Title: Try, Wake, Repeat
Fandom: XIII: The Series
Warnings: Dream violence, threats
Author Notes: I'm trying not to slash them here.Also, hypothetical and fantasy world where Jones didn't shoot Ryan in the Season 1 finale and they're working together to expose the Roman Numeral Conspiracy, like in the comics.
Summary: “You were watching me sleep.”
“Attempt to sleep.”
“Attempt to.... shut up! You were watching me sleep,” he frowned.
All the computers were off. He checked. Three times. The windows were latched and locked. The doors were bolted. Cell phone was plugged in and charging. Lights were off. He completed his rituals. Nothing should keep Dylan from sleeping. Settling down on the bed, he covered up and laid flat on his back. Closing his eyes, he lowed down his breathing to try and mimic sleep. Deep breath in, slow exhale. Repeat. He was close to calming down, even feeling relaxed. Just about to fall to sleep.
Giordino was stabbing him with the pencil again. Digging it deeper and deeper into his leg, it felt like he was writing on the bone . He was demanding answer to where Jones and Thirteen were, where the Skeleton Key is, who broke the window at the Delleno house when he was nine. Nothing came out of his mouth as he tried answering. Blood started squirting out as he gleefully declared finding an artery.
He shot up, breathing heavily before checking his leg. “Nothing's wrong,” he muttered, patting himself a few times. It hadn't even been an hour, and he forgot to hide the display on the alarm clock. He turned it away from the bed. It didn't work as he tried going back to sleep. Instead, he got up and made the first pot of coffee for the day before watching the sun rise and starting in on the day's needs.
Getting half-way through a project and on the second pot, he realized his need for food after finding he had run out of quick meals. The trip to the store went slightly longer than normal, blurriness and waviness infecting his vision. After double checking what he had picked up and making sure it was the right stuff, he planned on home.
Ryan was in the driver's seat of his car.
At least, he thought it was the super spy. He saw Jones glaring at him in his kitchen while he was eating breakfast. Alf the safe cracker had been looking over his bedroom, commenting on safe placement. Giordino stared at him in his bathroom mirror. Once at the car's side, he reached through the open window and poked him. “You're real,” he mumbled, “Giordino disappeared when I threw my razor at him.”
His eyes showed his confusion, even as he frowned, “Get in the car, Dylan.” It took a minute to put his groceries in the back and settle in the passenger seat after handing over the keys. The drive was quiet and so was the first hour in Dylan's apartment. After Ryan's search of the place, he sat on the couch and accepted coffee from a fresh pot. Before he delved back into his computer, he decided to explain. “Found some intel that mentioned you by name. Jones is keeping a couple of others watched.”
“Okay,” he said, waking up the computers. “I haven't seen anyone following or watching me.”
“You left your car unlocked with the windows down and you're about to get caught,” Ryan pointed out.
He turned to the screens and saw a couple of warning lights. “Shit!” he muttered, opening up an emergency program and cutting off the tracker.
“I'm staying here until Jones calls or until we get new intel,” he finished after he had saved himself from being discovered.
“Fine,” he said, starting back up and going at it again. Time passed and he fell asleep a few times before jerking awake to memory flashes and disjointed emotions. He didn't know if they were noticed by the other man. Going through his rituals for sleep, he got a pillow and blanket and laid them by Ryan before going to his room and collapsing on the bed.
Dylan was in prison. Physical 'therapy' had been difficult and he was massaging his leg to stop the painful twinges going throughout the muscle. A lot of the population yelled at each other outside between the walkways and over the floor. His closest 'neighbors' were mocking him over his leg, his physical therapy and taunting him about really giving him a workout for his thigh. He ignored everything, keeping bile down against their words. “You're here for good,” a voice echoed. He knew it wasn't him, but he still flinched. “You little arrogant shit, you're going to rot here and no one's going to find you again. Your poor parents won't know what happened to their fucked up son. Expelled, hacked into the government. You're finally getting what you truly deserve.”
This time, he gasped, tears going down his face as he had silently wept during the dream. Giordino had never visited, thank fuck, but the words were a harsher version of what he said before sending Dylan to the prison. His brain was tormenting him again, making everything ten times worse than it had been. He sat up and curled over his legs, trying to stop his bout of crying quietly. The squeak of the floor indicated his visitor had been woken up. “Sorry,” he apologized softly, “I wasn't screaming, was I?”
“No,” he simply said. Ryan left and he laid back down. Confused, he turned toward the window and managed another hour before the sun came up.
Neither went out the next day. Dylan focused on the computer, trying to catch up on his goals. He had started on searching out the intel and seeing if he could find out more about what was going on. Ryan turned off his monitor in warning and he stopped after grumbling a bit. Curiosity and paranoia was a dangerous combination. His sleeping routine happened a little late due to a glitch that he encountered. Still wasn't as late as he used to before establishing the routine to get himself sleep.
It was a parking structure. The Gerhardt guy had about a dozen guys surrounding him and Dylan, who he had grabbed a couple of blocks from the factory area. There was tape around his wrists and some on his mouth to keep him quiet. Ryan entered with the computer bag, looking around at the situation and trying to figure out a way to get him out. Gerhardt threatened him, a guy nudging him with a gun near his head. Ryan slipped over the bag and it was empty. The man said he was sorry before someone shot him.
He would have screamed, except Ryan was already over him, covering his mouth. He panicked, pushing up because he thought someone was going to finish killing him. “Calm down,” he whispered, “It wasn't real, Dylan.” It took a few seconds for the words to bleed through, the nightmare fading. His fighting switched to just pushing him off, sitting up while he sat beside him. “How long haven't you been sleeping?”
“Hey, I was doing just fine,” he defended.
“This is the fifth time you've woken up in the throes of a nightmare.”
“Throes of a....” he repeated, before focusing on the number he stated. “You've been watching me?”
“I had to make sure someone wasn't using you as a lure,” he assured, poorly.
“You were watching me sleep.”
“Attempt to sleep.”
“Attempt to.... shut up! You were watching me sleep,” he frowned.
Dylan was confused, a little easier than normal. Ryan settled on the bed next to him. “Go back to sleep,” he ordered.
“Go the fuck to sleep.” Dylan settled back down and turned away from the other man after mumbling 'Not Samuel L. Jackson.'
The woman pulled a gun on him when he led her to the lab she wanted. She told him it was nothing personal, but her employer didn't like someone trying to find the key and getting so close. A meager hint on who was ordering his death before she forced him away from the lab and to an empty building that she must have picked out before. In a bare bathroom, she sat him down and kept the gun on him before injecting him with something. She left after knowing he couldn't move. Shakes were going throughout his body, the drug starting to over effect him. He was burning and freezing, the shaking hurting his body.
Then, Jones was hovering above him after injecting the countering agent. There were two others hovering around him, checking his vitals and making sure it wasn't continuing. The blanket over him was warm like the quilt his Gramma made him when he was six...
Ryan had pulled Dylan in when he started moving, a whimper sounding out of his throat. He wrapped his arm around his chest, covering him with the sheet that had been flung off. Within three seconds, he stopped, curling toward the warm body instinctively. His own arms latched around him, holding him in a hug that kept getting slightly tighter before he calmed down. Ryan didn't exactly figure he would be used as the human equivalent of a teddy bear, but with the kid finally calming back to sleep, he knew this would be a short term arrangement until Jones called him back out.