuckle under hir breath, but Shadow ignored hir. Korse's face turned icily cold, but Shadow didn't flinch like his instincts told him to.

"Tell you what, sweetheart. I'll give you one last chance to redeem yourself before I kill you.", the bald man said, untying Shadow's hands and feet and dragging him upright. Korse led him to the same exact room where he had been held the day of the raid. Party Poison's body was laying on the operating table, and Shadow could see the faint rise and fall of his chest, but his breathing seemed shallow and slow, like he was close to death.

"Kill all four of them, starting with him, and I'll give you your second in command position back.", Korse ordered. "You know where to find the other three. It's nearly closing time; when I get back tomorrow, they better be dead, or you will be." He handed back Shadow's ray gun, blood spattered on one end of it, and promptly left. Shadow gulped before rolling up his sleeves and going for one of the syringes on a tray next to the operating table.

Chapter Text

Kobra didn't know what to do. He was stuck in a room somewhere within the BL/ind headquarters, tied to his two best friends. His sibling was missing, the gun wounds on his stomach and shoulder were killing him (probably literally), and Shadow had been taken away hours ago with no sign of returning. He sighed, laying his head on Jet Star's shoulder.

"Get off of me, you smell like ass.", Jet said, although he didn't sound very angry and let his own head rest on top of Kobra's. Fun Ghoul started pouting, probably jealous that ze was left out, but hir expression immediately changed as the door opened up and Shadow walked in. His ray gun was back in its holster, and as Kobra watched he pulled it out and aimed the weapon at Ghoul.

"Korse offered me my job back if I killed you four.", he explained. Kobra's two companions stiffened, but Kobra was more focused on the "four" part of the sentence.

"Poison's alive?", he asked. Shadow nodded. Hope soared like a desert hawk in the blonde man's chest, but it came crashing down once he realized what that meant.

"But you killed him to get your job back, didn't you?" To his surprise, Shadow shook his head, smirking, and in a flash of bright red Poison was standing next to him, a little pale and shaky but very much alive.

"Luckily for you guys, I'd rather die than continue working for BL/ind at this point.  My entire family died in the Helium Wars, except for my mom. She left me with my dad before I turned one, and I can't remember her face, but dad used to tell me the stories that she told him. I can't go on working for these monsters knowing that they're responsible for all of those innocent deaths. Besides, Korse can get pretty touchy-feely, and I would have quit by now if I had known that BL/ind were the true enemy." Shadow then fired his ray gun at Ghoul, but instead fried off the ropes around hir feet. He did the same for the other three, then walked around back and did the same with the ropes on their hands.

"There's no way in hell I could have gotten those off of you with my bare hands. Sorry for freaking you out at first.", he explained. As soon as Kobra was free, he shot up and hugged his sibling, who hugged him back just as tight. He suddenly knew what Poison had felt nearly a week ago, when Dr. Death Defying had announced to the world that Jet and Kobra were dead. Neither Way could live without the other, and Ghoul and Jet at least seemed to understand that. Fresh pain ripped through Kobra's shoulder and stomach, though, and soon he found himself on his knees, blood soaking his outfit in two different places.

"Oh fuck, that's right. You guys are wounded. Come on; there's an operating room or something not too far away. I can fix you guys up a little before you try to escape." Poison looped an arm around Kobra's waist, while Jet (who only passed out because he hit his head on the hood of their car) supported Fun Ghoul. Shadow led the four Killjoys out of the room and into a nearly pitch black hallway. Luckily, Shadow seemed to know where they were, because soon they were herded into a small operating room/office. Poison helped Kobra sit on the operating table, and soon he was lying down and Shadow was hovering over him, cleaning and stitching his wounds. Once he was done, Poison helped him stand up again and Fun Ghoul hopped up there by hirself.

"We need to get you the hell out of here, right now.", Shadow said once he was done with Ghoul. He took the blood red journal out and handed it to Poison, who stuffed it into his jacket in the same fashion Shadow had earlier.

"I'm not going to make it out of here. You need to keep that thing kept under lock and key; if you can somehow find a way to expose that information to the whole of Battery City, you could cause an actual, full-scale revolution and defeat this evil permanently." Poison nodded gravely, before giving Shadow a big hug.

"Thank you, for keeping us alive and for helping us. I promise you, your name will be remembered for years to come as the man who helped start the end of BL/ind."

"Patrick.", Shadow said. Poison stared at him until he explained. "My name is Patrick Stump. If my name's going to be remembered, then use my real one. I hated the one Korse gave me. 'Shadow', what a fucking ridiculous name!" Poison nodded, then stepped back as the other three took their turns hugging him.

"Come on, this way.", Patrick ordered. He opened the door and looked up and down the hallway before sprinting out at the speed of light. The other four followed a little bit more slowly, being careful not to re-open their newly stitched wounds, but soon they found themselves at the glass front doors. The outside was dark, and Kobra guessed that almost all of the BL/ind employees had gone to wherever they went home to for the night. There were probably a few guards still on duty, Poison had pointed out, so Patrick had made sure to walk in all the blind spots until they reached the doors. As Kobra watched, the first light of dawn broke the horizon, sending milky fingers of light into the sky.

"Korse usually comes to work at dawn, so we don't have much time to get you four out of here.", Patrick said. Suddenly, headlights illuminated the outside world, and a sleek black sports car pulled up outside. Korse's familiar bald head was silhouetted against the brightening sky, and as the car drove off- probably a servant behind the wheel- Patrick motioned for them to scatter. Party Poison and Kobra Kid pressed themselves up against the wall next to the doors; Fun Ghoul hid behind an enormous potted plant; Jet Star ducked behind another door on the opposite wall; and Patrick hid on the opposite side of Kobra and Poison. As Korse unlocked the doors and stepped in, he turned on the lights. Before the automatic doors shut, Poison, Kobra, and Ghoul all shot out the opening. Jet, however, was too far away, and by the time he and Patrick moved to escape the doors had slid shut again. Jet cursed, trying to stop in time but it was too late; the doors opened again, and Korse turned around just in time to see Patrick and Jet sprint out the door.

"Hey, get back here!", Korse yelled. Kobra would have rolled his eyes if he weren't so focused on trying to get in the car fast enough. Poison slammed the door to the driver's side, Ghoul hopped into the backseat through the open window, and once Jet and Patrick reached the car Patrick pushed Jet in before shutting the door for him and yelling at them to hurry up and leave.

"Come with us! You could be free of BL/ind!", Poison yelled back, turning to look at Patrick even as he started the car. Patrick thought about it for a moment, but in that exact same moment Korse bore down on him and knocked him out with a steel pipe to the back of the head. Poison's foot fell on the gas, and the Trans-Am shot off like a rocket down the road. Kobra heard a loud 'clang', which must have been the steel pipe hitting the back of the car, but what mattered is that they were safe. They drove in silence for a few moments before Ghoul spoke up.

"That was one of the easiest escapes I've ever made.", ze said.

"Yeah, thanks to Patrick.", Poison mumbled. 

"We'll come back for him. In fact, we already have a plan. We just need to map out the blind spots Patrick showed us, and then we can come back to save him tomorrow or something!", Ghoul said.

"Not tomorrow, no. Jesus, we need to heal up first.", Kobra said. "Maybe in like a week?"

"We're still gonna go back as soon as possible, though.", Jet promised, gripping Ghoul's hand in his to comfort his friend. The rest of the ride was held in silence, or it was silent until Kobra fell asleep on Poison's shoulder and couldn't hear his team mates anymore.

The car skidded to a halt what seemed like five minutes later, jerking Kobra awake. He sat up and exited the car to find that they had returned safely to the diner. It was the middle of the night, judging by the full moon being directly above their heads. Kobra caught sight of two silhouettes of cars parked by the west side of the diner- Dr. D's van and Psycho's Impala- and let out the breath he had been holding. They made it back safely after all. 

