Chapter Twenty One
Fifth Avenue spent the night underneath the bridge just out of town, no one slept, instead they all sat watching the crimson colours of the fire flickering across the wood.
By the first light of the next day Flutter had grown tiresome of waiting “we can’t let them keep doing this to us” she says angrily “every time they attack we run away with our tails tucked between our legs, to tell you the truth I’m sick of it and it’s time we fight back, show them that you can’t attack Fifth Avenue or The Replacements and get away with it.”
Flicker stands up and gives her a round of applause “sit down Flicker” Doc orders and he complies almost immediately “we will not be attacking The Association, hurting them would make us no better than them” he glares towards Flutter “you don’t fight fire with fire, that is not what we do around here” turning around Doc walks towards where he had sat that night “we are going to stay here until I find a base. do not argue over this Flutter, my word is final”
Flutter slumped down beside Flicker pouting “at this rate we’re all going to end up like your old team” Flicker whispers under his breath, but Doc heard and turned quickly to see who had said it.
“Excuse me?” Doc asks and he storms towards Flicker in a dangerous manner “You have absolutely no right to bring up my old team” Doc lifts Flicker from his chair “you are nothing compared to them and you never will be”" Flicker gulps in fear and nods.
Hartley sighs and stands up pushing the two men apart “stop it, everyone” she shouts “I am sick of the bickering, we’re falling apart can’t you see that” she looks between the three of them, all of them showing signs of fear. “Flicker what you said was wrong” he nods “and Doc both Flicker and Flutter are right, we can’t keep running away from this, running away from our problems caused Shooter to go rouge and killed Justin, Kit and Bullet”, Doc got ready to argue “do not argue, yes they died in attack but it’s because we didn’t deal with The Association earlier.” Doc shuts his mouth and scowls.
“I won’t condone an attack on The Association” he says sadly before walking off.
Hartley joined Flicker and Flutter “look I think you’re right, I believe that we need to bite back” she looks over her shoulder to Doc before back to Flicker and Flutter “what have you got in mind?” Flutter licks her lips slightly.
“Okay so I am not completely certain on the fine details but back when we were underneath the bowling alley, I was doing some cleaning and I saw a bomb, it was huge and looked as if it could cause some serious damage” Flicker nods slowly. “I thought we could set a trap, lure them in and then when everyone is in place” she pauses for affect “KABOOM!” she screams jumping into the air an flailing her arms around.
Both Flicker and Hartley fall back in shock “how are we supposed to lure them into a trap exactly?” Hartley asks in a doubtful tone.
Flutter scratches the back of her head “as I said, I haven’t got any of the fine details down yet, that’s what I need you guys for” she smiles shyly and Flicker strokes his chin thoughtfully.
Flicker stands up and throws his fist into the air “I have an amazingly brilliant plan that has a 60% success rate” he smirks “now let’s go!” he shouts running from the camping area.
“do you know what his plan is?” Flutter asks Hartley who shakes her head in reply “do you have any idea where she runs off to?” Hartley shakes her head again and both girls turn in the direction Flicker ran and chased after him.
The girls caught up to Flicker as he ran down the road heading towards the old base, on their way Hartley passed her old work. While passing she looked into the shopping centre, her old boss looked angered as he mopped the floors “come on” Flutter urges grabbing Hartley’s wrist and dragging her slowly behind her “we’ll lose him again if we don’t hurry up” she smiles cheekily.
Soon the three were at the entrance to the bowling alley, both Flutter and Hartley ran into Flicker’s back as he stopped in the doorway “ouch” Hartley whines as she rubs her forehead, Flicker turns to face them and signs for them to be silent.
“Just follow my lead” he winks and the girls nod. They all walk into the basement giving a small nod to the manager of the bowling alley as they entered. “Okay guys, we just grab what is important and then meet Doc at the new base” Flicker spoke in a slightly louder tone than normal.
Hartley and Flutter look to each other with an understanding look “gotcha” Flutter says with a smirk as she leads both Flicker and Hartley to where she remembered hiding the bomb ‘in here’ she mouthed opening the door to a janitor’s closet.
