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is anybody waiting (at home for you?)

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"Oh, fuck," Kellin whispers, eyes wide as he takes in his surroundings. "Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck---"

Even in the dark, he can see that the room is completely and utterly destroyed - the walls are covered layer after layer of graffiti, the ground littered with garbage, cigarette butts, bottles, and a few dirty mattresses. Muffled voices can be heard drifting over from the next room, talking in undertones.

Someone in the shadows coughs, making Kellin flinch and jump back. His foot lands on top a filthy glass pipe with a sudden crunch.

The voices stop.

"H-hello?" he calls out against his better judgement, pulling the sleeves of his cardigan down over his hands and hating the way his voice trembles.

Fuck. He'd honestly just been on his way to see friend Jack, and now he's gone and wandered into a fucking drug den (which apparently do actually exist outside of movies). He's going to be so unbelievably fucked if his mom finds out.

"Who's there?" a gruff male voice asks in reply.

Kellin jumps again, heart pounding in his throat.

"I said, who's there?" the voice repeats angrily, followed by the scrape of a chair and approaching footsteps.

Kellin panics and frantically attempts to flatten himself against one of the disgustingly dirty walls, his pulse hammering as a tall, lean figure enters the room.

"Get out here where I can see you!" he bellows, raising his right arm and holy shit, he has a fucking gun.

Kellin lets out a terrified squeak despite himself, hands automatically raising above his head as the man whirls on him.

"Who are you?" he demands, "Who sent you? Who knows you're here?"

"I don't--" Kellin manages to choke out, "Fuck, I didn't--"

"Mike? What's going on?" a wary voice asks, accompanied by the scraping of another chair. Another man appears in the open doorway, this one in a hoodie. "Who's this?"

"Please, don't hurt me," Kellin begs, "I didn't-- I don't--"

The man with the gun - Mike - rolls his eyes. "Shut the fuck up," he hisses. "Just stay put." Raising his voice, he yells, "Everyone else, get the fuck out! Now!"

A flurry of movement erupts in the shadows, and about twenty people Kellin hadn't even realized we're in the room stagger for the exit.

Once the room clears out, the man with the gun makes a faint gesture and the man in the hoodie steps forward. Kellin flinches, but stays put and allows his wrists to be tugged behind his back and secured with what feels like a zip tie.

"I don't want to die here," he mumbles dazedly. He feels like he's going to throw up. "I can't die here, my dad is going to kill me."

"It's okay, you're probably not going to die," the man in the hoodie chuckles, gently nudging him forward and prompting Kellin to move with a surprisingly gentle hand between his shoulder blades. Mike gestures impatiently with the gun to the doorway beside the one they came out of, then follows Kellin and the other man in. He manages to catch a brief glimpse of what looks like two men in the other room before he's pushed inside.

"Kneel," Mike orders, and Kellin does. "Good. Now stay still and don't talk. If you try and make a move, Tony'll blow your fucking brains out before you can say 'help'."

With one last, pointed look, Mike passes the gun over to the man in the hoodie - Tony - and stalks out again.

For the first time, Kellin gets a good look at the his captor. He's about average height, he supposes, with stretched ears and tattoos all the way up to his neck. Despite the body modifications, though, his dark eyes are kindly in appearance.

"Um. You can talk, if you like," Tony says after a moment, tucking the gun into his waistband and awkwardly shuffling in place. "No screaming, though. Um. I like your sweater, by the way."

Kellin offers a brittle smile and feels tears welling up in his eyes. "I was just going to meet a friend," he says after a moment, "I was just going to meet a friend and I took a wrong turn and now people have guns and I'm going to die in a fucking crack den--"

"Methamphetamine," Tony interrupts. "Sorry, uh. Continue."

"And now I'm going to die in a-- a... drug den, okay, and it's not like anyone will miss me but this is all happening so fast," Kellin babbles, "If I had taken the bus, or, or, asked Jack for a ride then I wouldn't even be here--"

"Hey, hey," Tony frowns, "Just breathe for a second, man. What's your name?"

"Kellin," he mumbles. "My name is Kellin."

"Yeah? Nice. My name's Tony, that's a lot more boring. Here's about when I would usually shake your hand, but." Tony laughs. "Anyways, you're probably not gonna die."