"Home sweet home.", Ghoul mumbled. It looks like ze had fallen asleep too; ze had crease marks from Jet's jacket on hir cheek, and there was a dried-up line of saliva starting in the corner of hir mouth. Kobra ruffled hir long hair, stepping into the diner before anybody else could. American Psycho and Toxic Torrent were passed out on one of the booths, but as the door squeaked open both killjoys were on their feet, ray guns in hand. As soon as they recognized Kobra Kid, though, they dropped their weapons and stared as the other three walked in the door.

"What the fuck?", Torrent whispered, while Psycho yelled "You're alive!" at the top of his lungs and crushed several of Kobra's bones.

"Easy, Psycho. He's still got wounds that need to heal.", Poison said, prying Psycho away from Kobra. Kobra shot his sibling a grateful glance before laying down on a separate booth. Fun Ghoul flopped down on top of him, shoving hir face in the junction between Kobra's neck and shoulder, and passed out almost instantly. The taller of the two best friends wrapped his arms around the smaller and drifted off to sleep immediately afterwards.


 

Poison watched as his brother and datemate fell asleep on top of each other before heading outside. It was his turn to keep watch tonight, but as he took his position he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to find Psycho behind him.

"I'll keep watch. You guys all need to rest."

"Thanks, but I'm not tired."

"I'm still staying here with you, then." Poison only nodded as Psycho sat down beside him. A few minutes of silence passed before Psycho spoke again.

"Spill it. What's troubling you?" Sighing, Poison pulled out the little red book that Patrick had given to him.

"There was a man who helped us escape. He was BL/ind's second in command, but he turned against them at the last minute. Whatever's in this fucking book made him hate BLI so fiercely that he would help their greatest enemies and ruin his own life in the process. I've read the first couple of pages, but there's a whole book's worth of history that hasn't been discovered until now. We could change the world with this information, and it's in the palm of my hand. That's a big responsibility, you know?" Psycho remained silent, taking the book from Poison's hands and flipping through the pages.

"Torrent and I are going back to raid Battery City tomorrow. We can start spreading this while we're there.", they finally said. 

"How do we know they'll believe you?"

"We don't. But we have to try anyway, don't we? Otherwise the truth will never get out there.", Psycho said. Poison only hummed, looking up at the star-filled sky as they shared a companionable silence with their new friend.


 

When Kobra woke up again, Fun Ghoul was still snoring loudly in his ear, but nobody else was in the room. He could see Jet Star sitting on the pavement outside, obviously on watch, but the other three killjoys had disappeared sometime when he was asleep. The worst of the pain in his body had been replaced with a dull throbbing and a minor headache. His limbs were stiff and sore when he stretched, Fun Ghoul finally stirring above him.

"What time is it?", Ghoul asked. "Poison?"

"Nope, Kobra.", Kobra corrected. Ghoul cracked one eye open to stare directly at hir best friend, grunting and closing it again when ze confirmed it wasn't hir boyfriend ze was cuddling with. Personal space had become a thing of the past out in the Zones; any one of them could die at any second, so it was nice to have your friends as close as possible at all times. Plus, it gets cold in the desert at night, and the extra warmth is welcome.

"I feel like shit.", Ghoul complained.

"So do I."

"Oh, good, you two are up.", Poison's voice rang out. Kobra moved his head so he could see his sibling, standing next to the booth with his arms crossed.

"Psycho and Torrent left about an hour ago. Said something about raiding Battery City again. Psycho says they hope you two get better, and they'll probably see you again soon. Now come on, breakfast is almost ready."

"What is it this time? Dog food or canned beans?", Ghoul whined.

"Luckily for you two, we got beans this time.", Poison answered, and when Kobra finally dragged himself up off of the booth seat he found an open can of beans shoved at him, a plastic spoon sticking out of the top.

"We've been blessed.", Ghoul mumbled, already shoveling beans into hir mouth.

"I'll go get Jet.", Poison said, walking out of the kitchen to poke his head out of the door and call the last remaining member of their team back in from his watch. When all four were huddled around each other, eating the cold beans, it was Ghoul who brought up the subject.

"So, about Patrick. When are we going back?"

"Once you three are healed enough. You're lucky your wounds were even stitched up in the first place; you need to keep them as clean as possible until then.", Jet commanded.

"Okay, mom.", Kobra snapped. Jet Star shot him a glare.

"By the end of the week we should be able to go.", Poison added. "If they're tended to fast enough, and if they didn't hit any main internal organs or whatever, ray gun wounds heal relatively easy."

"Well, how do we know they didn't hit anything important, though?", Jet countered.

"Because we'd be dead. Use your head once in a while, Jet, please.", Ghoul said. Jet let out a small 'oh' before returning to his beans.

"Either way, we need a plan if we're going to be able to rescue Patrick.", Poison spoke up again. "First things first; we need to map out the blind spots he showed us."

"That's gonna take a while, Poison. Do we even have a map?"

"Right here.", Jet interrupted, pulling out a brochure with a map.

"I'm not going to ask where you got that.", Kobra said, snatching the brochure away and taking the pencil Poison had come up with. He drew spread the paper over the ground and drew little circles in the places he could remember, with the others helping him from time to time. Once they were done, Poison coughed.

"We know Korse goes into work at dawn, but we don't know what time he leaves.", Ghoul pointed out.

"Which is why, when we storm the place, we're going to wait until we see him leave, find a place to break in, and bust Patrick the hell out of there before dawn.", Poison said.

"One of us should wait in the car, so we don't run into what happened last time." Poison nodded, writing down the plan in bullet points on the back of the brochure. 

"We'd need to bring him back here. Give him a new name, a new backstory. Very few people out here are willing to work with a former BL/ind employee, much less Korse's right hand man."

"And a make-over. Can't have people recognizing him.", Ghoul said. Poison nodded once more in hir direction. 

"So, when exactly is this going to happen?", Show Pony asked, skating up behind Poison and plopping down on the outer edges of the circle. "I'd need to tell Dr. D. You know how he gets; he'll probably think you four had been kidnapped or something."

"We're not sure. Sometime this week, after our wounds heal enough." Show Pony nodded, grabbing the brochure before skating off towards Dr. D's office. A little bit later, he came back in and dropped the plan in Poison's lap before disappearing again.

"Anyway, we should get started on Patrick's backstory so we can get him out into the world sooner." Poison whipped out his pencil, and Jet reached over and grabbed a clean sheet of paper from a pile under the counter.

"Let's get to work."

Chapter Text

"I hate school.", Ryan groaned as the final bell rang. The three friends (since Brent had a different class than them last period) were just being let out of English class and were on their way out of the school building.

"Don't we all?", Brendon laughed.

"I mean, all I hear is "Georgina" this and "Ms. Ross" that. It's just... draining, you know? To be misgendered every day?" Spencer wrapped an arm around Ryan's shoulders, her hand gripping Ryan's shoulder in a comforting manner.

"I'm sorry, Ry. You have to understand that part of the reason why is because you refuse to even try to come out, though."

"After the reaction they had when you tried to tell Mrs. Summers that you were a girl, but only part of the time? I doubt it." Spencer sighed, dragging Ryan out of the front doors with Brendon right behind them.

"See you guys tonight?", Ryan asked. Every Friday night the four of them- when Brent could make it, his parents didn't exactly like any of them- would gather in Ryan's house and watch movies until the next morning, and then spend Saturday doing their homework together.

