Consequences by Happi Zebra

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Romance, Suspense
Characters:Jeb B., R. Ter Borcht
Published:2009-02-12 06:25:39
Updated:2009-03-03 00:59:25
Packaged:2021-05-07 02:29:11
Summary:No longer a one shot. Max escapes the school. ZOMG WHO CARES? BUT she beats up Reilly. *sadness*

Table of Contents

1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2

1. Chapter 1

A crash sounded somewhere down the hall and Jeb looked up from the scattered papers covering his desk, an alarm began to sound and he frowned getting hastily to his feet. He reached his door, hesitating a moment before opening it a crack. He peered through the space, seeing a flash of movement rush past. It took a second for his mind to generate what he'd seen – Max, escaping – and another long second before his body responded to his mind's shouted command to give chase. He flung open the door and stared along the hall, feeling his stomach sink with dread. She was gone already, her wings whipping around the corner after her as he watched.

God, Max, not that way…

"An ambulance! Somebody call an ambulance!" Jeb turned, jolting back to himself. A young intern stood behind him, shouting in his high panicky voice, for a moment he thought it was Reilly, but as Jeb shook his head the man resolved into one of the nameless faceless lab tech drones.

"Not an ambulance," he said sharply, taking out his cell phone, "What's happened?" he dialed the medical department; someone was injured, no he didn't know how badly, send help quickly. He didn't mention Max's escape. If it was an escape. It only really counted if she made it outside and that might not be easy since he'd last seen her turning straight into the Erasers barracks.

"She broke his wrist and knocked him out, we don't know how bad the damage is, she kicked him pretty hard as well and there's some signs of internal bleeding-"

"W-what? Who?" Jeb was jerked, yet again, from his wandering, Max-centered thoughts to stare at the intern, he'd missed almost all of what the young man had said, he had to stay focused, concentrate.

"It's Reilly, the subject took him down when she made her escape,"

Reilly. She took down Reilly. Jeb's thoughts crystallized and he launched himself forwards, heading for the room Max had so recently occupied. Reilly was hurt. Had the boy said he had internal bleeding? How serious was it? How could he have let this happen?

The doors flew open without him feeling the pressure against his palms. Had he opened them? Who cares? Reilly lay on the floor, still, perfectly still, not moving, was that blood on his lips? His breath caught for a full minute that may have lasted only milliseconds. Reilly took a breath. Jeb breathed again. He was alive. Oh god, he was alive.

Jeb staggered back, from shock? Relief? A fist landing squarely against his jaw? The pain came, accompanied with the noise his mind had silenced, the sirens were still screeching, a flurry of activity was going on just outside these doors.

"You trained them, Jeb," ter Borcht spat at his old friend, "You trained them and look what they've done!"

Jeb swallowed, looking down at Reilly, "Is he okay?" he wanted to look up at ter Borcht, read the man's face for clues, make sure he wasn't lying. He wouldn't lie to save his feelings now, though, he was right, this was Jeb's fault.

"He's better; he regained consciousness for a brief moment but he panicked and tried to move. He passed out, for the best, I think, he shouldn't be moving around until the med team gets here,"

"Did you call one?" A look of horror spread across ter Borcht's face, letting Jeb know that in his alarm he'd forgotten to call for the team, "It's okay, it's okay, I just sent for one," Jeb said quickly, holding up his hands hoping to disperse the other man's sudden fear before it made him do something rash. Like punch a colleague and friend.

Jeb moved cautiously between the two men, moving to crouch by Reilly's side, checking his pulse, making certain that he was breathing evenly. The blood on his lips worried him but there was nothing much he could do, just wait, Jeb hated waiting.

"Your precious flock have killed before, Jeb, if Reilly dies his life is on you,"

Jeb listened to ter Borcht's low threats; he was keeping well back now as if his presence might affect Reilly's chances. More practically he could be making room for the med team to rush in. Jeb should do the same. He looked down at Reilly's pale face, felt the weak flutter to his pulse, and didn't move. Couldn't.

The team rushed in. Jeb was swept back. Hopefully nobody would ask where Max was. Not until he knew Reilly was safe. Until he knew Reilly was safe, he just couldn't care enough to wonder if she made it through the Erasers alive. He met ter Borcht's eyes across the room. His old friend looked how he would expect himself to look, consumed, anxious, scared. He'd learnt something today. Something about ter Borcht and Reilly that he hadn't seen. If only his mind would slow down enough for him to realize what that was.