The room was filled with cupboards which contained bottles, sprays and washers, Flutter headed straight towards the furthest cupboard and ushered for Hartley and Flicker to move out of her way. Once they were clear Flutter tipped over a cupboard “Jesus Flick, watch your step” Flutter yells as she turns and pulls a box out from a hole in the wall, when she turns back around Hartley and Flicker see a sphere with cords running everywhere.
The three then walked to the main hall, every now and then grabbing something they wished to keep, only thing Hartley grabbed was the old picture of Fifth Avenue which now sat on the dining room floor “is that all?” Hartley asks loudly.
“Yeah” Flutter replies.
“Got everything” Flicker says with a light groan, the weight of the bomb beginning to have an affect over him “we’ll meet Doc back at the base, he called saying he had news about The Associations plan” he gives Hartley a wink.
“But I hate the way that old pool smells” she whines.
“Suck it up princess” Flutter laughs as she walks out, both Flicker and Hartley give each other happy smiles as they followed her. Once they were a far enough distance Flutter looks to Flicker “do you think it worked?” she asks and Flicker shrugs.
“There’s only one way to find out” he smiles happily as he skipped down the street.
“Do you think he knows how insane he looks?” Hartley mutters to Flutter as the girls shifted the weight between each other, Flutter smirks.
“Definitely” Hartley looked over to Flutter and smiles as she sees her facial expression, it was the one she used to see in Bullet and occasionally even herself.
The pool in which they were using hadn’t been used in years, although Hartley could still smell the chlorine and if she closed her eyes she could hear the children laughing, the splashing of the water and the dull sound of chatter in the background.
“Hartley” Flicker says and she turns to him with a smile “the bomb is in place, are you ready?” Hartley lets out a shaky breath and pulls Flicker into a hug.
Tears began to pool in her eyes but she had to maintain her calm “Are you sure I can’t help?” she asks and he rubs her back soothingly.
“Destroying this building and putting my own and Flutter’s life at risk will get me in enough trouble as it is, put Doc’s crown jewel in danger and he’ll kill me himself” Hartley laughs, although sad.
Hartley pulls away and nods “okay, just make sure you and Flutter get away in time and stay in contact” Flicker nods and raises his walkie talkie
“Roger that Hartley” he speaks through it winking at her.
“Okay get lost weirdo” she pushes him away, with one last deep breath she quickly runs towards the broken building which sat lonely across the road. Once she was inside she ran to the top floor and lay down in a perfect position to watch over the pool. “I’m in position” she speaks into the walkie talkie.
The other side remained silent for two minutes “me too” Flutter says and Hartley looks up to see Flutter crouched on the roof of the pool building, her firey red hair standing out amongst the paling grey building.
“Me three!” Flicker squeals “lets do it” Hartley’s eyes went back down to Flicker who stood in the centre of the longest pool, although he was too far away for her to see him clearly.
Two hours later Flicker let out a breath and rubbed his hands together to stay warm “I don’t know if this worked” he says, his tone was obviously bored.
“It’s only been two hours Flicker, calm down” Hartley reassures before checking her watch “but we have reached our half hourly check, Flicker are you alive?” she asks and he rolls his eyes.
“No, I’m dying in horrible pain” he says sarcastically “yes, I’m fine, perfectly fine”
Hartley chuckles “well I am alive as well, Flutter just waiting on you darling” they wait three minutes “Flutter…” still no reply “shit” she mutters “Flicker you need to get out of there”
“Too late” he says before dropping his walkie talkie to the floor and raising his hands up in surrender, Hartley’s worried voice screaming through the device “Shooter let her go” he says in a low and dangerous tone.
Shooter chuckles, his face was shaven just as it had been before, his hair was neatly cut and styled and his clothes were clean. “Now, now, now, Flicker is that any way to treat your elders? I mean technically speaking we we’re all on the same side, once” Shooters arm tightens around Flutters body, Flicker steps closer “I wouldn’t move to close boy” he warns and moves to show the blade which was pressed against her neck “show me the bomb” he orders.