"Really?" Kellin sniffs, eyes round, and god. Some part of his brain must be dimly aware that he's acting like a fucking baby, but most of it is just busy hoping that he's going to get out of here alive. "You're... You're just going to let me go?"

Tony sighs. "Didn't say we'd let you go, just said you weren't gonna die."

Kellin's heart sinks.

"Fuck," Tony mumbles, scrubbing a hand over his face. "I'm sorry, Kellin, okay? But what you gotta understand is that there are a whole lot of people after us, and while we can't have a body count, we can't have witnesses, either." He pauses. "Fuck, man. I'm only 20, you know that? I can't even legally drink, for god's sakes, I can't go to fucking jail."

"I'm sorry," Kellin says quietly after a moment. "I didn't mean to mess anything up, I swear. I was just in the wrong place."

Tony sighs. "I believe you, dude. For now we're just going to have to wait and see what Vic wants us to do with you, though."

"Vic," Kellin echoes, rolling the name over his tongue, "Is that... Was he one of the guys next door?"

Tony nods. "Yeah, him and Jaime."

"So, you guys are pretty close, then," Kellin states after a moment of silence, looking down at his knees.

"They're my family," Tony says simply. "I'd do anything for them."

"Even shoot me?"

"Even shoot you."

"Who's shooting who?" a good-natured voice asks from the direction of the doorway. Kellin tenses and remains still, not even daring to look.

"Hopefully, no one," Tony says lowly. "What's the verdict?"

The man in the doorway sighs and says, "We're bringing him with."

Tony's eyebrows raise, and he motions with one hand for Kellin to stand up. "How long do you think it'll be until someone reports you missing?" he asks.

Kellin starts, surprised at being addressed. "Um. I don't know, maybe two or three days?" he guesses, "I've ran away before, so."

Tony nods. "Great," he says awkwardly. "Fuck, this is such a mess. I'm going to have a word with Mike. Himes, can you get Kellin to the van?"

"Sure," the guy agrees, stepping into Kellin's field of vision as Tony exits the room. He's a little bit shorter than Tony, with dark, spiky hair and a prominent nose. "Hi," he smiles. "Um. Kellin, was it?"

When Kellin doesn't respond, he sighs and rubs his hands together in a way that would be probably funny if Kellin wasn't in the middle of getting kidnapped. "Right. Well. I'm Jaime, and we're gonna take you to our van now, okay?"

Kellin just stares at him.

"Yeah, I'm not intimidating, I know," Jaime says cheerfully. "Mike should really be the one in here doing this, but I guess he and Tony are too busy sucking face to actually get anything done." He makes a face. "Don't tell them I said that. Anyways. I have a gun, keep your hands inside the ride at all times, don't yell, blah blah blah. Got it?"

Kellin nods stiffly, silently wondering how the hell Jaime managed to get into drug dealing.

"You could talk, you know," Jaime offers, stepping forward and spinning Kellin around before guiding him through the doorway and towards the exit. "Ugh, fucking mattresses. Ew."

Kellin squints against the bright sunlight when they finally step outside, inhaling a deep breath of clean air.

"I feel you, buddy," Jaime agrees with a contented sigh, "Try living in there for two days - everything reeks like piss, it's disgusting... Oops, watch your step!"

Kellin rolls his eyes, easily stepping over a tiny puddle less the size of his fist. Jesus Christ, could this guy get any more lame?

"Here's our van!" Jaime cheerfully announces, coming to a stop in front of a red minivan.

"You're joking," Kellin finally says. "This is a joke, right?"

Jaime shakes his head. "Nope, not joking. Also, we can't flip the seat up because we need the storage space, so you're gonna have to sit in the trunk for a little while, okay?"

"Yeah," Kellin says, perplexed at the genuinely apologetic expression Jaime shoot him, "Don't even worry about it, man."

"Phew, alright." Jaime's usual grin returns, and he lets go of Kellin to pop the trunk. "I'll untie your hands so you can climb in and then we'll get you a pair of real handcuffs after, sound good?"

"Why are you asking for my approval?" Kellin asks, confused. "I mean, aren't you supposed to be kidnapping me?"

"Valid point," Jaime shrugs. "Aren't you supposed to be putting up a fight?"