"Definitely. Let's hope Brent's there this time.", Brendon said, waving them goodbye as he approached his house. Brendon lived fairly close to the school, both a blessing and a curse sometimes, but Ryan, Spencer, and Brent all lived farther away from Brendon than he would have liked, with Brent living even further away than the other two. The fifteen year old sighed, clutching the straps of his backpack tighter as he approached the front door.

The first thing he noticed was the unlocked and slightly ajar door. Which should have been a warning in itself: his parents never left the door unlocked, ever since Brendon could remember. Suddenly on full alert, Brendon slowly pushed the door open until it was wide enough for him to walk through. What greeted him as he entered the house would haunt him until the day he died.

Two Draculoids were squatting down in front of two people lying on the floor, stuffing their faces with their masks lying discarded next to them. Brendon could easily guess who the two people were, even if their faces were hidden from view. As he watched, the Dracs stood up and pulled on their masks before facing him.

"Come with your arms raised high, and your life will be spared.", one of them spoke. The other one raised their ray gun to point directly at Brendon's head. Quick as lightning, Brendon darted forward and grabbed the extended ray gun, firing at the other one until they dropped dead. He turned around before the other could grab him, shooting them in the heart and killing them instantly. Brendon stood still, heart hammering in his chest, before sprinting upstairs to his room. He tossed his backpack- as well as the ray gun- onto his bed, emptying out his school supplies and rushing around his room to fill the backpack with necessities.

"Well, they're never gonna get me.", he mumbled to himself. Taking off his school uniform, he threw on a pair of skinny jeans (covered in random splatters of multi-colored paint, thanks to one of Ryan's "bright ideas") and a simple white t-shirt, slipping into his prized black Converse afterwards. Once he was done dressing, he ran into his parents' room all while whipping out his cell phone and dialing Ryan's number.

"Bren? Is something wr-"

"My parents are dead. They were being eaten by Dracs and I killed them and I have to leave-"

"Whoa, whoa! Brendon, calm down! Tell me what happened calmly." Ryan stressed the world calmly, so Brendon took a deep breath as he flung open his dad's closet.

"I came home from school about a minute ago, right? Only, the door was open and unlocked. So I went inside and found my parents being eaten by Dracs. They saw me, and told me to put my hands up or something, and they had a ray gun pointed at me so I grabbed the gun and killed them both. And now I have to leave the city because they'll be looking for me and they're probably gonna kill me if they find me." Ryan was silent for a moment, giving Brendon time to set the phone down and put on his dad's favorite denim jacket before picking it back up. The teenager moved over to his mother's jewelry stand and brought out one of her necklaces. It was a simple gold locket, and when Brendon opened it there was a picture of all three of them standing outside of the church the first time Brendon attended mass.

"Holy fuck, are you serious?", Ryan asked, bringing Brendon back to the future as he unclasped the necklace and placed it around his neck, phone held between his ear and his shoulder.

"Would I fucking joke about this, Ry? Fuck, I'll come see you guys before I leave, head over to Spencer's-"

"There's no time! They know what time school lets out, and they know you should have been home by now. You need to leave right the fuck now."

"I can't! I need to wipe out my parents' bank accounts first, take anything that I could use for money out in the Zones." Ryan sucked in a breath.

"You can't go out there, Bren. It's dangerous!"

"What choice do I have right now?"

"Spencer can hide you in her basement? I don't know, we'll think of something."

"Ryan, listen to me. It'll be a lot harder for them to find me if I'm in the Zones. Tell Spencer and Brent what happened. If anyone asks where I am, you tell them that you haven't seen me since we left school today." Brendon could hear Ryan sighing, and he sighed back in return.

"Stay safe, okay Bren?", Ryan asked.

"Of course.", Brendon answered.

"Wait, how are you even going to get there in the first place?"

"I'm taking the car."

"Brendon, you barely have your permit."

"And? I'm a fugitive of the law now, I don't need a licence." Ryan sighed again. By then, Brendon had made it back to his own room, zipping up the backpack and putting the ray gun in the interior pocket of the denim jacket. As he listened, Brendon heard something moving downstairs, and he silently cursed. He had wasted too much time talking to Ryan.

"Somebody's here. I have to g-"

"Brendon? Brendon, are you h-" Spencer's voice cut off in a loud scream, and Brendon rushed downstairs to find her staring at the four dead bodies in horror.

"Shh!", he hissed. He dragged Spencer upstairs using his free hand, the other still holding the phone as the two friends climbed onto Brendon's bed.

"I... I came to give you your book back... I didn't-"

"Brendon, what's going on?", Ryan asked. Brendon sighed and put Ryan on speakerphone, laying the phone in between him and Spencer.

"It's just Spencer, don't worry.", Brendon said.

"Oh."

"You've already told Ryan?", Spencer asked.

"I called him as soon as I could. I was going to call you next, before I leave."

"'Before I leave'? You're leaving?"

"I have to. They'll be crawling the city looking for me after I killed those Dracs.", Brendon explained. Suddenly, an idea popped into his head, and he grinned. "Listen, I need to ask you two for a big favor..."


 

"Holy shit.", Ryan whispered. The screen illuminated in front of him displayed the bank account of Brendon's mom, and he was shocked at the amount of carbons he saw.

"I know. Hurry up and wipe it before they close the accounts down."

"Close them down?"

"They do that when someone dies. Their bank accounts no longer work so people can't steal their money, and whatever they had goes back to the government.", Spencer explained. Ryan let out a quick 'oh' before pressing several buttons.

"Get it in smaller increments. I doubt anybody would be able to break a hundred carbons where he's going.", Spencer suggested, and Ryan frantically hit the back button and pressed something else before continuing. At once, both ATM machines started spewing carbons, and the two friends did their best to collect it as fast as possible so they wouldn't get caught.

"Where did his parents work again?", Ryan muttered.

"Brendon's dad was the minister for the church, and his mom was a real estate agent." Once the machines had stopped, Spencer finished up the transactions for both of them and then they were off running, stuffing the money in a sack Spencer had brought along and trying to make it to Brendon's house as fast as they could go. The garage sat open, which could only mean Brendon was sitting in the car and ready to go.

"Why didn't you tell us you were filthy rich?", Ryan asked once they approached the rolled-down window of the driver's seat. Brendon, who had managed to find his perpetually-lost glasses in the time they were gone, grinned over at them. He didn't answer, instead taking the rather large sack full of cash his friends offered him but handing three large chunks of it back to them.

"Give the third one to Brent, will ya?", he asked. He threw the sack onto the floorboards of the passenger side, where his backpack was already stored, and started the engine of the jet black Chevrolet Bel-Air his parents had fawned over so often.

"You're an asshole.", Ryan whined. Before Brendon could drive away, Spencer held out her hand to stop him and dashed away only to return with a pair of identical screwdrivers.

"Can't go around with license plates on if you're gonna hide from BLI.", she said, tossing one to Ryan. They each tackled a plate, and when they had come off they handed them to Brendon through the open window.

"Thanks, guys. I appreciate it." He got out of the car and hugged his two closest friends. The fact that this was probably the last time they'd see each other finally set in. Ryan sniffled, and Spencer had tears streaming down her face as they pulled away.

"I'll come back for you three, I promise. I don't know when, but I will be back. We all know what BL/ind is capable of. We're one of the few ones who have had our eyes opened, and that's why they killed mom and dad. Keep your asses out of trouble, alright? Be the perfect model citizens for now." With that, Brendon climbed back into the car and started backing out of the garage. "Oh, and come up with a killjoy name and something cool to wear in the Zones so you're not unprepared when I come back."

"Don't tell me you're joining the Killjoys! Brendon, that's suicide!", Spencer shrieked.

"My name's not Brendon anymore! It's Unholy Gospel!", he yelled back, speeding out of town with a hand stuck out the window waving goodbye to his shell-shocked friends.

"He's gonna die.", Spencer whimpered.

