Lost in Space
Trope: Over-the-Shoulder Carry
Fandom: Original Work
[gray for requested, blue for completed]
Timeline: Escape arc, set after Awake and Alive.
Requested by anon.
contents: GRAPHIC MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH, slavery whump, forced relationship, creepy/intimate whumper, defiant/resilient whumpee, rescue, recapture attempt, brainwashing, blood, reopened wound, mention of noncon kissing, restraints, tape gag, guns, head bashing, killing in revenge, swearing.
He wasn’t expecting just how exhausted the rescue would leave him, paired with the medpod - faster healing meant bigger effort, even when all he was expected to do was lie still - and… the last two years, really. Two years of fear, of alertness, of being unable to sleep through the whole night save for the final few months. No wonder his sleep is as deep as it is, then, and even when something wakes him up, he doesn’t become aware at first. It’s strange; there are light footsteps, a presence right next to him, then above him, a grip on his wrists, then something soft being wrapped around them, and he blinks, still out of it, when something is pressed to his lips and smoothed out.
It isn’t until he’s carefully lifted up and loud beeping fills the room before abruptly ceasing that he emerges from his sleep, like he’s swimming to the surface in a lake of tar. He groans and stirs, feeling blood rushing to his head in the weird position he’s in, and something stops him when he tries to open his mouth, a familiar sensation, everything about this feels familiar, and…
His eyes shoot open and he screams into the gag before he can fully comprehend what’s going on, because all he can focus on is the voice and his panicked thoughts.
No, no, nonono!
“Wren, calm down,” Daniel says in a hushed voice, picking up the pace, pressing down on the backs of Wren’s knees to stop him, thrown over his shoulder, from kicking.
He struggles, tries to free himself from the grip, but he’s too weak and Daniel’s too strong, and all he can do is hit his back with his fists, his wrists restrained with bandages, but it’s futile and he knows it, Daniel doesn’t even address it, and everything comes back, the helplessness and fear and- what is going on?
It wasn’t a dream, that much he realizes when he lifts his head to look around, though that only makes everything even more confusing. They’re still on the ship, the lights now dimmed, Daniel’s footsteps echo among the metal walls. But how did he get out? Did the rangers- Has he been betrayed again?
He lets out another scream in the hopes that that’s not the case, that someone will save him, because he was free, he can’t go through this all over again, whatever Daniel has in mind for him, and considering the circumstances they were last in… he might want to finish what he started.
Daniel stays silent even when Wren renews his struggles, on the verge of hyperventilating, as if his panic was just a minor inconvenience. He himself is panicking as well, even though Wren can’t see it. His hand is shaking as he goes through Golubev’s communicator, familiarizes himself with it, zooms in on the projection of the ship’s layout. He lifts his gaze and smiles a relieved smile when he sees a particularly large hatch - and at the exact same moment he can hear footsteps and his blood runs cold.
Wren’s head jerks up and he forces himself to steady his breathing, exhale with relief. Help is coming. This will end before it’s really begun, Daniel will be incapacitated and he will be freed for the second time, this time for good.
The hatch that he cannot see opens and Daniel rushes inside, and as Wren looks around, his stomach sinks. They have reached the dock area.
“We’ll get to their ship and steal-”
They must have reached one, and Daniel hits the touchpad, but the hatch doesn’t open right away.
“Come on, come on, come on,” he whispers, reaching for the plasma gun on his belt and turning around, holding it up, just in time to see Johnson and a few other rangers run inside before stopping dead in their tracks.
“Lower the gun, Rooney, and let him go,” Johnson says, trying to keep their voice calm. For just a moment Daniel is frozen in fear, breath quickened, but he doesn’t comply, and he doesn’t have to, because the hatch finally opens, and Wren cries out when he finds himself unceremoniously thrown into the shuttle. Daniel jumps in behind him, closes the hatch, frantically presses something on the touchpad next to it and the communicator.
Once Wren can catch his breath he props himself up on his elbows and manages to get up, and, swaying on his feet, he pushes past Daniel and slams his hands on the touchpad, but the hatch doesn’t open, and then he jolts in place when a deafening alarm fills the dock.
“Shit!” he hears Johnson’s muffled voice. “Wren! We have to retreat for a few minutes, you need to slow him down!”
He whines, uselessly pounding his fists on the hatch, and he’s painfully aware that right now the dock area isn’t safe anyway, even if he could get it open; Daniel must have activated the fire emergency protocol, cutting off oxygen. Wren reaches up to rip off the gag, a simple band-aid, just as strong arms grab him from behind and pull him away from the hatch, hands clumsily covering his ears.
“Shh, shh, don’t listen to them, sweetheart,” Daniel whispers, his told tightening as Wren thrashes in an attempt to get away from the hands he was supposed to be free from. “They don’t matter.”
