A Death in the Family

Part VII - Hell

Chapter 16

Rabbit stared in disbelief as the two men laughed. He'd failed to hit their assigned target and they were laughing. It didn't make sense and yet– he'd done more damage to the family in that one failure than anything Brighton could have ever dreamed of. He looked at Joey and saw the confusion in his eyes.

He didn't know yet.

Rabbit felt the rage building as the spotter nodded towards Joey. "Get him out of here... I'll meet you at the rendezvous point."

"You... ain't takin' him nowhere!" He growled.

The two men may have missed the deadly tone in his voice– but Joey didn't. He gave a single nod and threw himself into his tormentor.

Rabbit followed through clubbing the man with the stock of the Dragonov. Then he was standing between the spotter and Joey.

"Stand down soldier," the spotter ordered as he drew his service weapon. "This one is loaded."

"You think I care? You ain't takin' him..."

He stiffened as he heard the door open behind him– he felt his rage double. He should have known they'd stick around– they wanted Joey.

"Touch the kid and you'll never be dead enough..." He said without turning around. He couldn't feel anything when Boomer answered his threat.

"No worries Brah. We got everything covered on this end."

"Boom... get Joey out of here... I'm going to finish up in here." His voice was ice cold– and completely in control.

"Rabbit... its okay... its over..."

"No Kenny– this ain't nowhere near over... "

Rabbit's eyes narrowed as he stared at the spotter. "You going to wish you'd killed me the first time son..."

Joey nearly passed out from relief when he heard Boomer and Kenny, but there was something in their voices. Something that said it wasn't over, that something very bad had happened...

He shook his head as everything seemed to swim in front of him for a moment.

"Joey... stay with me..." Kenny urged as he removed the gag.

"Kenny? Boomer... when did you..." He looked around and then down at the gunman. He winced slightly as he tried to focus.


He could hear the worry in Kenny's voice and tried to reassure him, but the room was fuzzing out again.

"Dammit Joey... stay with me..."

Boomer reacted to the stress in Kenny's voice– catching Joey before he fell again. He waited alternating his concentration between his brothers and the door.

Kenny looked at him and shook his head. Something was very wrong. He set Joey down where Kenny could work on him and took a covering position.

"Rabbit... we got trouble."

"More than you know..." Rabbit answered as he moved closer to the spotter.

"Rabbit, they did something to Joey... we got to get him out of here."

"Fine... I'll catch up..."

Boomer looked at Rabbit and then back down at Kenny and Joey.

"Sorry, Brah, not this time."

Boomer moved forward and drew a bead on the man. "Now. One time and one time only. Drop the gun or I drop you."

The man looked at Rabbit and snorted. "You're bluffing..."

Boomer fired two shots. "Not today."

Before the man had even dropped Boomer was facing off with Rabbit. "We gotta move Rabbit. Now... you're coming with us or I'm knocking you out and carrying you outta here. And its going to be a lot easier if you're moving under your own power since I'm going to be carrying Joey."

Rabbit looked up at Boomer. "I ain't comin..."

"We got injured and the area isn't secure. We need to regroup."

Rabbit shook his head. "We got dead... and there ain't no regrouping from that."

Boomer looked at Rabbit and realized just what had happened, confusion and shock showing in his eyes. That one moment was all it took for Rabbit.

He turned away. "I ain't coming back."

Boomer looked from Kenny to Rabbit unsure what to do.

"Rabbit... we need you. We gotta..."

"You don't gotta do anything ‘Brah'. You go back... I can't. I can't make this right..."

Boomer looked at the sniper rifle and then at the two men on the floor. "You didn't have a choice..."

"Yeah I did... and it got Geoff dead...."

"Their doing, not yours."

"I pulled the trigger."

"To save Joey– and he still needs you. Dammit Rabbit we aren't going to do this now."

Rabbit turned back around. "I just...."

"You just survived something none of us would want to have to go through. You kept yourself and Joey alive... you did what you had to do."

"But Geoff...."

Boomer bowed his head. "He did what he had to do. Geoff'd give his life for any of us... you know that... "

"Derrick," Kenny called in a soothing tone. "Geoff would be dead anyway... There was no way to save him..."

Rabbit looked at them and shook his head. "I... killed... Geoff.."

"You saved Joey– now, you better follow through with that," Boomer told him. "He's not out of this yet."

Rabbit looked at them and shook his head. "It don't work that way..."

"Yes it does," Boomer answered.

"Rabbit– Joey needs you," Kenny added.

"You got him covered..."

"Physically yeah– but you know what he went through. You saw him through this... but he's going to need a lot more... and you're the only one who can help him through that."

Rabbit shook his head. "Don' you lay this on me... Dammit Boom– I can't even see me through this...."

"We'll get through it..."

Boomer saw the sorrow and guilt in Rabbits eyes as he looked up at him. "How? How we gonna do that Boom?"

"The only way we can Brah... together."

Copyright 2001 - M.T. Decker

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