Of Shadows and Broken Hearts
They were there, they had finally done it. They had found the Cintamani Stone, except, they hadn't and it was just amber, fossilized resin, tree sap. And that was when Nathan discovered the truth about it all. The Guardians, Lazarevich, the Tree of Life, everything.
"Bravo Sherlock," and then suddenly he was there, and Nathan had turned around, gun suddenly out and eyes wide and fearful and hurt and still so full of love, when he saw Flynn, hurt and broken and bruised and bleeding, "Well done."
"Flynn… Jesus." Nathan bit out, shaking his head, just barely as he, Chloe, and Elena made a move towards the older man.
"Oh, Harry…" Chloe whispered.
"What s'matter, mate? Disappointed Lazarebitch beat you to it?" Flynn slumped against the pillar behind him, sliding to the ground in pain and Drake felt tears come to his eyes, stepping towards Flynn, towards his lover- because that's what Flynn was, no matter how many times Drake wanted to try and forget or deny it, after Flynn betrayed him the way he had. "I'm afraid you just missed him. I figured I'd stay behind and wait for you to come join my little party."
"What are you talking about?" Nathan questioned, shaking his head again, his body tense and trembling just that little bit. Chloe and Elena didn't notice though, not really, but Flynn did, if the softness in his gaze was anything to go by, and the pain that was just a tad beyond physical.
But Flynn ignored him, or tried to, anyway, "Maybe that's what old Zoran wanted all along, eh? He's cleverer than he looks." It was hard to see him like this, to see Flynn so broken, that Drake wanted to give it all up, say 'Fuck it all' and rush to his lover's side. To grab his face and kiss the living daylights out of him, whisper frantic apologies, his forgiveness and his love, how he never wanted to leave Flynn and how he would never let Flynn go again. But his thoughts, and the impulse, was cut thinly when Elena stepped forward, gun lowered when she did.
"We can still stop him-" she tried, only to get cut off when Flynn laughed, the sound dry and harsh and broken, especially to Drake's ears.
"Elena, don't-" and his own sounded just as rough and broken, but not enough that it was suspicious.
"No, we can help you-" and still, she tried again, always the kind-hearted soul, always trying and never giving up, never backing down. That was the Elena he knew, and the Elena he didn't care too much for right now.
"Sorry, love. This isn't a movie, and you're not the plucky girl who reforms the villain and saves the day. It's just not done like that." Flynn glared lightly at Elena, tilting his head back and shifting with a sharp groan, one that had Drake stepping forward before he even knew what was happening.
"Flynn, listen to me. You-" but Flynn never did want to listen, not when it concerned his own well being, and not when it meant that he had to show just how much Drake meant to him. Drake had cut himself off, though, when he saw Flynn lift something up, showing it to them all, and Chloe and Elena backed off with sharp gasps, when they saw what exactly it was. A grenade.
He stared, fearfully at Flynn, tears leaking now as he shouted to the girls, "Get back!" his voice breaking then, but he refused to move himself, uncaring what the consequences would be.
"Parting gift from Lazarevic. Pity… he took the pin."
And then he couldn't stand it anymore, "Flynn, Harry… please… please don't do this…" he tried to reason, to tell Flynn how much he still loved him, if only just with his gaze. He wanted Chloe and Elena to know it too, but he remembered how FLynn was always so particular about people knowing about their relationship. 'I love you, with all my heart, sweetheart, but you know what they will do, and I won't risk you hurting over something like this.' Drake never cared, but for Flynn he kept it a secret, always for Flynn.
"We've had a good few years, you and I," Flynn spoke up, coughing hard, groaning again, and shakily wiping the blood from his mouth. "Exploring the world, stealing things, taking out the bad guys… it's hard to believe that's all gone now."
"No… no, it… it can still, we can still do all that. Y-you and me… r-right…?" Drake choked out, dropping his gun as he stepped forward.
"Nate!" Elena called for him to get back, to stop, but he refused.
"Damn it Drake, get your arse back here before I-" Chloe growled at him, gun still held up and pointed right at Flynn, wary of what was to happen.
"You should listen to them, love," Flynn murmured when Drake got too close, when the younger man knelt before him, tears crawling down his cheeks and it hurt so much, more than the pain he was in, that he cried too.