2. Chapter 2

Beautiful Mess

"Reilly!" Jeb kicked Reilly's bed frame, earning a weak groan from his almost comatose lab tech, "Get up, you're working again today," he said harshly. Three weeks hadn't cooled the anger he felt for Reilly getting hurt - at least he told himself that Max's attack on Reilly was the source of his anger - and the Director hadn't improved his mood by demanding Reilly return to work, though he had to admit, he did seem mostly recovered and he had missed Reilly's company in the labs.

Reilly was glaring at him now through slitted eyes, the bright sunlight filtering through the dull glass of the window pane. "Rise and shine, Reilly," Jeb said slowly, enunciating each syllable carefully. Reilly scowled and threw his pillow at Jeb's patronising figure.

"I nearly died, Jeb, don't I get a whole month to recuperate? I hurt, for fuck's sake!"

Jeb glared, catching the pillow and tossing it onto the end of the bed, "Director's orders; get the fuck up, we have work to do or have you forgotten what we've been doing with your attacker?"

Reilly paused, mid-motion, the thin sheet pulled half way over his head; he'd been about to take his school boy tantrum to the next level. "The experimental treatment to temporarily neutralise her adrenal response?" he asked curiously, leaning on his elbows, the sheet on the back of his head and his eyes peeking out through the crook of his arm.

Jeb raised an eyebrow and crouched, straightening his glasses, "Yes, that's the one, are you going to get up and help me or will you stay here, cowering, in case the treatment doesn't work and you end up on Max's bad side again?"

Reilly sighed, collapsing his arms so that he lay flat with the sheet fully covering him, "Fine, I'll take a shower and be right out," he muttered, almost inaudibly.

Jeb smiled to himself, heading out and shutting the door quietly behind him. "What are you smiling about?" the familiar accented voice asked. Jeb jumped, the smile vanishing as he stared at ter Borcht.

"Reilly's coming back to work," Crap, was that a good enough reason? Was that too personal a reason? What if he read too much into it? Shit, I'm overthinking this, Jeb told himself firmly, adding a mental order for his conscience - or whatever the hell this counted as (paranoia maybe?) - to shut the hell up.

Roland was staring at him in his curious but emotionless way; how he'd managed to get that good a poker face, Jeb had yet to find out, he did wish, though, that his own face would give nothing away because right now he could feel his cheeks warming with a self-conscious, embarrassed flush. God, don't let him notice.

"Reilly shouldn't be working at all; he isn't fully recovered," ter Borcht said coldly, staring at Jeb like he was an insensitive - not to mention incompetent - doctor. Jeb bristled under that stare, he hadn't really done anything wrong, yes, he created Max, yes, he trained her, it wasn't his fault if the Director wouldn't listen when he told her Max would escape the 'precautions' she deemed worthy for the most successful, violent flight-risk of a genetic experiment. And this wasn't his fault now…

"Take it up with the Director; it's her orders that got him injured and it's her orders that has him out of a job if he doesn't work today," Jeb said, sick of ter Borcht's blame and his own feelings of guilt.

Just then Reilly's door opened and he stepped out, clothed in his usual shirt and jeans - soon to be covered with an 'ominous' white coat - and his hair dripping water onto his collar. He looked warily between his two colleagues - superiors really, but he felt a sense of belonging with them that he didn't get among the other techs.

"Uh, what's going on?" he asked and coughed slightly to clear his throat or just out of sheer awkwardness.

"Nothing," the word came twice and Jeb blinked, not even sure if he'd spoken first or if his voice had been the echo. Reilly's eyes narrowed in immediate suspicion but he shrugged, obviously not willing to push the tension in the air into a full blown confrontation. With mad scientists those sorts of things tended to end badly.

"Alright then, come on, Dr. Batchelder, you have to show me what you've been doing these past three weeks. I'd hate to slow down the experiment," he spoke slowly himself, trying to diplomatically defuse the situation. He didn't want to appear to be taking Jeb's side - whatever the 'sides' represented - but getting Jeb away from ter Borcht seemed as good an idea as any.

Jeb nodded, "Come on then, Reilly," he answered, putting a hand on Reilly's shoulder. Reilly felt reality shift a little as his mind exploded into activity, bombarding him with a volley of questions. Namely, was Jeb being possessive and why the hell did ter Borcht look so damn pissed?