Flicker froze “what bomb?” he says slowly.
“Don’t play smart with me?” Shooter growls “Give me the bomb before I slice your girlfriends pretty little neck” Flicker gulps and backs up to the old pool cover and moves it revealing a large spherical bomb.
“Don’t do anything rash okay” he says backing away from the gun “please, just leave Flutter alone”
Flutter groans and Flicker only just notices the blood which was running down her back, Shooter had cut her wings “Don’t be an idiot Flick” she coughs “run” Flutter chokes and Shooter knees her in the back making her scream in agony.
“Further away” Shooter orders as he lightly cuts Flutters neck, Flicker obeys quickly and steps back.
He gulps “now give me Flutter” he says steadily.
“No” Shooter smiles.
“We had a deal!” Flicker screams.
Shooter chuckles “we had a deal, the deal was that if you gave me the bomb I wouldn’t slit your pretty little girlfriends neck, I never break my deals” he spits “don’t ever test my loyalty” Shooter sighs “what was your plan, wait for The Association to show up, fly to safety as your bomb kills us all, we aren’t idiots it was such an obvious trap” he shakes his head as embarrassed.
Flicker runs a hand through his messy hair “W-why did you come if you new it was a trap?” he stutters quietly.
Shooter smiles “I’ll show you” he twists the arm of Flutter forcing her to the ground where he handcuffed her to the bomb and set it off “this” Flicker looks to the bomb and watched as the numbers counted down.
2.51… 2.50… 2.49…
“No!” Flutter shouts trying to removes the handcuffs from her wrist “take it off!” he squeals to Shooter and he smirks.
Flicker charges at Shooter but Shooter easily knocks him down, Shooter reaches down and grabs the walkie talkie ‘Hello Hartley’ he speaks.
“Shooter let them go!” she screams and Shooter’s smile slightly falters.
“Because you need to know how it feels to have your family destroyed” he says; his voice cracking as he does, Shooter drops the walkie talkie and crushes it beneath his foot.
A groan loudly echoes from the bottom of the pool and Shooter angrily turns to Flicker who was slowly crawling towards Flutter “pathetic” he mutters walking over and stomping on Flicker’s legs crushing them.
Flicker screamed loudly and Flutter flinched.
59… 58… 57…
Shooter walked to the edge of the pool and sat down. His hand reached into his pocket and he pulled a pack of cigarettes lighting one, in his other hand he held a locket which had once belonged to Bullet, it held three photographs, Bullet and his pictures where on the edges and their sons image in the centre. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to cry.
Flicker begins to pull himself towards Flicker, his legs dragging behind him like dead weights “it’s okay” he whispers to Flutter wo was currently sobbing.
When he reaches her his hands move up and begin to fumble with the handcuffs which attached her to the bomb “Flick, stop” she whimpers softly “Flick!” she says louder, her hands grabbing his “Just stop it”
“I can’t-I can’t let you die” he says quietly.
“I know” she says smiling.
Both of their eyes water “Flutter I-I-I” Flutter cuts him off.
“Flick” she says sobbing “I know” Flutter clasps his hand tightly in fear “I know” Flicker and Flutter rest their foreheads against each-others “Till the end” she whispers.
5… 4… 3… 2… 1…
Hartley was running across the road when the bomb went off, the pool was gone within seconds. She went flying back and her head smashed against the concrete of the building.
Everything around her went dark.
“You’ve done it again” Bullet’s voice echoes through the darkness.
“You just can’t help yourself, can you?” Gretchen’s voice joined.
A hand brushed over the back of her neck “you may not have pulled the trigger, but if you had never been here we would all still be breathing” Shooter whispers, his warm breath fanning the back of Hartley’s neck.
“I thought you cared about me” Justin snorts.
“Hartley!” Doc’s voice calls “Hartley!” he calls again “oh god” was the last thing she heard before an illuminating white light and screeching sound overtook the room.