|janecarnall (janecarnall) wrote,|
@ 2009-04-09 07:54:00
End Game: Part 3
This is the third part of the final sequence: it's the End Game. Part 1 and Part 2 are here.)
The previous stories in this series (my Keptverse) began with The Games (six parts) and continued with The Network (one part), The Players (seven parts), The Gambler (seven parts), and The Pieces (seven parts).
The story may be regarded as fanfic set in poisontaster's Keptverse. There is a species of cast list here.
The other side of the house was windowless: the corridors were brightly lit. The holding cells were dark. Kimble perceived his surroundings in flashes like nightmare: his conscious awareness of his surroundings was fixed wholly on Sam's hands on him. Even when the doctor in the unexpected clinic – it looked like a clinic, smelt more like a hospital than any room Kimble had been in for years – even as the doctor checked his eyes and the back of his skull with impersonal, delicate care, Sam stood behind him, his hands on Kimble's shoulders.
The doctor and Sam spoke together: Kimble heard without listening. Sam made him take four tablets, which Kimble's mouth recognised after he swallowed as aspirin. Another walk through the brightly lit corridors, but the door Sam opened led to a room with a window, and ordinary furniture, not a holding cell: Sam got him to sit down on the floor beside a crowded desk, and sat down himself at a chair behind the desk: his hand settled on the back of Kimble's neck, a warm and heavy clasp. He said nothing, but tugged a little, and Kimble obeyed: his head was resting against Sam's thigh, Sam's hand solid weight on the back of his neck. On the other side of the house. Not a holding cell.
Kimble came out of it when Sam swore. He did not get the words, only the explosive anger: and Sam's hand was no longer on the back of his neck. He sat still, cold to the bone, feeling the metal of the cuffs hard and warm around his wrists. He could smell Sam, soap and sweat, and feel his rage.
Sam did not speak to him. After a few minutes brisk typing, his hand settled back to the possessive clasp, like a living collar: Sam's hands were large, bony, with callouses on his thumb and index finger. Kimble sat still, not moving his head from where he rested against Sam's thigh, wishing he could stop thinking just by wishing it. He hadn't killed the one-armed man. Chuck had tried to buy him for the cages. Sam was sending him to Commerce on Monday.
This was still Wednesday. He could not see a clock from where he sat, but he thought that only an hour or so could have passed in this room: he could not think how long it had taken Sam to walk him through the brightly-lit corridors and the room that looked like a clinic, but not long, surely: not long.
He had nothing to do but sit on the hard carpet, rest his head against his owner's thigh, and keep himself still and his breathing steady. It was all he could do, and it was as much as he could do. The cuffs were a solid, locked weight on his wrists.
“How are you, Richard?” Sam asked. He sounded absent, tired, but his hand shifted on Kimble's neck as if questing for a better grip.
Kimble swallowed twice before he could answer in a voice that he hoped was steady, “Fine, Sam.”
Sam's voice was a monotone. “Right.” His other hand moved on the keyboard: Kimble could hear the clicking noises. “I'm almost done here. Going to take some work over to the lounge for the afternoon: you can get more comfortable there. I'll get you something to eat.”
Kimble swallowed again. “Thank you. Sam.”
The corridors were normal corridors – brightly and coldly lit, but not the stuff of nightmares: and there was a flight of steps Kimble hadn't remembered. Through the locked door, into the hall: Sam turned him and unlocked the cuffs, pocketing them. His hand returned to the back of Kimble's neck, and they walked down the hall to the kitchen.
There was no one in the kitchen. Sam did not tell Kimble to sit down: he made sandwiches of beef and tomato, piled them on a plate, and handed the plate to Kimble. Benton and Ray were in the lounge: George sat across from them.
Benton stood up as Sam came in. “We saw it on Youtube,” he said.
“Yeah, I know,” Sam said. He stopped, and his grip on Kimble's neck tightened, as if he were angry. Kimble stood still, holding the plate in front of him, trying to keep his face impassive. “I know, Benton. I saw it too. Dana and Adam don't get to leave the house tonight, got it? What's on the news?”
“Nothing,” George said.
“Nothing,” Ray echoed. “We checked all the channels.”
“What I expected,” Sam said. He spoke neutrally, without much emphasis. “Keep tracking it. I would think they can sit on it for twelve to twenty-four, no longer. But it could break any time.”
“What about Will and Giles?” Ray asked.
“They're not coming in today,” Sam said.
The carpet was softer, and Kimble was free to move his hands. He ate one sandwich, and another when Sam handed it to him. No one spoke: the room was so quiet Kimble could hear the small clicking noises of keyboards at work from the other side of the room. This could go on forever: it felt as if it was.
If he had killed the one-armed man...
He had no notion what Sam would have done. Had him killed; had him locked up; returned him to the arena; even handed him back to Commerce on schedule. He had no more notion today what Sam had really bought him for than he had the day Sam had told him I bought you to have sex with, which had turned out to be untrue.
Sam had been clear about what he wanted Kimble to do, or intended to do to him, any time Kimble didn't expect to know more than eight to sixteen hours ahead: and for three years, Kimble never had. Sam's hand on his neck was solid and real. Sam lied.
