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Fall into the Dead of Night

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The Boy appeared in a darkened alleyway with a crackling of electricity and a flash of blue light, crashing into a dumpster in an unceremonious heap. He groaned, slowly shifting and sitting up.

 

“Shit.” He hissed, squeezing his eyes shut and clutching his head. “ Shit .” 

 

The Boy was filthy, dust caking his clothes and lining his face. His clothes were worn and tattered, the many stitchings and patches indicated great care and resolve to make them last. On his feet were clunky combat boots laced halfway up his shins, the soles close to worn through. 

 

He took another deep breath and opened his eyes, slowly clambering out of the dumpster and landing on unsteady feet. Pieces of glass rained down on his shoulders form the broken aviator goggles adorning his head but The Boy ignored them, shouldering his backpack and staggering out of the alleyway and onto the sidewalk 

 

The Boy caught sight of his reflection in a shop window and froze, eyes widening. After a moment he blinked and shook his head, bending down and cuffing his now too-long pants and continued on, setting his sights on the newspaper vending machine on the corner. 

 

The sidewalk and streets were deserted, a car rushing past provided the only noise. The Boy jumped as it drove past, seemingly unused to the noise of the modern world. He finally made it to the corner, and he yanked open the lid and pulled out a newspaper, scanning frantically for the date.

 

March 2nd, 2006.

 

The Boy released a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. He slumped against the newspaper stand, all his strength seemingly gone. He stayed like that for a few minutes, before inhaling sharply and standing.

 

The newspaper was placed in his backpack and the backpack was swung back onto his back. The Boy’s hands tightened around the straps as he walked a few steps forward to the shop window, examining his reflection closely. A tattoo of an Umbrella peeked out from underneath his sleeve, and The Boy immediately tugged it back down. 

 

Figures approached him from behind. They were clad entirely in black and clutching automatic rifles, and they formed a semi-circle behind The Boy.

 

“That was quick.” The Boy commented, not turning around.

 

“You really thought they’d stopped monitoring you once they dropped you back into the Apocalypse? I thought they said you were a genius.” The man closest to The Boy answered, and The Boy laughed as he slowly slid his backpack off his back and placed it gently on the ground beside him, never facing away from the window. “Anyways, aren’t you supposed to be sixteen? If it weren’t for the tracker I’d’ve just passed you over as another little tyke going to kindergarten.”

 

The Boy smiled, shark-like. “Well, you know what they say. Time travel is a toss of the dice.”

 

“Is that so.” The man didn’t seem amused, but The Boy was still smiling. “Well let’s roll those dice again and get you back to headquarters.”

 

“I was under the impression that the Commission was finished with me after they dumped me half dead into the Apocalypse.” The Boy drew something from his pocket, but kept it concealed in front of him.

 

“They want to talk.”

 

“I’ve got nothing to say.”

“It doesn’t have to go this way. You think I want to shoot a kid?” The man took another step closer towards The Boy. “ Go home with that on my conscience?”

 

The Boy’s smile didn’t budge. “I wouldn’t worry about that.” He finally turned around, holding a knife loosely in his left hand. The men closest to him took a fearful step back, and The Boy’s smile grew even wider.

 

“You won’t be going home.”

 

-

 

Half a mile away, a girl bolted upright in her bed, gunshots yanking her from sleep. She turned on her lamp, sighing when the alarms started blaring, bathing her room and the hallway in red. She could hear footsteps pounding down the corridor, and she slid out of bed, padding over to her door to watch the Academy assemble.

"Vanya go back to bed." Diego bit out as he rushed past her, slinging his knife harness around him. "We don't need you."

 

"Ignore him, but do try and get some sleep, you look pale." Ben said as he arrived outside Vanya's door, tugging on his zipper.

 

Vanya batted his hands aside and pulled it up for him, scowling at their new height difference. "Not as pale as you've been looking. Stay safe."

 

"Always do." Ben smiled at her, then stepped a few feet to the left and banged on Klaus' door. "Get up!"

 

"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Klaus stumbled out, clearly high, trying to stuff his arm into the outfit. "Did this thing shrink or what?"

 

Ben sighed, and helped Klaus guide his arm into the appropriate hole. "How much did you smoke? You need to sober up before Dad noticed."

 

"Only a teensy eensy little bit." Klaus giggled as he staggered down the hallway towards the stairs. "Come on Benny boy, let's stop these robbers!"

 

"Stay safe." Vanya repeated to Ben, who nodded and kissed her forehead.

 

"You too. Bye!" He turned and ran to catch up with Klaus, who was having trouble figuring out how to descend the staircase. Vanya watched them for a moment, then turned and shut her door.

 

Three years since Five vanished.

 

Two years until she could leave.

 

She heard more gunshots pierce the air and she sighed, climbing back into bed and grabbing a book.

 

There was no way she'd be able to sleep tonight.