Fifth Avenue - The Replacements

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Chapter Twenty Four

They placed Justin in the back of the car, his lips were blue and his body continued to tremor “what’s wrong with him?” Hartley asks lightly stroking his hair.

Doc glances back to them before looking back to the road “he was dead, he should still be dead, Justin was forced back from death then left with no control of his body for two years” he explains.

When they reached the bowling alley Doc immediately ran Justin to a free bed, he moved his hands to Justin’s chest and began to heal.

Hartley sat by his side and held his hand tightly in one of her own, the other gripping her wound “Be okay” she whispers.

An hour latter Justin fell asleep and Hartley Doc left the room, Doc moved to Hartley and placed his hand on her stomach healing her“I haven’t forgotten” she hisses, trying to cover the pain she was suffering “What Kit said, I have a brother?” she asks angrily.

Doc looks to his feet in shame “Yes” he answers, Doc looks up to Hartley with sad eyes “his name is Conor”

“Tell me what you know” Hartley growls and Doc slowly lead her to his office “his name is Conor Jones, he was put into foster care at the young age of 6 after his-” he pauses “your parents died in a car accident, he’s now fifteen years of age and was born with hair as red as a firetruck”

Hartley looks over Doc’s shoulder, the image of her apparent brother on the screen “does he have…?” her voice trails off.

“Most likely” Doc nods.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asks sadly “you know how much family means to me, but you withheld this information from me, how long have you known?” Hartley turns Doc’s chair so he is facing her.

He stumbles slightly “look-” Doc looks into Hartley’s eyes and sighs “two years” he admits “I couldn’t tell you and I don’t regret my decision to not tell you, if I had told you, you would’ve left in search of him and would’ve left us- you would have left me”

Hartley balls up her hands “how dare you!” she screams pushing him back “I thought I had no family and you let me feel that way because you didn’t want to be left alone!” she takes a deep breath to calm herself “do you know anything else that I should, anymore hidden family members I should know about?”

Doc chuckles to himself “No” he says.

“When Justin is well enough we’re leaving” Hartley says walking back towards where Justin slept.

Hartley saw Justin sitting up when she walked into his room “you should be sleeping” she whispers as she runs to his side. He coughs then smiles at her.

“You and Doc are very loud” he says weakly “are you okay?” he asks grabbing her hand and kissing it lightly.

She smiles at Justin “you shouldn’t worry about me” Hartley laughs “how are you?” she asks in return.

Justin nods “as good as can be expected” he moves his hands to Hartley’s face “you got older Blue” he says smiling and Hartley smiles slightly taking a seat beside him. “How long was I gone?” he asks.

“Two, almost three years” she tells him and he looks down.

“So, you’re seventeen?” he asks and she nods “did you have a raging birthday party?” he asks chuckling slightly before stopping “are you ready to go?” he whispers.

“You’re not well enough to leave yet” Hartley counters and Justin shrugs.

“I’m fine” he replies “I don’t want Doc to come near me again, especially if he makes you feel so uncomfortable” Hartley shakes her head “don’t argue with me Blue, get your stuff and we’ll leave in ten” Justin pushes away and she leaves the room with great hesitation.

She grabbed her clothes and shoved them into a satchel bag, once her draws were empty she rant to Justin’s room, he looked skinny and pale. His body was shaking and he had a blanket pulled over his shoulders “Justin…” Hartley says running to him “we’ll leave tomorrow, please just rest tonight” she pleads.

“Only if you lie with me” he says and she nods, Justin lies back and Hartley lies beside him lightly placing her head on his chest, listening to the slow beat of his heart.

Justin moves his hand and holds Hartley’s, that night only Justin slept, Hartley was too afraid to close her eyes as she thought when they opened Justin would be gone and yesterday would have been nothing but a dream.

“Don’t leave” Doc says as he stood in the doorway, Hartley turns to face him “I’m sorry, please” he pleads.

Hartley moves Justin’s arm from around her waist “You know I can’t” she whispers “you lied to me, I saw you as the father I never had but always wanted and you didn’t tell me I had a brother”

“I couldn’t let you leave” he says “you would have gone-”

She cuts in “no ifs or buts or whys Doc” she growls in a quiet tone “he’s what Wisdom meant when she said she didn’t need me anymore isn’t he?” she stands from the bed “Conor is The Association’s plan B” Doc nods “I have to find him before they do, I mean just imagine if they’d found me before you guys had”

Doc scowls “we always knew-”

“But what if you hadn’t!” she shouts before covering her mouth, Justin stirred in his sleep and she walked hurriedly over to him “be honest” she whispers “will he survive if we leave?” Doc nods.

“He should, but he will be weak and sick for a very long time, he has been basically dead for 2 years” she sighs and brushes the hair from his face “be careful Hartley” he says.

When Hartley turned, Doc was gone, she smiles to herself and turns back to Justin.

Later in the day both Justin and Hartley got onto a bus, as Justin was still too ill to teleport them. Tightly Hartley grasped a list which contained all the places where Conor had been seen within the past year, a list which Doc had kindly left out for them.

Hartley smiled widely, she had a little brother and she was going to find him.


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