"No… no, I won't… I can't leave you like this. We… we'll get through this, together, like… like we always have…" Drake tried, reaching a hand out, but Flynn's grip on the grenade tightened, as if afraid he'd let it go. He refused to, not when Drake was so close, not when he could get hurt.
"Why? Haven't I done enough to hurt you?" Flynn asked, resting back against the pillar, frowning at Drake when all the other man did was shake his head. "I've betrayed your trust and your love for me, at the museum, on the train… God, Nathan… I shot you… and I swear I regret it so much but I… I was blinded."
"I know… I know. I know you regret it and I was hurt, yes, but I forgive you because I love you too much not to. Y-you told me you still loved me, remember? That… that made okay…" Drake trembled as his words spilled from his mouth, his eyes closed tightly and his hands fisted against the floor. "Please… don't do this. We can…" he froze then, when he felt a hand against his cheek, brushing away his tears. "H-Harry…?"
"Shh, sweetheart, it's alright…" Flynn whispered, offering a sad, smile to his lover. "I'm sorry, so sorry… for everything that I've done. But Drake, Nathan… I did all of this because I was blinded by money and by what Lazarevic said he could offer and I should've known the one thing he couldn't offer was what I treasured the most in my heart, what I already had and had lost the second I hurt you. And… and who is to say it won't happen again?" he asked, regretfully and Drake knew what he meant, enough that he panicked, shaking his head sharply, grasping Flynn's wrist tightly.
"No, no…! Please, please Flynn…! You can't do this to me, not now… I love you…!" he cried out, desperate and Flynn slumped his shoulders before sending a look to Chloe, one she knew very well and she took a quick step forward, gun tucking into her pouch.
"I love you too, sweetheart," Flynn whispered when Chloe grabbed Nathan's arm, jerking him back when Drake cried out, protested and fought against her, trying to keep his hold on Flynn and then everything shattered. Flynn dropped the grenade, on accident though he had had every intention on doing so when Drake was safe and not in the path of the explosion, and then Drake and Chloe were suddenly thrown back from the blast, Elena crying out in terror, watching as her friends were thrown against the walls of the room.
Drake was the first to get up, his entire body on fire, but that pain could never match the pain he felt when his heart broke, his cries the only thing he heard through the ringing in his ears.
"No!" he awoke, sharply, chest aflame and lungs hurting as he tried to breath, but he couldn't, crying as the shadows in his room engulfed him. He sat up quickly, clutching at his chest as he spent minutes trying to regain his breath, gritting his teeth and he choked on his tears. When he felt he could finally breathe right, he fell back, hand still clutched at his chest, above his broken heart, the other hand fisting tightly against the cold, empty side of the bed. "He's gone… Drake… get over it…" he cursed to himself, his words harsh as he curled up in the bed, closing his eyes tightly as he tried to go back to sleep.
Gunshots rang through the air, slicing through what had been quiet silence as Drake had attempted to sneak through the temple grounds, wondering, not for the first time, what the hell he was doing here. It was Sully's fault though, he knew, because he could never say no to the old man anymore, even though he had sworn himself off of hunts and cases and jobs since that day… since he'd lost his love and his heart.
"Come on kid, just one last go for old times sake?"
"No… Sullivan… I told you I'm done."
"I-I know, but… it's a quick job, I promise. Go in, grab the artifact, go out, no harm done? I… I know that you haven't done anything since Flynn died but-"
"Okay. Just stop… I'll do it."
It had been a dirty move on Sullivan's part, even if he pretended not to know. Mentioning the last job he ever did. But Drake just wanted Sully to leave him alone, so he agreed.
Nothing ever went their way anymore though, because people were there, with big guns, looking for the artifact Nathan was supposed to grab. So what was there to do? Get shot at, of course, after a pathetic attempt at sneaking around on his part. But his head, nor heart, hadn't been in it for a long time.
"Find him and kill him!" one of the goons shouted as he rested behind a broken wall, gun close to his chest as he tried to get back into it all.
Drake just had to grab the treasure and then get out of there, and then he'd be done. Sully wouldn't bother him anymore and he could be free to live his life how it had been, surrounded by darkness and loneliness.
His heart clenched at that thought and he gritted his teeth together, eyes closed tightly. He was so lost that he hadn't even heard the shout, and he didn't even heard the clang as the grenade crashed against the stone ground beneath his feet.
When he had opened his eyes, he'd barely even had a second to react and he tried to jump away, but the blast came without another warning, throwing him back against the wall with a cry.
