This chapter originally contained several scenes of very graphic violent content and descriptions of torture. They've been edited out due to their graphic nature, but the full-length version can be found on the Fanfiction.net version of the story at the link below.477Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡkxLinW8i0w
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"Found you." The male voice said, pressing the end of the gun into the back of his head. Logan stilled, holding up his hands still clutching the knife and pistol up in apparent surrender.
"Well, isn't this awkward." He chuckled, grinning madly. Oh, how much they underestimated him. It was almost laughable, really. They had no idea.
"Turn around." The voice said, and Logan slowly began to spin to face his adversary. Grin in place, he saw a man in a white suit, pointing the business end of a long rifle straight between his eyes.
"Hmm, I've not met you before. What was your name?" His chuckle permeated the thick air. Whoever this man was didn't look too amused. In fact, it was difficult to see quite what he was feeling with that Penguin hat hiding his eyes. Could he even see properly? There was a rustle behind the hatted man, and Lexi's friend approached, looking rather angry and holding a knife, and a familiar one at that.
"Oh, Brittany, was it? I see you've found one of my knives. It's not polite to take things that aren't yours. I'd appreciate it if you gave it back now." His continuous smile made her scowl.
"Put the gun down." The man with the gun demanded, gesturing with his head over to the hand Logan carried the pistol.
"Alright, no need to be so stiff. Lighten up! All I did was give her a few scratches." He reasoned with a mutter, crouching down ever so slowly to place the weapon by his feet. The barrel of the gun followed him on the way down, not taking any chances. Though, his words stirred some emotion finally.
"More than a few, by the looks of it." Came his clipped tone, a growl at the back of his throat. Brittany was visibly enraged as well, but bided her tongue, instead opting to glare fiercely. Logan watched as the man's finger's tightened, and he smiled wickedly again. Good, he was on edge. That was good.
Feeling the ground beneath his fingertips, he gently placed the weapon into the mud, just as slowly easing back up into a standing position.
"You should have heard her screams. So delicious!" He laughed, anticipating a reaction. He wasn't disappointed. And when the man gritted his teeth and opened his mouth to retort, Logan made his move, using his free hand to push the barrel of the gun upwards out of his face, the knife raised up in his other hand.
"Penguin!" Brittany shouted, seeing what was about to happen before it did.
Knowing there was nothing she could do to stop what was happening, Logan's grin widened, beginning the arc towards the man's chest, but a firm hand caught his arm, halting the downward stroke.
Shocked, he spun his head, staring directly into the eyes of that man from before. The one who'd kissed Lexi's forehead in front of the hospital.
"I think that's quite enough." His gray eyes glinted, somehow finding amusement in what was happening. But that wasn't right. Only he could be entertained right now. He should be the one laughing. And yet still this man smirked like the devil in his very face.
"You." Logan spit, trying to yank his arm out of his grasp, but he simply yanked him out of reach of the white-suited one, throwing him roughly into a nearby tree. "Oof!" The impact knocked the breath out of his lungs. In the moment he needed to recover from the shock, the gray-eyed and shirtless one was forcing the knife out of his hand, pulling at the ropes around his chest. He'd forgotten they were even there.
"Looks like you brought your own noose along." The man chuckled, untangling the rope from around him and tossing it over to the girl. "You want to help? Then tie his legs together at the ankles."
Brittany still stood there, shellshocked from almost seeing the Penguin man stabbed or killed, but she shook off her temporary paralysis and nodded, stepping up to take the rope.
"You don't understand! We both must die tonight! It was fate!" He cried, unable to resist as the man pulled him from against the tree and slammed him to the ground, pressing his full weight over his chest and arms. At his feet, he felt Brittany winding the rope around his ankles.
Out of the corner of his eyes, Logan saw something orange and white come walking out of the trees. It was a polar bear, where an orange suit, similar to Penguin's. His eyes widened, thinking that perhaps his eyes were tricking him, but before he could dwell on it further, the man's voice cut through his thoughts.
"Penguin-ya. sit on his legs so he doesn't kick Brittany-ya." He instructed. The man with the gun set it aside, crossing over and sitting on top of Logan's knees. He bared his teeth.
"I'll kill you." He growled, the sound somewhat subdued from having the shirtless man sitting on his lungs. He simply grinned back in that infuriating way. Obviously, this was all so much fun to him.
"That may be a bit difficult with no arms or legs.." He muttered darkly, chuckling at the confused stare Logan sent his way.
"Law, his ankles are tied." Brittany announced, stepping back from him. Penguin stood, no longer needing to press his weight on him. Law turned and inspected the rope, satisfied that it was secured tightly. Sending one more glance towards their captive, he reached over for the untied end of the rope, standing and dragging him over towards a tall tree.