“Hands off!” Wren yells, and Daniel’s grip loosens; he turns around, breathing heavily, and that’s when he realizes that his shirt is damp, and he sees the confirmation in Daniel’s eyes when he looks down at his midriff.
“You’re bleeding…” he says and takes a shallow panicked breath. “Shit, we- we’ll take care of this when we’re out of here, hold on. Um-”
Dizzy, Wren looks down at the spreading red patch on his shirt. The wound must have opened.
“Fuck,” he breathes, tugging on his restraints to free his wrists, but even in his panicked state Daniel tied an annoyingly secure knot. “Shit, shit, shit-” He lifts his gaze and frowns when he sees Daniel at the shuttle’s console, frantically pressing controls. “Get away from that console!”
When he doesn’t get a reaction, he charges at Daniel, twisting his body to be able to hit him with his shoulder, push him away from the controls. He closes his eyes when he makes impact, and Daniel stumbles to the side and blinks, looking at Wren with shock in his eyes.
“Sweetheart, just let me do this, “ he chokes out, voice trembling. “We have to escape, or they’ll win. We can't let them win.”
Wren forces himself in between Daniel and the console, shaking his head.
“There is no us,” he growls. “Stay. The fuck. Away.”
He’s overcome with boiling fury when Daniel sighs, just annoyed with him, and then he sees stars when he receives a strong punch to the jaw that knocks him backwards onto the console. Daniel makes use of his stunned state to shove him aside, and he lands hard on the floor, panting heavily, ears ringing with pain.
He rolls over onto his stomach to get up and gasps when his wound flares up, agony breaking through adrenaline. He grits his teeth and squeezes his eyes shut as he slowly gets to his feet, and flinches when he realizes that the alarm has stopped blaring, but Daniel realizes it too and, cursing under his breath, he activates the protocol all over again, having apparently blocked access for the other rangers, stalling them further, giving himself more time.
“No!” Wren charges again despite the pain, driven by blind instincts, determined to get him away from the console or - somehow - prevent him from messing with the ship’s systems any further. Even if Daniel’s plan is bound to fail with the rangers aware of their existence and able to track the shuttle down, he can’t be trapped with him any longer, in space, bleeding out, back to trying to hold on until he’s saved.
Daniel reacts, turns away from the console and grabs Wren’s shoulders, bringing him to a halt, then pushes him backwards until he’s pinned to the wall; he lets out a frustrated scream and thrashes, but Daniel’s holding him still, close, almost pressed against him.
“Wren, stop fighting. That’s an order.”
“No!” And yet he still flinches at the last word. “Never. I’ll never stop fighting.”
Daniel blinks, surprised, but then exhales and briefly presses their foreheads together, Wren unable to turn his face away.
“You will stop,” Daniel says, moving his grip lower to give Wren’s hands a light squeeze. “When we’re out of here. It won’t be easy, they know we’re both alive, but we have to try. We’ll steal this shuttle, we’ll lose them, we’ll find a new place for us. And then we’ll go back to your progress, we’ll forget all about this little stunt. You’ll stop fighting me.”
His progress. His breaking. The urge to obey he felt when he heard the order, it will all come back and stay for good.
“You understand, don’t you? And they’ll understand soon, too. They see what you are to me. They see that you are mine.”
Wren’s throat squeezes painfully and he shakes his head, but his heart still skips a beat and shame burns like fire under his skin, because Daniel is right, in a way. He’s changed, even if he’s been trying to pretend otherwise. He’s been following orders for the past two years. He’s been kissing back. I love you too became automatic. Being curled up in Daniel’s arms, being restrained, in pain, bleeding, all that had become so natural to him, more natural than being on this ship feels at the moment, more natural then the thought of Earth. And they will see it. Everyone will see it. Everyone will learn just how far he’s fallen, what he has been reduced to.
They must have seen his brand, he realizes, and the realization is like an explosion in his mind. They know.
“You weren’t happy on Earth, sweetheart. You know it, I know it. Your place is here, with me.” Daniel lifts Wren’s hands and presses a soft kiss to his knuckles. “It’s fate. Without it I wouldn’t have escaped. I wouldn’t have found you again.”
Wren’s lower lip trembles.
He wants nothing more than to be back on Earth, back to his life from before, but he was far from happy back then. He was pathetic, hopeless, miserable, and if he goes back there now, the only change will be one for the worse after all that he’s been through.
He exposed the trade. He might have saved some people that way, but should he be saved? Can he be saved? Should he just accept this, let Daniel take him away once again, go right back to the routine, affection and pain alternating, just as fate apparently wants him to?
But he had fought for over two years. He desperately held on to his persistence, like a weak candle flame, swaying in the air, threatening to go out, but he kept it burning. And now he’s not on SV-240 anymore, he’s free, he has come so far, and yet here he is, in a small shuttle with his tormentor, plagued by doubts, by his brainwashing that had taken root in his mind and has spread much further than he’d thought.