"That is a fucking stupid name.", was the only thing Ryan said.

As Brendon approached the gates of the city, he was blocked by two guards, and he silently cursed. Of course, the one thing he had forgotten was that the city gates were always guarded.

"Nobody is allowed to leave the city unless it's urgent or you have p-" The guard was cut off by a sickening choking sound, blood bubbling up around his lips as he fell to the ground. Another person stood behind the guard, a strange gun of some sort clutched in their hands. The person had a beard covering the lower half of their face, and kind brown eyes stared back at Brendon as they motioned for Brendon to lay back. As Brendon did what he was requested, the person fired another shot in the car, and it flew out the opposite window, shattering the glass and killing the other guard quickly.

"Thank you.", Brendon wheezed. The stranger nodded at him, leaning in through the open window.

"You're Brendon Urie, right? The one everyone's looking for?" Brendon nodded, and they smiled at him.

"Well, I'm Toxic Torrent, but my real name is Jon Walker. If you're trying to run away into the Zones, you're gonna need a killjoy name at the least."

"I have one; Unholy Gospel." Toxic Torrent nodded again, smiling at the newly named Killjoy.

"Good. Here's what you're gonna do; use this map to find the Diner in Zone 6. It's pretty well-known, so if the map doesn't help just stop and ask someone for directions. Once you're there, talk to the four people in the diner and tell them that Toxic Torrent and American Psycho sent you. They'll take you in, show you the ropes and teach you how to survive in the Zones. Now, off with you, before they send more guards.", Torrent ordered, reaching into their jacket and pulling out a slightly wrinkled map and handing it to Unholy Gospel. Gospel nodded, waving goodbye as Torrent removed their arms from the car door, pressing his foot down to the gas pedal and shot off like a rocket down the road. His first priority was getting as far away from Battery City as fast as he could.


 

"Come on, Torrent, let's go! Pick up the pace!", Psycho yelled, looking back at their companion. Torrent yelled back an affirmative, carrying bags full of carbons and food on their back and both hands. Psycho was just as held down, and by the time they reached the front gates the guards pursuing them were hot on their trail. 

"We'll hide out in Zone 1 for a while; can't risk going back to the Fab Four with pigs on our tail.", Psycho said as they both shoved their goods in the back and hopped in the front seats of the Impala, with Torrent in the driver's side. As Torrent started the car, somebody yelling for help could be heard, and a man- no, boy, he couldn't be much older than Torrent's 16 years- with long blonde hair could be seen being tackled by the guards just inside the gate. Torrent looked over at Psycho, a questioning look in their brown eyes.

"No. No, Torrent, we're not-" Before Psycho could go any further, Torrent had aimed their car straight at the group of people, scaring the guards long enough for the man to escape.

"Get in!", Torrent yelled. The man shot him a grateful glance before climbing into the backseat, shoving the food and carbons the two childhood friends had collected out of the way as Torrent sped away from the giant wall surrounding the city.

"Thank you. I was trying to use the commotion you two caused to escape unnoticed, but I guess I didn't really think things through. My name's Tom."

"Toxic Torrent, and that's American Psycho.", Torrent introduced. "Why were you trying to escape, just out of curiosity?"

"Well, a boy at my school went missing, and when the authorities went to check on him they found his parents dead. His girlfriend and best friend were going nuts, and people say they saw him escape through the gates. Our parents were good friends, and they stood up against BL/ind, so my folks helped me high tail it out of the house before they came for us, too." Torrent nodded, turning to meet Tom's eyes as he drove. They stayed like that, staring at each other, until Psycho yelled and interrupted their eye contact with his hand.

"For fuck's sake, Torrent, keep your eyes on the road!", Psycho yelled, and Torrent turned back just in time to avoid crashing into a rogue man walking across the streets, clutching his bloodied left arm. Torrent screeched to a halt, and all three of the car's occupants' hearts restarted. The person looked, again, not much older than Torrent, with a fluffy halo of hair surrounding their head and stubble lining their cheeks and jaw. He was crying, and at once Psycho hopped out of the car to see if they were okay.

"Sure, and they criticize me for trying to rescue you.", Torrent sighed.

"Hey, you! Are you alright? What the hell are you doing wandering in the middle of the road?", Psycho yelled. The person took one look at Psycho, and at once Psycho could see the depths of their misery reflected in their eyes. 

"I'm just trying to get as far away from that city as possible before I die.", they said. Psycho sighed, motioning to Torrent to make room in the car for them, before grabbing their arm gently and leading them into the backseat. Tom helped move the bags to the floor as the mystery man hopped in, and once Psycho was inside the car again Torrent sped off down the road once more. 

"Ok, time to re-do introductions. Toxic Torrent, American Psycho, and Tom. Your name is...?", Psycho asked. Torrent snickered.

"Joseph Trohman."

"Joe it is. Alright, Joe, wanna explain why you were running away?" Joe took a deep breath before continuing.

"My fianceé and I were having dinner and we were attacked by Dracs. They killed her and our daughter Ruby, but I escaped and tried to climb the wall, but I fell and landed on my arm. Now I can't even move it." Torrent whistled, and Psycho punched them in the arm.

"What? It's impressive that he managed to even climb that wall in the first place." That put a small smile on Joe's face, but it was quickly erased, and Torrent thought they had imagined it. Psycho cleared their throat, catching the attention of everyone in the car.

"You two need to come up with some killjoy names of your own. We can help you, but it needs to be mostly your own. Torrent, make a left here, we need to make sure no one's trailing us-"

"Ruby Renegade.", Joe piped up.

"Excuse me?"

"That's my new killjoy name. Ruby was my daughter's name. When she was born, there was something wrong- the doctors wouldn't tell us what was wrong- and they said she was a "lost cause", that she wouldn't make it. But Marie and I kept fighting for her, and she eventually made it. So, you know how the definition of renegade is 'someone fighting for a lost cause' or something like that? I thought it would fit."

"That's... wow. I just used Toxic Torrent because it sounded cool. Shit, yeah, Ruby Renegade will work."

"If I'm going to spend the rest of my life opposing BL/ind, I want to at least remember why." Psycho nodded, looking off into the sunset as Tom and Toxic Torrent discussed names for Tom. They suddenly got the feeling that the two boys in the backseat were about to change their lives forever, whether it be good or bad.

Chapter Text

"Why aren't we going back to the headquarters again?", Ghoul asked. Ze was laying on top of one of the tables in the Diner, and Poison was sitting in the booth connected to the table while Jet and Kobra were seated opposite from Poison.

"We're going tomorrow, as soon as dawn comes.", Poison reminded hir, sounding rather fed up with his significant other. It was pitch black outside, and as Poison looked out of the window next to the booth the only source of light was the moon, stars, and... a pair of headlights. Poison immediately shot up, hand moving to grab their ray gun by their waist as he stood up. The car pulled into the parking lot and the engine cut off once they had parked. The other three got up as well just as a figure got out of the car, making their way towards the door of the diner. 

"Quick, under the table!", Jet hissed. All four of them quickly crammed themselves under the old cherry red booth table. The door swung open, and the figure stepped in.

"Hello?", the person called out. They made their way into the dark diner silently and hesitantly, and from what Poison observed they didn't seem to be an agent of BL/ind. 

"Hello?", they repeated. "My name is Br- Unholy Gospel, and somebody named Toxic Torrent sent me here?" Casting a look towards the others, Poison rolled their eyes at the expressions his team mates were giving him, and he slunk forward out from under the table. Unholy Gospel's eyes widened as they took in Poison's silhouette in the dark.

"You said Toxic Torrent sent you?"

"W-Well, they said to tell you that Toxic Torrent and American Psycho sent me, but I only talked to Torrent.", Gospel confessed.

