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Five Things That Never Happened To Tommy Joe Ratliff

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The Warriors: Never Had To Make His Way Back Home
Tommy hadn't wanted to know how much rolling down a ravine hurt, but it turned out it really hurt. A lot. The best he could do was hope nothing hit his face while everybody continued the roll down just to get away from that fire.

Finally everybody hit the bottom, and never had he been more grateful for the damp patches of grass from rain that morning. Even so, every divot in his skin from gravel and pebbles- "Goddammit, ow-"

"Y'ok, Rat?" he heard Swan from off to the side.

"Been better," he muttered and stood to dust off his arms and shake out his vest. He hit his chest in a coughing fit that was either from the impact or smoke, and some of the other guys around him were doing the same thing. "Sonofabitching..."

"Woulda thought those fruity lookin' Hi-Hats would know how ta toss a cocktail?" Ajax asked once everybody was up.

"We know now, an' now that's just one more blocked path." Tommy looked up, this angle not showing any bits of flame but the sky was certainly brighter. Cops would take a little longer to get to this part of town but they still had to hustle.

"Which means now we gotta take the long way to the subway, through Bowery," Swan's voice was low.

Tommy crossed his arms over his chest. He knew his glare asked Who died and made you leader?, but everybody knew too damn well the unspoken answer was Cleon.

Swan returned the silent glare and touched the dried cut on his cheek from the earlier fight. Another unspoken answer.

"All right. Let's get a move on," he resigned and everybody started the dash off, the faint sounds of shouts in the distance.

***

"Bad news just in from the street, boppers. It seems the Hi-Hats have learned that when you play with fire, you're going to get burned. We're going to need to do a lot better than that to beat down the Warriors before they hit home, won't we? Stay tuned, boppers. Stay tuned."