“I love you.” Daniel’s voice is like honey, and the smile that appears on his lips is just as sickly sweet, confident. He sees the crushing uncertainty in Wren’s eyes. He hears his heartbeat.
Wren opens his mouth. He could say it back. It’s what he’s used to. It’s so easy now.
“I don’t love you,” he says slowly, every word requiring inhuman effort. “I’ll never love you.” His voice wavers. Never. A bold word. “I’m not yours, and I won’t let you do this.”
Daniel’s smile drops, and for a moment Wren can almost believe that they can resolve this, that Daniel will understand, because he’s doomed, even if he managed to escape once. He’s the one who’s trapped now.
But before Wren can react, Daniel grabs him by the hair and pulls down, forcing him to double over, and he gasps when the pressure makes the wound throb.
“In that case,” Daniel says, dragging him towards the console. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. I can’t let you get in the way.”
“Let g- No!” His head is bashed against the console with full force, and a strained cry tears its way out of his throat. Pain explodes in his head, but he stays conscious, and Daniel pushes him onto the wall again, adjusts his grip on his hair and pulls his head forward to bash it again, to knock him out, to make him helpless, and he fights and he pushes with his restrained hands and he kicks out and he can’t let him do this he can’t he can’t be taken away and-
And it works. Daniel lets go, stumbles backwards, barely avoids tripping, and before he can attack again, something falls to the floor.
The plasma gun, which he had hastily looped to his belt. They both look at it for a heartbeat, and everything is still.
They realize what it means at the exact same moment.
Wren throws himself towards the gun, his knees hitting the floor hard, he can see Daniel out of the corner of his eye, doing the same, his fingers brush against Wren’s wrist, but he’s quicker, his hands close around the gun, he yanks it back, out of Daniel’s reach, and he stands up, Daniel with him.
“Sweetheart, give me the-”
Wren acts before he can think, cuts Daniel off by shoving the barrel of the gun into his mouth, knocking it against his teeth, pointing it up, and they both freeze. His own heartbeat is deafening him. He steadies his grip on the gun.
He looks into Daniel’s eyes, those steel eyes now wide in shock and… fear.
He’s afraid. He’s afraid of me.
But there’s something else there, in his gaze - a plea. The tiniest spark of confidence, you won’t do it. I made sure of it in the last two years.
Wren looks down at the barrel of the gun and takes a deep breath. He’s holding so much power in his hands - should he? He should force Daniel to open the hatch, to surrender, that’s the right thing to do, isn’t it? But that spark, that look on Daniel’s face, the words he cannot say, don’t do this, sweetheart, I love you, he just… He wants this monster gone. He wants to take his life just like he had taken his. He wants to free himself once and for all.
Another deep breath. He shifts his weight from one foot to the other. He looks back at Daniel, and his gaze darkens, determination takes uncertainty’s place, and he can see Daniel losing all his confidence, all his hope and his spark in an instant, replaced by panic at what’s coming.
“I win,” Wren whispers and pulls the trigger.
One, two, three times. For good measure.
There is no spectacle, there is no blood, just life leaving Daniel’s eyes, dulling the steel, obstructing it with fog - and he’s gone. Just like that.
Wren’s next exhale turns into a sob, and he allows the gun to slip out of his trembling hands, letting go of the only thing keeping Daniel, Daniel’s body, upright, and- it collapses to the floor. Wren takes a step back, trembling feverishly, tears streaming down his face, but they’re different tears, tears that wash two years’ worth of tension out of his body, precede the realization of what just happened.
He’s dead. He’s dead.
Air doesn’t seem to reach his lungs, and he has to lean against the wall of the shuttle, the beating of his heart filling the small space, and… he can’t hear the alarm anymore. How long ago did it cease? Since Daniel activated it again it must have been mere minutes, and yet he feels as if ages have passed already. He should… He can’t stay here like this. He staggers past Daniel, keeping as much distance as possible, until he reaches the console. He still can’t free his wrists from the restraints, but it doesn’t matter. Everything is blurred, dancing before his eyes, but he had operated these things so many times before, and he forces himself to remember, presses the right controls, and a soft hiss breaks the silence.
He’s dead. Gone.
He approaches the hatch as it slides open, and he looks into Johnson's eyes, wide with shock, their gaze briefly moving to the body on the ground, then back to Wren.
“He’s dead,” he says, his lips pale, and he laughs in disbelief, shaking his head. Darkness creeps in on him, he looks down, at his restrained hands, as if he was still a captive, at his shirt soaked with blood. His legs buckle under him and he’s caught before he hits the floor, and even then, before blood loss and shock take away his awareness, he laughs again.
He’s dead. He’s fucking dead.
And I’m free.
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