"Why?"

"I don't know! I was running away from Battery City, because BL/ind had just murdered my parents, and I was almost out the gates when the guards stopped me. But then Torrent killed them, and then they gave me a map and told me to come to the Diner, which I'm guessing is this place. And then they told me to talk to the four people there, but I only see you, and- oh." Gospel stopped their ranting as the other three made their way out into the open. There was just enough moonlight shining into the Diner, now that the passing cloud had moved, to make out their faces, and judging by the recognition on Gospel's face they were remembering the wanted posters they had seen around town.

"Wait, let me get this straight. Better Living Industries murdered your parents?"

"Yep."

"In Battery City, where you lived?"

"Correct."

"And you took your parents' car and just left? Without any carbons or food?"

"Well, my parents were sort of rich, so I had my friends help me empty out their bank accounts before I left. And I took all the non-perishable food with me."

"I don't see you carrying around a sack of cash or food. Where are you keeping it?", Ghoul asked. Poison shot hir a look, and ze shrugged in return.

"Oh, it's in my car. I keep them hidden under the floorboards."

"Then you might want to keep yourself surgically attached to that car, because if you lose it you're fucked.", Jet spoke up.

"Uh, how could you lose a car?", Gospel asked. Poison turned to look at his group, and their expressions were almost identical to the one on his face.

"I think we know why Torrent sent you here.", Kobra piped up.

"And trust me, this is going to take a lot of hard work to accomplish what they wanted us to.", Poison added. "But, we can wait until morning to get started."

"Start what?", Gospel asked.

"Your training. You obviously have no idea how to live out here, so we're going to have to teach you, starting tomorrow morning."

"But Poison, what about Patrick? We can't exactly leave them here with no idea how to defend themselves, and we can't take them with us either.", Fun Ghoul pointed out.

"I, uh, use male pronouns, just for clarification.", Unholy Gospel spoke up. Ghoul nodded to acknowledge their words before turning back to Poison, who sighed.

"Gospel, sit down in that booth and come get us if anything happens. We'll be right out back.", Poison instructed. He stuck around long enough to make sure Gospel obeyed before following his friends out the back door.

"Ghoul, before you say anything-"

"Patrick could die! We can't leave him there until Gospel goes out on his own! We shouldn't have waited this long to rescue him anyway!", Ghoul yelled.

"...What did I just say?", Poison sighed. Ghoul glared back at their boyfriend.

"We can always take him with us, and split up between his car and ours. That way, he can have the first hand experience as to what it means to be a Killjoy.", Kobra said. Poison gestured to his brother, still looking at Fun Ghoul.

"But if we leave him here, he isn't exactly alone. He'll have Dr. D and Show Pony.", Jet countered, and Ghoul mimicked Poison's earlier gesture.

"We could always have an extra person around for a distraction."

"Didn't you hear him, though? His parents were murdered by BL/ind, and he probably only ran away to avoid the same fate. They'll be looking all over for him."

"Whatever, we need to make a decision right now. It's almost dawn, and if we're going to leave we need to do it soon.", Ghoul snapped. There was a slight creaking noise, and all four heads turned to find The Girl looking at them with wide eyes.

"Grace, what are you-"

"Grace?", Kobra interrupted Jet. Jet suddenly beamed.

"Oh yeah, she didn't tell you? She decided on a name; Grace."

"That's great, but what are you doing up so late?", Poison asked. He was smiling, though, so his harsh tone didn't affect the ten year old.

"I think you should take him with you. He might not be who he says he is, and you should keep an eye on him just in case.", Grace said.

"Holy shit, when did you get so cynical?", Jet asked. He reached out and led Grace back inside, probably to put her back to sleep, and the other three looked at each other.

"It's decided, then?"

"Yeah. We're taking him with us.", Poison stated. Ghoul mumbled, but ze followed the two siblings back inside anyway. Jet could be heard singing Grace to sleep, and as Poison watched Kobra's face twitched into a smile. Poison didn't say anything as his brother slipped in through the slightly cracked door. Gospel sat up immediately when Poison and Ghoul entered the room.

"Alright, here's the deal.", Poison said, sitting across from Unholy Gospel. "About a week ago, we were all captured by BL/ind when we tried to rescue the G-... Grace, when we tried to rescue Grace. There was a man who used to work for BLI that helped us escape, but he was captured by Korse. We were going to go back to free him until you showed up."

"I-"

"Shush, it's not your fault. But we're still heading out at dawn, and we've decided to take you with us. You can get to experience what it is we Killjoys do for each other, plus you can get an up close and personal experience with the headquarters." Gospel's eyes widened, and his mouth opened, but no words came out.

"We're also going to be taking you car as well as our own. You'll be in the Trans-Am with me and Fun Ghoul."

"Why can't I take my own car?", Gospel asked.

"Because if what you say is true, BL/ind will be looking for you, and they probably have your plates and car recorded.", Ghoul explained. Gospel let out a small 'oh'.

"Well, it's dawn now. I'll go get Jet and Kobra.", Ghoul said, throwing hir hand towards the window, where the top of the sun was just starting to rise above the horizon before stomping into the room where Grace slept. Once ze came back out with the last two members, Poison motioned towards the door, and the group of five immediately made their way towards the waiting cars.


By the time they approached the BL/ind headquarters, the sun was barely a tiny semi-circle on the horizon. Poison parked a few miles away, and behind him Kobra did the same with Gospel's Bel-Air. Poison stuck his hand out the window, telling Kobra and Jet to get out of the car before they did, and soon the two men could be seen running towards the white building. Poison turned and shook Ghoul and Gospel awake. Both of them had fallen asleep on the long ride.

"Come on guys, we're here. Time to go save Patrick.", Party Poison nearly yelled. Ghoul groaned, rolling over, but Gospel immediately shot up straight and unbuckled his seat belt.

"You wore your seat belt? Fucking nerd...", Ghoul huffed. Ze was still blinking away sleep when ze got out of the car and made hir way over to Poison. Ghoul leaned heavily on hir boyfriend's shoulder, and Poison wrapped an arm around their significant other to keep hir balanced enough to walk. Gospel joined the trio, wide awake and alert, but they kept looking around for signs of danger.

"Relax, kid. Patrick showed us the blind spots before we left last time, and there's only one security camera on this wall. Besides, if Jet did his job correctly, that security camera should be dust by now.", Ghoul reassured Unholy Gospel.

"Which means we have to hurry before they send Dracs to kill us."

"It's night, Gospel. There's nobody in the building, save for maybe a janitor or two and a few people at the control center. Once we get inside and take them out, we can search the building for Patrick and get the hell out.", Poison said. By then, they had joined the other two underneath the now-busted security camera, and Ghoul was just as awake as the rest of them. The sound of tires squealing on gravel startled them all, and Poison smiled. 'Korse just left the building.' Jet, who was the closest to the corner of this wall and the next, motioned with his hand, and Ghoul shot off towards the front door.

"What's he doing?", Gospel asked.

"Ok, first of all, we never really introduced ourselves or gave you our pronouns, so use ze/hir for Ghoul or ze WILL end you.", Jet piped up. "Second of all, ze's the distraction. While ze's causing a ruckus up front, we'll sneak in the back door."

"But it's locked.", Gospel stated.

"I fail to see your point.", Jet replied icily. The remaining four Killjoys moved stealthily towards the opposite side of the building, waiting until they heard Fun Ghoul kick over a trash can until they raced around the corner and stopped just short of a plain, grey door. Jet knelt down in front of the doorknob, taking a knife from his pocket and twisting the lock until there was a soft clicking sound and the door swung open.