Kimble shuddered. He wasn't able to stop it or control himself, even if he didn't get up or move away from Sam: Sam lied.
Of course he did: Kimble was his slave. On a Final contract.
“What is it?” Sam asked.
Kimble shook his head, trying to control his shudders, pressing himself down and into himself. He did not speak. Sam's hand moved from his neck to his shoulder, and back again, almost as if caressing, patting Kimble.
“Any one want any more coffee?” Sam said, and stood up, taking hold of Kimble's shoulder and pulling him up with him.
They went down the hall to the kitchen. Sam was holding him as if they were outdoors, keeping him from the wall: one hand locked round his wrist, the other over his neck. Kimble said, before they got there, “I can make coffee.”
“I know,” Sam said. “It's not about coffee.” The coffeemaker was empty: he refilled it, using his right hand, never once taking his other hand off Kimble. He turned, not smiling. “We're going to talk.” He was backing Kimble round the table and up against the door. “No one's going to interrupt us, Richard. You've got five minutes, less however long it takes me to piss.” He put a hand on Kimble's throat: his other hand held Kimble's wrist: he was standing so close his mouth was inches from Kimble's. “Talk to me. What got you spooked?”
For a fractured moment, Kimble thought of kissing him: fastening his mouth to Sam's and using his teeth and tongue to worry at Sam's mouth.
“You didn't want to have sex with me,” he said out loud.
“What?” Sam's eyes widened. After a moment, he laughed: the rough, unamused chuckle that had become as familiar to Kimble as the callouses on Sam's hands. “What?” he said again, and this time the word had three sylables and a whiplash crack on the end.
Kimble swallowed. “You said you bought me because you wanted to have sex with me,” he said. “You lied. That wasn't why you bought me. I don't know why you bought me – but it wasn't for sex.”
Sam said nothing. He was smiling, a lipless closed-mouth grin. Gargoyle-ugly, and unamused.
“You've lied to me all along,” Kimble said. “I don't know – ” He swallowed hard, and he could hear his voice wavering. “Commerce. On Monday. You said. But you could be lying. I can't – ” He could not speak for a long moment, Sam too near. “That got me spooked,” he said finally. “I want it over.”
This close, Kimble could feel it when Sam relaxed. Not by much: Sam was stressed like wire. But the gargoyle-smile faded, relaxing into the grim lines Sam's face usually wore: and his hands on Kimble no longer felt like immediate death.
“I bought you for my own good reasons,” Sam said, after a moment. “I planned on having sex with you, sure. I just don't have much taste for beating a guy into submission so I can screw him. I figured you'd come round of your own accord. You would have, too, if I'd had more time. But I didn't buy you for that.” He drew in a breath and fixed his eyes on Kimble: “I bought you so my team could use you for practice. Interrogation. One of my team's never done an interrogation to the death, and I figured I could use you for that, eventually – work her up through it in easy stages. I had no idea she'd turn up actual evidence of a criminal conspiracy: I had you down as just a guy who'd killed his wife for the money. Now you're no damn use to me, and I'm not keeping you around just to screw, and thanks to those bastards at Devlin Macgregor sending their head of security here we now have independent evidence of some kind of cover-up going on, so yeah, Richard, on all counts: you can be sure you're going to Commerce for processing next week. Monday if I can, but soon. Got it?”
Kimble nodded. He swallowed. Sam's eyes were still fastened on his. He did not know if he believed Sam or not: but he understood that all he could do was wait for Monday.
Sam was wearing a gun. Kimble had glimpsed the holster this morning. This close, he was sure of it.
Could he get the gun away from Sam? Kill him? Kill himself. Two shots. If he could.
He didn't believe he could. Not any more. He could feel it in his muscles: the certainty of defeat. He could get Sam to kill him: but then he wouldn't be evidence. For Helen. To take down Chuck. Nichols.
“Richard,” Sam said, abruptly. “Are you getting this?”
“Yes,” Kimble said, as shortly as he could. “Yes.”
“Okay.” Sam nodded. “I'm going to step away and you're not going to panic. If you panic, I'll have you doped till Monday. If you want that, ask for it. We're going to take a bathroom break, get coffee, go back to the lounge. Got it?”
“Yes,” Kimble said.
Sam stepped back. His hand was still fastened about Kimble's wrist: he did not let go. As he had the first night, he did not give Kimble even an instant's privacy. In the kitchen, the coffee had brewed: Kimble poured five mugs full, added milk and sugar to Ray's, milk to George's mug: Benton and Sam took coffee black.
Kimble had the tray in both his hands: Sam's hand was on the back of his neck. The change felt, in the first moment, only like ordinary heat.
For an instant, Kimble even tried to keep his grip on the tray. He opened his mouth, but Sam was turning him: he felt the wall against his back and Sam's body locking him to it as he heard the cups and tray spill over the hall's carpet.
Sam's hands were choking round his throat. Sam's mouth was open in a howl that Kimble could not even hear.
The wall. He had reached the wall.
to Part 4