"Where's Lexi? I demand to see Lexi!" He hollered, his anger growing when his cries were promptly ignored. "What are you doing?" He shouted, trying to grab onto something, but found his fingers only sliding through twigs and mud.
"Penguin-ya, Brittany-ya, go to the other side of the branch." Law said, pointing to a thick tree branch running almost parallel to the ground several feet up. They did as he instructed, and finally Law tossed the rope over the top of the branch, Penguin catching it on the other side.
"Now, both of you pull."
Grunting and struggling, the two managed to pull the rope back, and Logan felt himself being lifted in the air, his head finally leaving the ground. He tried pulling himself back down with his hands but found nothing as leverage. Then, he was too high to touch the mud below, dangling with his legs tied by the branch.
"Anchor it to the tree directly behind you." Law said, and they moved to do so. Soon the rope was tied securely to another tree, and Penguin gave it a few experimental tugs to be sure it wouldn't snap. Giving a thumbs up to his captain, they approached the dangling man once more.
"Are you prepared for what is about to happen?" Law quietly asked Brittany. She stared at Logan, her eyes searching his, but then returned focus to the shirtless man and nodded firmly.
"Yeah, it's fine. I'm sure I'm gonna need therapy down the line but I can deal with that when it happens. He deserves whatever he gets. Just…make sure it hurts like hell, alright? And I want to get a few jabs in before he dies. For Lexi." Law smirked, finally turning to Logan.
"Very well then. Now," Law purred, unsheathing the large black and white sword he had on his shoulder, "let us begin, shall we?"
Logan eyed the gleaming blade, it's favor sharp edge evident even from his upside down point of view. Suddenly, he no longer felt entertained, or amused, but an inkling of real fear. The insanity in Law's eyes matched that of his own, even surpassed it, perhaps. And that was the scariest thing of all, because he'd never had to look straight into eyes like that before.
He gulped, the blood rushing to his head as the shirtless man stepped closer.
Lexi's eyes were closed, but she still tried to fight the lull of sleep, pressing the back of her head into the rock wall behind her forcefully so the pain would keep her awake. The last thing she needed now was to pass out. Feeling Shachi's hip on hers as he sat beside her, she came to the conclusion that the poor man probably wouldn't know what to do.
Her limbs were still too sore to really move, but her breathing was now a bit easier. Now that she wasn't running wildly through the forest, the burning had gone and the stitch in her side had eased immensely.
The pounding of rain overhead and the constant splashing of water from the entrance was loud in her ears. And the random noises off to her left.
She frowned, doing her best to tune out the rain and focus on that random noise. Lexi couldn't put a name to it, other than simple noise. It was oddly out of place, but she began to wonder if her ears hadn't suffered damage in all the trauma as well.
"Shachi?" She asked, her throat hoarse from lack of water. He turned his head towards her.
"Yeah?" The brunette pointed further back in the cave, the inside too dark to see.
"Do you hear anything inside the cave over there? I keep hearing…noise. It's hard to describe, but every once in awhile I'll hear…something."
He paused, focusing on listening before responding. "Actually…yeah, now that you mention it. It's really faint, but there's definitely something there. Want me to go check it out?"
"Yeah…It's kind of freaking me out." She admitted, too ashamed to look him in the eye. It was embarrassing, sounding and being so weak. He only laughed.
"No problem." He stood, holding out the pistol. "Just shout if you see anything move outside. I'll come running."
Lexi nodded, watching as he picked up one of the flashlights and turned it on, the beam illuminating the rock floor and walls. The pirate sent one more reassuring grin her way before heading deeper inside the dark cave. His footsteps seemed to echo on the watery rocks, the sound a comforting presence, letting her know he was still there.
Not feeling so frightful, the brunette took her turn watching for anything moving past the curtain of water. In doing so, her mind wandered to many things. To Logan, and his twisted sense of justice and fate. To Nana, and how she had yet to properly grieve for the loss of her grandmother. Her body was still probably at the hospital, alone.
It drifted to more complicated things, like Cooper. She hated the man, feared him and what he stood for, but he was dead and couldn't hurt her any longer. Logan had murderer him, and while a part of Lexi she was ashamed and frightened of thought that justice had been served, and felt pleased by his death, the other part pitied him. Sympathy wasn't the right word. Pity.
And of course, because that jerk was always on her mind somehow, Lexi's thoughts finally settled on Law. That cocky, arrogant, irritating, nosy…cunning…handsome, charming, amusing, beast of a man. Somehow, he'd woven his way into her heart, in a way that not even her ex-boyfriend could. Lexi thought she'd known love. But that all changed when she'd kissed him at that party, in that dark, tiny closet.