"Let's go.", Poison instructed over the sound of Ghoul's yelling and cursing. Moving silently, Kobra opened his jacket and pulled out a brochure of the BL/ind headquarters and unfolded it to show a map with various circles drawn all over it. Kobra took the lead, keeping his nose practically buried in the map as he moved the group through the supposed blind spots.

"There.", Kobra finally said, halting the other three behind him. He was pointing towards a door, similar to the one outside only sterile white, and an odd curved wall extending from the door. Without saying anything, Kobra looked from side to side before darting forward, crouching down in front of the door without a word. Poison followed, and then Jet, and finally Gospel, until all four were standing in front of the door. Jet lifted one giant boot and kicked the door clean off its hinges. Gospel counted three people inside before Jet, Poison, and Kobra shot them all. 

"And we're in the clear.", Poison said, making his way over to the intercom system.

"Look alive, sunshine-"

"Poison, this is serious! Stop imitating Dr. Death Defying!", Jet shouted. There was an echo of his voice outside the room, so his yelling had obviously made it on the intercom as well.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Go back to styling your hair, Jet. Ghoul, we're in the control center; finish up and head this way. Patrick, if you're not dead, we'll be there shortly. Just hold on." With that, he turned it off and whirled around to face Gospel.

"You are staying here to keep watch with Fun Ghoul."

"But-"

"No buts. It's too dangerous for you to go out in the field right now; Patrick may not be alone, wherever he is.", Poison interrupted, turning to the giant display board that held the camera feed from every camera and switching through them to try and find the room Patrick was in. They caught a glimpse of Fun Ghoul once, and Poison's hand darted out and enlarged the feed. Fun Ghoul was fighting hand-to-hand with a security guard, but even as they watched Ghoul judo-flipped the guard- who was easily at least two times hir size- over hir shoulder and slammed them into the concrete. Ze then gave a thumbs up to the security camera before dashing in through the automatic doors. Poison returned to searching, and as soon as Fun Ghoul burst in through the door he let out a sound of triumph.

"Found him.", he declared, pulling up another security camera. In the room, there was nothing but a single chair in the center of the room and a large "42" painted on the wall behind the chair, and in that chair and looking directly at the camera was a pudgy man with serious sideburns and long hair. Patrick looked like hell, and even though he was alive for now, Poison knew he wouldn't be if they didn't get him out of there immediately.

"Let's go." Poison, Jet, and Kobra all left the room, leaving Gospel and Ghoul to stare at the huge screen in front of them.

"Give me the map.", Poison instructed. His brother handed over the brochure, and Poison studied it as they walked until he found was he was looking for; room 42, towards the east side of the building. The three quickly made their way towards the room, with Jet making silly faces at the cameras every now and then and Kobra slapping the back of his head.

"You two are like a married couple, I swear.", Ghoul's voice rang out over the intercom system. Kobra flicked off the camera, and Ghoul's laughter filled the building.

"Ghoul, shut the fuck up!", Poison hissed just loudly enough for hir to hear. The place was silent up until they reached a door marked "42: Dangerous Prisoner Containment Unit. Authorized Personnel Only."

"Well, at least they marked you as a dangerous prisoner.", Poison joked as soon as Jet had unlocked the door and swung it open. Patrick's entire face lit up as the three got to work untying him from the chair and taking off all of the duct tape around his mouth.

"You came back." His voice was barely above a whisper, and Poison winced. Ghoul was right; they should have come back sooner.

"Of course. You didn't think we'd let you die here, did you?", Kobra cut in once Poison didn't answer. Jet scooped Patrick up in his arms as soon as he was free, and together they raced out of the room. They were met by Ghoul and Gospel, however, eyes wide and frightened.

"We need to leave, right now. Korse is back."

"What the fuck? Why?"

"It was that guard I beat up. He must not have actually been knocked out cold, so he must have informed the bastard."

"Well, what are we standing around for? Let's high tail it out of here before we get ourselves ghosted!", Jet yelled. The five took off running in the opposite direction of the front doors, out towards the back. making sure to use the blind spots to their advantage. Soon they were free, racing through the desert as fast as they could while trying not to worsen Patrick's injuries as much as they could manage. And, without so much as seeing a single hair (so to speak) of Korse, they climbed into the cars and sped off down the road. While Kobra drove, Jet was kneeling on the floorboards in front of the back seat, checking to see just how much damage Patrick's body had gone through.

"We're gonna need to get him back to the Diner as soon as possible; this looks really bad.", Jet said. He had ripped off Patrick's shirt and argyle sweater to reveal several purple and black bruises, the worst with ocher yellow in the center, and several wounds that looked like they had been made with a sword. Kobra cursed, driving as fast as he could with Poison right behind him. Patrick moaned as the car hit a bump, and fresh blood spilled out of a would that hadn't had time to scab over.

"Fuck! Kobra, give me the cloth." Kobra reached over under the passenger seat and tossed Ray an old ripped t-shirt. Jet placed the cloth down over the wound, putting pressure on it and trying to stop the bleeding. Patrick was fading in and out of consciousness, and occasionally he would moan as Jet stopped the bleeding and took out the first-aid kit under the back seat. Jet worked as quickly and efficiently as he could in a moving car, disinfecting the wounds before quickly wrapping up Patrick's ribs (which sported the worst of the bruising) with the wide ace bandage.

"You did you best, Jet, don't worry. We can fix him up properly once we get to the Diner.", Kobra reassured him. Jet sighed, not entirely believing Kobra but not exactly looking for an argument just now. He took one last look at Patrick, finally out cold but still breathing, before he nodded off himself.

Chapter Text

"Kobra, go tell Jet where we're going, will ya?", Poison asked. His brother nodded, hopping off his bike and racing back inside. Ghoul and Gospel were out back, where Ghoul was teaching the younger killjoy how to fight, and the loud grunts that could only come from hand-to-hand combat filled the diner as Kobra approached the closed door where Patrick was staying currently. Kobra knocked, once, twice, before he heard a muffled 'come in'. The blonde-topped man opened the wooden door to find Jet hovering over Patrick, no doubt re-dressing his wounds.

"Hey, Kobra.", Patrick croaked. Kobra nodded towards their friend, laying down on the floor with stitches and bandages littering his body. It had been several days since they had managed to bring Patrick back from the depths of the BL/ind headquarters, and Patrick was making a marvelous recovery, thanks to Jet's gentle care.

"How are you feeling?"

"Better than before. Jet's been doing a really good job." Jet ducked his head in embarrassment, and Kobra smiled.

"He's had enough practice with patching the rest of us up.", Kobra Kid said.

"Because all three of you are fucking dumb.", Jet Star joked, changing the bandage around Patrick's ribs.

"The yellow's disappeared. That's a good sign." Patrick nodded, resting his head back against the make-shift pillow Jet had made for him.

"Well, I just came by to tell you that Poison and I are going to try and find some more food and supplies out in the other Zones while Ghoul is on Gospel duty. We don't know how long we'll be, so don't wait up."

"What if you guys run into trouble?"

"We can handle ourselves, Jet, thanks."

"I'm serious, Kobra. What if you guys get yourselves ghosted?"

"Then we'll die with our masks on. Honestly, Jet, you worry too much." Kobra walked forward and pressed a quick peck to Jet's forehead, something meant as a platonic gesture, before walking back out. Poison was waiting, and when he saw Kobra opening the door again he started the engine of the motorcycle, and Kobra did the same as soon as he swung his long legs over the sides of his beloved bike.

"We're starting with Zone Four this time. There have been rumors about a BLI hideout somewhere in that Zone, so let's hope we get there before anyone else.", Poison said.

"A BLI hideout? Do you know how long the stuff from there would last us?", Kobra asked.

"Which is why we need to find it, and fast. We have two other people to provide for, and that's the only reason why we're going out again so soon."

