His Pain

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Loss And Gain

Jacklin stirred, waking up from his slumber. He felt numb, tired, and sore. Sleep did help him, but not enough to fight off the fatigue that was settling in.

Feeling the breath of Katelyn on his left shoulder, he turned to check her. She was still asleep. Her breathing was steady, her body rising up and down.

How long have we slept? Jacklin thought. He looked up at the sky to see that it was dark. The little stars that were visible were hard to see and small in number - especially against the stark light of the city below.

I should check around, Jacklin thought, and... find Tracer. If we stay here too long, someone could stumble upon us and find us.

That was true for the most part. It was a wonder how no one had come this way to find them. Jacklin turned over to Katelyn and shook her shoulders - slightly at first - but more fervently when she wouldn't wake.

"Urgh..."

She groaned and opened her eyes, turning away from Jacklin.

"Get up Katelyn."

Katelyn opened her eyes and turned to Jacklin, her eyes immediately filled with worry. When she slept, she looked peaceful. But now - when awake - she just seemed worried. At least for most of the time.

"Did something happen?" She asked, her voice quiet and raspy.

Jacklin stood up slowly and peered over the trash can, looking to their left where they had come from, then to their right where they might head down sooner or later.

"No. We need to go find Tracer." Jacklin answered.

"But we don't know where he is."

"I know. But we got to find him."

"How about my father?" Katelyn cut in.

Jacklin spun to face her. "Yes, we'll find him too. But first, we have to find my uncle. He'll help us in helping your father get out of there."

There was an edge to Jacklin's voice. Yes, he knew that his original goal was to help Katelyn avoid the government and to help her father leave their home - but Jacklin wanted to find Tracer. Needed to. His uncle was the only trace and only living part of his father's past. Jacklin didn't even know where he was anymore - dead or alive.

"Fine."

Katelyn got up and brushed herself off. Jacklin could tell she was annoyed.

"Then where to first, Sherlock?" Katelyn asked, sarcasm dripping from her words.

Jacklin buried his growing irritation at the girl. I'm trying to help you, you fool. Jacklin ignored the thoughts in his mind and answered, giving them a destination to head for.

"We leave this place and head back the way we came."

"There will be enforcers crawling around I bet," Katelyn said, "You think it'll help with us running into the city where our escape took place only a day ago?"

"We still have to go to the city to find your father! Don't you think that's kind of the same?" Jacklin growled impatiently. Then he snapped "Then what do you suppose we do? To go find your father instead?"

Katelyn bit her lip and curled up her palms into fists.

"This isn't what this is about," She said quietly, her words covering the air in a layer of tension. Jacklin didn't break the stare that she gave him.

"Then you want us to stay here and wait?" Jacklin snapped.

Katelyn said nothing. Neither did Jacklin.

"I should never have followed you," Katelyn finally said.

Jacklin gritted his teeth, "you would have died without me."

"How do you know? How do you know I don't have somewhere else to go?"

"I don't. But seeing you hesitate at that one time when we had to run away from the enforcers makes me think that maybe you're not strong enough."

"Shut up. I've endured a lot to know things."

Then without another word, Katelyn started to walk away - the same way that Urak had taken the day before. Jacklin watched her leave. Once she was gone, he turned and ran down the opposite side, back into the city.

He didn't need her. He could do this on his own.


Jacklin crept along the side of the buildings, keeping in the dark. The moon was high up in the sky and still, there were a few people walking about - most of them enforcers. They were just as Jacklin had remembered them, jacked, big, strong, and just bulging with muscles. Despite all of them crawling around, Jacklin was sneaky and he knew places where he knew he wouldn't be seen.

Jacklin had been walking around the city, looking for Tracer. He'd checked any possible places that he might've found or stayed, but it was all in vain. He couldn't find him. Soon enough, he knew, that the sun would rise again and that he would need to find a place to stay at. He might be able to go back to the same spot - next to the trash can - but it would also be risky. If the enforcers haven't checked there yet, they just might.

Jacklin shook the thought away from his head. He'll think about it later. Just focus on the task at hand. He continued to creep along, glancing over his shoulder occasionally to check if anyone was following him. Eventually, he found a small spot to sit, to regain his slowly decaying composure.

Where in the world is Tracer? Where is he?

Jacklin sighed in anger and thumped his fist against the ground beside him. He was tired and frustrated. He continued to hit the ground, trying his best to vent out his anger, all the while trying to keep as quiet as he could. He rested his hand back onto his lap. His hand was sore; his skin turning slightly red. He growled and got up. Might as well continue.

So, Jacklin did just that; He moved on, trying to find his uncle that seemed nowhere to be seen.


"Water."

Jacklin cursed himself for getting caught. All his food, water, and spare clothes were in the bag that he had carried before the enforcers had stripped it away from him. Luckily, however, he was able to find an old rag of sorts and cover himself with it, passing him off as a beggar on the street. By mid-noon, he was able to afford some water and a bit of food. He was starving and thirsty.

Walking into the store, he bought a bottle of water and a prepackaged sandwich. The clerk beeped the items into the system and accepted the money, all the while crinkling his eyes and nose at him.

Jacklin walked out without a second thought and left, back to the alley that Urak had led them to the day before. He returned to the same spot and ate, drinking greedily. As he did, he started to wish Katelyn was here. Or just someone.

Then he heard voices, coming from the way he had come. He was once again sitting by the trash can and he shrugged the rag back on, bowed his head, kept him in disguise.

Then he saw the feet appear in front of him. Then a hand. It reached down and yanked him up by the chin.

Oh, I'm so done... I'm dead... This is it.

Then... there was laughter.

"Hahah~ I finally found you!"

Looking up at the man before him, Jacklin broke into a smile. He knew this guy. The familiar lines on his face and the comforting smile he could recognize from anywhere. It was Tracer. He was back.

And they were together again.




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