He'd made her feel again. Really feel. Until him and his band of misfit men, and bear, had been literally thrust into her life, she hadn't realized how boring and dull this world actually was. Sure, it had its moments, but nothing like they'd described as home.
Adventures, treasure, traveling across the world, living free, danger, a little family all their own…it all sounded so exciting. And she envied them. Her lust for something new and amazing left her envious of the pirates.
But then Law had told her to come with them, to join them in that world of adventure and riches and danger. It was all too tempting. She was being given the option to go after what she'd always wanted. And yet Lexi's indecisiveness and insecurity instantly kicked in, placing those doubts and worries in the back of her mind. Lurking and waiting.
Sitting there, in the cold cave in the middle of the forest, with a crazed murderer chasing after her, while Law, Brittany, and his men were out there hunting him down to protect her…that decision seemed almost too easy.
She'd spaced out for several minutes in thought. Eyes glazed over, Lexi shook her head, quickly looking back out into the forest but seeing nothing out of place. Not paying attention right now was dangerous. She couldn't afford to slack off.
The sound of footsteps from inside the cave caught her ear. She looked over, seeing a beam of light bouncing around on the rocks as Shachi made his way back over. He slowly appeared out of the darkness, a surprised and merry grin greeting her.
"You wouldn't believe what I have to say." He pointed towards the back, but she only cocked a brow. Peering behind the pirate, she saw nothing of interest. But still, those small random sounds were there at the edge of her hearing.
"What was it?"
"I think I found the way back home!"
Lexi stared up at him, eyes widening. "You did? How?" She questioned in disbelief. He gestured back to the back of the cave.
"The cave wraps around, so you can't see it, but when you reach the very back, there's this curtain of gray mist, and I can hear the crew's voices! It's crazy! I don't know what it is or how, but I know it's them for sure. There's no mistaking it."
"A gray mist? Like a door?"
"I guess. It's hard to describe without looking at it, but the whole back wall of the cave looks that way, and the voices are 's what you must have been hearing. I would show you but I don't want to make your injuries worse." He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, glancing at her legs.
"But we looked all over the cave that one time we searched. We looked inside and out, and there was no gray mist." Lexi frowned, thinking hard.
"Well, there were some strange-looking markings on some of the rocks in there. Maybe it's some religious thing?" Shachi questioned, eventually shrugging his shoulders.
"Maybe…" She muttered, thinking back to what Logan had said to her in the basement. He'd mentioned the Summer Solstice, which she knew had lots of religious meanings and rituals attached to it, but portals to another world was something new. Though, she didn't think Shachi would be lying, so she simply shrugged as well. She'd learned to stop questioning things so much since they'd arrived anyways. After all, they shouldn't even exist, according to logic. None of what was happening should have really happened at all, yet here she was.
"Either way." He grinned, taking his place beside her once more. "Captain'll be really glad to know we can go home finally!"
She gave him a tired smile, not wanting to be rude about it, but feeling that uneasiness return. With the chance to leave everything behind so close, she was afraid again. But she mentally shook her head. At some point, Lexi would have to start taking some risks.
Now all they had to do was wait for Law and the rest to get back. They wouldn't leave without them.
Shachi noticed Lexi's shivering was getting worse, and her skin was a paler shade then before. The hoodie draped over her legs was beginning to show splotches of red, where too much blood leaked through than the fabric could absorb. He frowned in concern.
"Hey…Captain and everyone else will be back soon. Then, we'll go back to your house and bury you in a ton of blankets. Right after Captain fixes you all up, of course." He tried to be cheerful, putting on a lighthearted grin for her sake.
She looked up at him, her teeth chattering. "I…um…" She glanced away, unsure of her next words.
"Is something wrong, Lexi-chan? I'm sorry I don't have anything to give you to warm you up-" Shachi fretted, searching around as if a pile of warm blankets would appear out of nowhere. She shook her head.
"No, it's not that. It's just…" Lexi swallowed, finally meeting him in the eye. "I don't want to go back home…"
"Eh? Why not? Where else would we go?" He scratched the back of his head in confusion. Maybe the blood loss made her loopy and saying things.
"…Law said once that he wanted me to go with you guys, when you go back to your world. At first I told him he was crazy. But I was scared back then. And now that Nana's gone, and…all this has happened," She gestured down at herself, "…I've got nothing left for me here."
"Really?" A wide smile broke out on his face, and he playfully tapped her on the forehead. "There's only one other girl in the crew, you know. Everyone would be really excited to meet you. It'll be awesome!"
"Thanks…" She muttered, a smile unwittingly creeping onto her face. "I haven't told Law yet though. When they get back, we'll show them the way back and then I'll let him know I'm going with." She explained.
"Alright, sounds great!"ns 22.214.171.124da2