"Plus, if we find some real food, Gospel will stop complaining about having to eat dog food.", Kobra said. Poison snorted and revved the engine, pulling out to the road and driving away from the Diner. Kobra followed suit, riding next to his sibling on the empty road. After a few minutes of riding in silence, Poison motioned with his hand to tell Kobra to turn off the road and into the desert. Kobra followed Poison into the dusty desert. There was a little tiny shack a ways away, looking broken down and had probably been abandoned since before the Helium Wars. Poison motioned for Kobra to turn off the bikes and continue on foot.

"Do you think this is it?"

"Well, they would obviously disguise their hideouts so people like us dont find it.", Poison responded. "There's probably a basement underneath where the real action is going on, and that's where we need to be." The duo moved forward silently, but once they reached the front door Poison lifted his boot and kicked it open. The lock went flying across the room, and both siblings stormed into the seemingly empty one-room building.

"Search the place. Look for anything of value." Which, in Poison speak, translated to look for hidden doors; we might be monitored. Kobra started lifting up rugs and feeling along the walls, looking for anything that might trigger-

"Found something.", his sibling's voice cut through the near silence. Kobra rushed over to find a Persian rug, almost devoid of color, kicked aside to show a loose floorboard, with a chunk of wood missing that was just the right size for a hand to fit in and pull the floorboards up.

"Wonder how much it's worth.", Poison asked.

"Let's take it back to the Diner and see what the others think." With that, Kobra reached down and pulled the floorboard up and away, revealing a keypad.

"What the fuck?", Kobra whispered. Poison held up his hand to silence his brother before carefully punching in several numbers. The keypad beeped several times, blinking green, and suddenly several more floorboards were lifted up on top of a trap door. Once the door was opened, a line of stairs shot out from beneath where Kobra and Poison were squatting, descending down into the darkness below. A light flickered on once the stairs had stopped moving, and both killjoys stood up.

"After you, fearless leader.", Kobra said, swooping his hand towards the staircase. Poison stuck out his tongue before beginning the climb down. Kobra followed shortly afterwards, remembering to drag the rug over top of the wide open door before shutting it to make sure nobody immediately found the door should they come inside.


 "How did you manage to find a car?", Psycho asked.

"I may or may not have picked it up yesterday when we raided BL/ind.", Torrent said, looking back at the shiny new Camaro parked behind them.

"It's fucking shiny.", Ruby Renegade complimented. A week and a half in the Zones, and he's already picking up slang.

"It really is.", Defiant Phantom agreed. Personally, Psycho wasn't really a fan of Tom's killjoy name, but hey, they were in no place to judge a person by their name. Phantom waved goodbye to Renegade and Psycho before climbing into the front seat.

"I guess I'll see you around, then?", Torrent asked, turning to look at Psycho once again. Psycho nodded, stepping forward to give their childhood friend one last hug before they parted ways.

Both of them had agreed that Renegade and Phantom's training would go much smoother if they split up for the time being, after Phantom and Renegade both were nearly captured by Draculoids and gave Psycho and Torrent the ride of their lives trying to rescue them. So, Torrent had (apparently, without Psycho's knowledge) stolen a car of some higher-up BL/ind employee, and now Torrent was going to take Phantom while Psycho was taking Renegade. Psycho was sort of glad that he was training Renegade; Torrent and Phantom had been making googly eyes at each other for the past few days, and Psycho really didn't want to get in between them for much longer. Renegade and Psycho climbed into Psycho's Impala after Renegade had hugged Torrent as well, Psycho in the driver's side and Renegade in the passengers' side.

"We'll see them again, right?"

"Of course. This is only temporary, until you guys are ready to go out on your own. Then we'll all team up again."

"And how long is this... "training" going to take?"

"It depends on how fast you learn. You're already pretty good with slang and such, and your combat skills are very nice too, but they still need to be touched up, and your shooting needs work."

"Shooting? I don't even have a gun. How am I supposed to practice shooting if I don't have a gun?"

"And that's exactly what we're going to do today." Renegade gave them a weird look, and Psycho winked back at him.

"Is there a place where you can get guns?"

"Oh yeah, there's places all over the Zones where you can customize your own ray gun. You can add words, pictures, whatever you want, and they can make it any color you want, which is why we're heading out to the one in Zone Four. You'll also get to pick out your color and symbol today."

"My color?"

"Yeah. Every Killjoy has a specific color- or a set of colors- that they paint their ray gun and symbol in. I told you about symbols, right?"

"Yeah, I think Torrent mentioned it. They're kind of like calling cards, right?"

"Absolutely correct. Once we get there, we'll design your symbol and get your ray gun made. I'd start thinking of ideas right now, honestly.", Psycho said.

"Sweet." The rest of the ride was spent in silence, until Psycho slammed on the brakes and came to a screeching halt somewhere in Zone Four, according to a cardboard sign they had passed a while ago.

"Why'd we stop?"

"Look over there.", Psycho said, pointing to a pair of motorcycles parked a little ways off the road.

"What about them?", Renegade questioned. He didn't see why they would stop just for a pair of motorcycles, unless they were planning to steal them while the owners were gone.

"They belong to a couple of friends of mine." Psycho whipped out a cell phone from their pocket, pressing a few buttons and waiting until whoever it was picked up.

"Who is this? What do you want?", a gruff voice answered on the other line.

"D. J. D. It's me, American Psycho. Listen, can you tell me if all of the Fab Four are accounted for? I can see two of their bikes parked out in Zone Four and I need to know who's out here so I can go and make sure they're okay."

"Hold on a second.", the other person said. A few moments later, the voice spoke again. "Uh, Jet and Ghoul are here. Jet said something about Kobra and Poison heading out to go look for food and supplies, but they haven't been back in a few days. It might be best to go check it out. Good luck, and call me if anything happens." With that, they hung up the phone, leaving Psycho to slip their cell back in their jacket pocket.

"Let's go." Psycho pulled the car out of the road before hopping out, Renegade following closely behind.

"By the way, we're totally gonna have to find you some new clothes. T-shirts and shorts don't cut it out here.", the older person commented as they walked. "Looks like there's a building up ahead. Let's check it out."

"How do we know we're not walking into a trap?", Renegade asked.

"We don't. That's why you always assume that everything is a trap. It's why I'm still alive.", Psycho said. The duo kept walking towards the building, and when they reached it they found the door hanging slightly open, with the lock broken clean off. Psycho pushed the door open enough for them to walk through. Everything in the room (which wasn't much; just some broken glass shards and the lock from the door) was pushed against the wall from the wind coming through the open window, save for a single Persian rug on the floor that looked virtually untouched.

"There's nothing here. They must be long gone by now.", Renegade decided. He turned to walk out of the shack, but Psycho stuck out an arm to stop him.

"Hold on a minute. See that rug?" When Renegade nodded, Psycho smirked. "It should have been blown away with everything else, but it's still in the middle of the floor." They reached out and lifted it up off the floor to reveal a missing floorboard with a keypad underneath.

"How do we-" Before Renegade could finish his sentence, Psycho had taken out their ray gun and shot the keypad, and within seconds a trap door opened up from the floor. Stairs shot out from beneath their feet, but Renegade couldn't see anything past three feet due to the lack of light.

"I guess that could work, too." Psycho winked at their pupil before handing Renegade his ray gun.

"You take this. You might need it. I have another gun I can use." Renegade grabbed the gun in his hands, looking it over. The whole thing was painted in red, white, and blue stripes, with the handle and charger port being solid blue. The word 'Psycho' was painted on one side in big block letters, while "Beauty" was painted in elegant cursive on the opposite side. Next to the cursive writing was a circle painted in blue, with a hockey mask painted in white with the american flag covering half of it in red. I guess that's Psycho's symbol, he thought.