They'd gone through it all, all the cliffs and the rocks and the small spaces, bantering back and forth with annoyance and anger and frustrated fondness in their voices, until they had come to the room they had been looking for, the door closing tightly behind them.
In the room, they stood, tense and uncertain, the strange cylinders and the symbols barely registering in Drake's mind until Flynn spoke. "So what do you have to do? What do we have to do?" he asked and Drake sighed, regaining his bearing as he looked around, frowning.
"Just wait here. As usual, I'll take care of everything." he muttered, smiling just barely when Flynn replied with a 'Would you?' that was slightly sarcastic and every bit of exasperated fondness that he felt. When Nathan walked around, he paused when he looked up, and around, at the cylinders above the symbols in the metal grates.
"Those symbols- I know those symbols…" he said, making his way over to one side as he climbed the grates. It took a few minutes, but eventually he had it all right, the symbols and cylinders in their right place, matching the ones in his book, and then something popped out of the ground, a wheel that he knew had something to do with the rotating platforms in the previous room.
But, jumping down, he barely had time to do anything about it when Flynn suddenly grabbed his arm. "Nate…" he whispered and the treasure hunter froze, trembling slightly at the tone of the other's voice.
"C'mon, let's… m-make yourself useful-"
"I'm not letting you run away this time," Flynn cut him off and Drake jerked his head up, glaring sharply at Flynn, jerking his arm back.
"You won't let me run away?! What the fuck!? You're the one who betrayed me, Flynn, not the other way around, okay!?" he snapped and Flynn flinched, but appeared no less resolute.
"I know." he murmured, sighing as he ran a hand through his hair. "I know, okay? And I'm sorry, for everything. But that doesn't change anything, I still love you, Nathan. You. Not Chloe, not anyone else, just… just you." he pleaded and Drake tensed, backing away as he shook his head.
"No… no. You shot me… Flynn, I almost died because of that bullet wound and because of that trainwreck! Don't you understand? I spent three months in prison because of you, because you betrayed me, and then I almost died because you fucking shot me!" he snapped, tears threatening to spill as he finally got it all off his chest. "Do you have any idea how I felt?! I loved you… hell, I still love you and I don't have any reason as to why, because you're an asswhole that only cares for himself and I-"
Flynn cut him off, again, but this time with a heart-melting, fierce kiss that had Drake forgetting everything in that instant, his knees going weak as he clung to Flynn for dear life, tears flowing freely now.
When the kiss broke off, he clutched as tight as he could to Flynn, "I… I love… you…" he whispered and Flynn breathed out, nodding his head as he hugged Drake tight to him.
"I know… I know sweetheart and I'm sorry, I'm so sorry for what I did." he said, pressing his cheek to Nathan's head. "I won't beg forgiveness, because I know what I did was wrong and I don't expect you to forgive me for it, ever. I won't ever… ever forget… because I hurt you, love, I… I hurt you."
Nathan cut him off this time with a kiss, eyes closed tight, and he swallowed hard. "Do you mean it?" Flynn nodded his head, sharp and desperate. "If… if you truly mean it… please… Flynn, stop all of this…"
"I can't. I'm sorry, but I can't. Someone has to be there to stop Lazarevic, and I won't let him hurt you, I promise." he said, firm and resolute and Drake growled, shaking his head sharply.
"No, Flynn, no… you can't…!" he tried, but Flynn stopped him, pressing his thumb against Drake's lips to silence him, brushing it against Drake's bottom lip when the tears fell once more.
"Flynn… please…?" Drake begged, voice quiet. "I… I forgive you… please…"
"He's over here!"
"O-okay… but… but tell me one thing…"
"Let's put him out of his misery," snickers were heard with the voices and the cocking of a gun, but Drake didn't want to pull out of his dream.
It felt nice, a feeling he hadn't felt in a long time.
"Tell me you love me."
He opened his eyes and blinked hard against the unforgiving light, staring at the men standing over his body, a gun pointed at his heart. "Do it…" he croaked, glaring defiantly at them, the strength fleeing from his body, but not from his spirit.
He would welcome death with open arms.
"I do, sweetheart. I love you with all my heart and will till the day I day and forever more."
He closed his eyes, letting out one last breath, tears gathering at his eyes, and finally, the gun went off.
"I love you too…"