Crippled

That night, Derek sat in the living room alone, feeling the pounding in his head grow harder and harder as he thought of Manfred's words.

They were going back to Metro.

Now that he thought about it without total Sabre influence, he realized that he hated that city. Sure, he grew up there, but his parents had abandoned him. People he barely knew had mocked his weakness as a child. Zeke had wounded him. Lee, Kevin, Szodo and Luther had all forsaken him. Cassandra had tried to kill him, then exiled him, then tried to kill him again. She was still trying

Hoglund, that idiot, had practically exiled them as well in a moment of anger over the physical pain of his former partner.

Manfred knew all this, and he still wanted to go back. Derek's head pounded even harder, the pressure making it hard to think or even see straight.

Derek hated the weakness that had crept up on him since Serenada. Headaches, crippling ones, had begun to overtake him over the past three years.

Was taking down the Sabres really worth it? What was the link? Why had the information been too dangerous until now? What made him stay there with Manfred, the crazy hitter, and Jerry the idiocy-prone Extra?

"Another migrane, man?" Jerry approached quietly.

Derek didn't answer, but looked out the window.

Jerry placed a glass of water on the table, and held two Asprin out. "C'mon, here. This'll take the edge off."

Barely turning his head before he saw the two little pills, Derek smacked Jerry's hand and knocked the pills across the room.

"Ouch!" Jerry quickly withdrew his hand. "Jeez, man! I'm sensitive! At least take them for me."

"No."

"Derek, we've been over this a billion times. Just take the Asprin."

"I. Don't. Want. Them."

"Dude, you're not a Sabre anymore. You can take medication for a headache without breaking your precious oath against harming your body. Stuff like Asprin is supposed to help, you know."

"I said I don't want them. I'm fine."

"Then why didn't you pin my arm behind my back like you always do?" Jerry asked triumphantly.

Derek turned and glared at Jerry, not really seeing him.

Jerry's eyes widened as what he had said dawned on him. "You can't, can you? Are the headaches starting to mess with your vision? Why didn't you say anything? Don't you know what something like that means? It's bad, man! Lemme go find Manfred, and we can go to the hosssaghck!"

Jerry choked as Derek gripped his throat. "You know I can make it tighter then that. Don't you dare trying to take me to a doctor!"

"I'm. . .just. . . .try. .ing. . . .to. . . .help!" Jerry gasped.

Derek loosened his hold a little. "I'm not going to a doctor." he added as he fully released it.

"It's. . .your. . .funeral." Jerry said between grateful breaths of air. "But you really should know when to get some help."

"I let you drag me across the country, don't I?" Derek snapped. "I let you call me your family, don't I?"

"That's not the same, man." Jerry said. "I mean, what happens if they get even worse? Or you collapse? What'll I do?"

"If I collapse, I'll make you take me there myself." Derek said quickly. He'd had enough of this repetitive conversation with Jerry.

Jerry sighed. "Just don't die or anything."

The End

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