"What's the "Beauty" for?", he asked.

"My mom's name was American Beauty before she died."

"Oh." Psycho didn't reply, instead walking down the stairs in silence as they pulled out their rare bullet-using gun. Renegade followed more slowly, wary of the darkness. Eventually, he bumped into Psycho once they reached the bottom of the staircase.

"There's gotta be a light switch somewhere... Aha!" Light suddenly filled the area, and what the killjoys found was a sterile white room, extending underground for what seemed like miles. There were cabinets and doors all over the walls, most of them easily being able to fit a human being.

"Holy shit. How are we ever going to find them in this place?", Renegade asked.

"We'll just have to search this whole place from top to bottom.", Psycho answered. 

"That could take forever, though."

"Then let's get started. There must have been a lot of Dracs, though, because this is Kobra Kid and Party Poison we're talking about. They wouldn't be taken down by a single squad."

"I'm glad you think that highly of us, but can you please come find us so we can get out of this place?", a voice called out. "You talk too damn loud, Psycho, we could hear you coming from a mile away. Keep it down."

"Kobra? What the fuck, where are you?"

"I don't know? I woke up in here! We heard about a BL/ind hideout and went to raid them, but then it came down to a firefight and Poison here managed to get himself shot in the leg. They offered medical attention if we surrendered, and they patched up Poison's leg and knocked us out."

"Is Poison with you?"

"No, I'm in Battery City, jackass.", another voice yelled back.

"Nice to see you too. Do you guys have any idea where you might be?"

"You sound like you're above us. Try looking for trap doors in the floor.", Kobra said.

"We're on it.", Psycho answered. They gave Renegade a look, and the taller person took off running towards the opposite end of the room.

"Hold on, I just heard someone's footsteps overhead. Whoever you are, you just ran right over us.", Poison yelled. Renegade stopped running and backtracked his steps until he found a small door in the linoleum floor. 

"Hey Psycho, I think I found it!" In an instant, Psycho was hovering right next to Renegade, reaching out to pull up the door and revealed two bedraggled people, one with vibrant red hair and one with slicked-back blonde hair. They were pressed up against each other, since the hole they were in was roughly two feet wide and six or so feet deep. When the door was opened, both of them squinted against the sudden light.

"How long have you been down there? You guys look like shit.", Psycho commented.

"I don't know. A few days, maybe?", Poison answered. Renegade finally connected the voices to the faces; the red one was Poison while the other was Kobra.

"Well then, let's get you two out of here."

"Wait.", Kobra said. "We need to see how much food is in this place. That's why we came here, and we may never get a chance to come back. They're probably going to destroy this place when they realized we know where it is, and it would be a waste not to take their food before they blow it up."

"Kobra's right. We'll raid the place and then get the hell out of here.", Poison said. Psycho rolled their eyes but still helped the two open every single place that food might be hidden in. Renegade joined in on the search, and soon the four of them had collected enough food to feed a small army.

"Christ, how much food do they need down here?", Renegade asked.

"Oh right, I never introduced you guys. Renegade, this is Party Poison and Kobra Kid. You two, this is my friend, Ruby Renegade. I'm teaching him the ways of the Killjoys.", Psycho suddenly blurted out.

"Now you're starting to sound like Fun Ghoul.", Poison complained.

"Nice to meet you, Renegade, but we kind of need to find a way to get this food back to the Diner before we have time for small talk. We were expecting a few cans, maybe a loaf of bread if we're lucky. We weren't really expecting this much, and there's no way we can transport all of it back at once with our bikes.", Kobra said.

"We also have my Impala. That can fit a lot in there, and if we find some bags or something you two can hold some in your laps or something.", Psycho suggested.

"That's great, but where are we gonna find bags? In case you didn't notice-"

"Found some!", Poison yelled, interrupting Renegade as he threw a bunch of burlap sacs next to the pile of food. Renegade sighed, holding his head in his hands as the other two ran over to start filling the sacs with as much food as possible.


"And that should do it!", Psycho said. They closed the trunk of their Impala as carefully as they could to avoid damaging the food that filled it.

"There's still a couple of bags down there that we could fit in the back seat.", Renegade said. Psycho nodded before heading back into the shack and down the stairs. The rest of the bags were surrounding Kobra and Poison, who had started eating the excess food that wouldn't fit in the bags. According to the two siblings, the Dracs hadn't fed them anything at all since they arrived, only giving them water once in a while, and since they didn't want to waste anything Psycho had given them what was left over.

"This is the last of the bags, so you guys better hurry up and-"

"Hey, who's car is that?", a hoarse voice asked from above ground. All four Killjoys froze as footsteps echoed from above them.

"It's not mine, and I don't think it's yours either. Is it Scott's?"

"Scott's car is white, you idiot."

"Then who... Did you leave the door open the last time we left?"

"Turn off the lights!", Psycho whisper-shouted. Renegade darted off across the room and turned off the light switch a millisecond before a masked face appeared in the hole created by the open trap door.

"No. Did you?"

"No."

"Then it looks like we got ourselves a rescue party, Dave. Let's go give them an official BL/ind welcome.", the first voice sneered. Another head joined the one in the opening, and soon Renegade was surrounded by the other three Killjoys.

"Alright, so I have a plan.", Psycho whispered.

"Care to tell us what it is, jackass?"

"Okay, so when they come down here and turn on the light, you three hide while I pretend to be choking on a meatball. When they're not looking, Kobra-" Two ray gun shots cut off their sentence, and Psycho looked to his left to find Renegade holding their ray gun in both of his hands, smoke coming out of the barrel as both Dracs dropped dead on the staircase.

"Nevermind."

"What the fuck? We can barely see shit down here; how did you not miss?", Kobra asked.

"Kobra, you can't aim for shit even in the best conditions. Shut up.", Poison snapped. "Let's just grab the rest of the food and go before BL/ind notices they haven't checked in." Renegade turned the lights back on while Psycho dragged the bodies back upstairs. When Renegade brought his load of food upstairs, he noticed that Psycho had placed them so that they were leaning against each other, making it look like they were asleep (if you ignored the wounds in their stomachs). He hurriedly shoved the food in the backseat of the Impala, with Psycho and Poison on his heels. When the last bag had been loaded into the car, Poison turned off the lights and closed the trap door before hopping onto his motorcycle, Kobra by his side. Psycho got into the drivers seat as Renegade got in the passenger side. 

"We'll follow you guys back to the Diner. That's where we were headed anyway.", Psycho hollered out of their open window. Poison gave him a thumbs up before starting his bike up and roaring down the road. Kobra followed seconds afterwards, and Psycho sighed before pulling out of the sand and dust and back onto the hard asphalt of the road.

Chapter Text

hey guys, milo here

i know its been fucking forever since i've updated this and to be honest i now hate this fic. not because of the concept, because im still danger days fucker #1, but because my writing has improved a lot (both grammatically and like. organizationally? idk how to describe it but im not all over the place when writing) and i feel like i could do better than this. i'll keep this fic up but i'm going to be turning this idea into a series of short fics - don't worry, i'll keep the main ideas from this fic in them. i just dont have the energy to take this fic to where i had imagined it last year (and im also working on another big fic, imagine that).

keep a watch out for the new series! it'll be bigger than this, featuring bands like paramore, the academy is..., and gch! (and obviously more than that, plus the emo trinity. not twenty two assholes tho. dont ask me abt them theyre not going in here). thinking of names is gonna be a bitch, so if you guys have any suggestions for a certain band member's name i'd be glad to hear them :) (obviously i'll credit you for the name in the story)

who knows, maybe i'll rewrite this piece of trash fic one day

either way, thanks for reading! i appreciate and love every single one of you

-milo beckett ❤