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Title: "raison d'être"
Status: Complete
Fandom: The Evil Within
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Sebastian Castellanos, Leslie Withers
Disclaimer: Copyright @ Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks. No infringement intended.
Rating: T
Genre: AU, horror, friendship
Warning: none
Summary: Sebastian and Leslie need to find shelter in a winter wonderland...

raison d'être

It was snowing. The dark shadows of clouds skittered over an endless stretch of white, only broken by clusters of bare trees and jagged boulders. With the mountains looming just at the far edge of the horizon it could have been an idyllic winter wonderland.

Only those didn't come with rivers of warm blood running through them or a sky that looked like a wound, swollen black with gangrene. The stench was horrible, and the layers of flakes hid the razor-sharp claws of bear traps.

Sebastian, sinking in up to his knees with every step he took, had Leslie to thank for the fact that all his limbs were still attached. - For a supposed nut job he had an uncanny talent for avoiding not only the Haunted but also any nasty surprises laid in their way.

Of course that fact only served to raise Sebastian's hackles. It was just too convenient, like all the evidence at a crime scene pointing in one direction. It made him suspect that Ruvik was preparing the ground for Leslie, keeping him alive for his own purposes. Feeling sacrosanct, secure in his own superiority, he seemed to accept that others profited. At least up to a point.

No wonder that bastard came up with a constant stream of new nightmares and torments to keep them separated as much as possible. Or used them against each other.

"It's cold," Leslie managed through chattering teeth. He stopped, wringing his hands. "Cold... cold... cold... cold..."

Sebastian turned around, wary that they might get separated, but Leslie was keeping up, had simply fallen back to use him as a windbreaker. Smart kid. Reminded him of Lily, against all odds, the way she had trailed after him like a faithful duckling.

"Hang in there. The ruin should be just up ahead."

He had seen it in the distance falling down another corridor, before gravity had twisted, turning walls into floors and then a maw of ragged bricks, the latter becoming a collapsing mine shaft that had led him here. Wherever that was.

"There."

Without warning, like any change in this psychotic mess, a decrepit building loomed up ahead, framed by snowdrifts. Nothing more than three walls and parts of the roof were still intact of this parody of a picket fence home, but they would make do. Time did not seem to matter here, food, water and bathroom breaks no issue, but whatever part of them actually experienced this nightmare got worn down. Fast.

"Stay here."

Sebastian reached for his gun, to scout ahead and secure the premises. It took him less than a minute to give the all-clear, at which point Leslie had already rushed over, eager to get out of the wind. It was picking up, howling and whistling eerily through the cracks.

"Next time, wait until I tell you it's safe," Sebastian scolded mildly.

"Safe... safe... safe..." Leslie nodded while puttering around aimlessly.

Sebastian shook his head and began to clear one corner of snow and debris, all the while keeping an eye on the boy. He would do his damnedest to keep the kid alive - not that Leslie's idea of being cooperative made the job any easier.

Satisfied, Sebastian settled down, leaving a gap between himself and the wall just wide enough for Leslie to fit into. If all went to hell, the Haunted being occupied with him should buy the kid time to get away.

"Come here." Sebastian patted the creaking boards invitingly. "Time to get some shut-eye."

"Not that close." Leslie shook his head, jerky and frantic. "It's too close, too close... too close... close..."

Watching him like that, Sebastian felt the urge to punch someone. Hard. Preferably Jimenez and his cronies, those supposed guardians and caretakers. The obvious signs of neglect and his knowledge of human experimentation aside, Sebastian had walked the beat long enough to recognize a victim of abuse when he saw it.

"Alright." He scooted over, a few inches to appease. "There."

After what seemed like a lengthy internal debate on the existential matter of trust, Leslie went, and Sebastian ended up with bruises, courtesy of bony elbows and the long time it took the kid to fold his ungainly limbs.

"Okay?"

Leslie wouldn't meet his eyes, but his lips twitched into a come and gone smile full of crooked teeth. "...okay."

"Good."

One step at a time. First, they needed some rest. Second, they had to find Joseph. And Kidman. Then they could get the hell out of here. Piece of cake. He exhaled slowly, a long stream of frosty white.

A calm settled over them, the ruin, the world outside. The horror and stench of death seemed to recede; muted. Perhaps that was due to their thoughts becoming sluggish, or maybe it was just another trick.

Leslie's warm weight drifting closer and closer, until it finally settled against his side, was real, though. Just like one more painful jab in a tender spot. Sebastian snorted softly. Yeah, that rib was definitely fractured.

["There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul." ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox]

The End


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ragnarok_08
Apr. 14th, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
This was well done~!!!!
neverminetohold
Apr. 17th, 2015 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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