For @qqueenofhades because she rocks and also because she dragged me into this dumpster in the first place.
“I’m here to see Garcia Flynn.”
The cell is dark and damp, mildew lingering heavy in the air. With no windows or even bars to see out of, just a solid metal door with a single flap that opens twice a day, it’s exactly the kind of hidden away hole Flynn always expected to be thrown in one day (at least if he didn’t succeed—and he hasn’t, God, he’s failed so fantastically—). It’s the place you lock away monsters, never to see the light of day, or even necessarily another person, again.
“I’m here to see Garcia Flynn.”
Inside, Flynn’s eyes flicker open. The first time he’d written Lucy’s voice off as a figment of his imagination, some construct to keep him from going mad—or perhaps a sign he’s already started to. The second time is harder to ignore.
Her tone is cut through with ice and steel, imperious and regal. It’s one he’s grown exceedingly familiar with.
“I’m not going to let you kill a child—”
“Tell him to let me go—”
He doesn’t know how to feel about her being on the other side of the door. Rage, disbelief, hurt—betrayed, betrayed, betrayed, I trusted you—threaten to consume him entirely once more, but those feelings are at war with desperation and the need for even a moment of real human interaction.
(They had consumed him the first few days after his arrest —crushing him, drowning him with the weight of his loss. He had nothing, not the hope of getting his family back, not even the cold comfort of revenge. Nothing…and it was Lucy’s fault)
Why had she come?
“I don’t know who let you in here, ma'am, but Flynn doesn’t get visitors,” the guard scoffs.
The steel in Lucy’s voice hardens. “I don’t think you understand,” she says. The next moment there’s the telltale click of a gun being cocked. “That wasn’t a request.”
There’s the start of a shout, then a scuffle and the crackle of electricity before something heavy thumps against the door. Body, Flynn recognizes, and unbidden he feels a flash of concern for Lucy. That is, until he hears her voice again.
“Thanks, Wyatt. Nice job with the taser.”
“This is still a terrible idea.”
“Well, I didn’t hear anyone else coming up with a better one, so this is what we’ve got.”
The next moment there’s the clink of keys, and then the cell door creaks open. It takes a moment for Flynn’s eyes to adjust to even the dim fluorescent lighting coming in from the hall, but when his vision clears, sure enough, Lucy is there in front of him.
(Wyatt is nowhere to be found—he assumes the soldier is keeping watch)
Seeing her is like a blow to the stomach, everything from the last time he’d had the chance coming back up like bile, burning him up inside.
(He tries not to think about the hurt in her own eyes, the compassion, the raw emotion—“I’m sorry” and “You’re sorry?” play on loop in his head—he refuses to feel bad if the hurt is something he caused. She deserves that much)
Lucy takes a step forward and Flynn steps back, running into the wall sooner than he’d like. He doesn’t want her here, doesn’t want to know what she has to say for herself, wants nothing to do with her ever again, journal be damned.
(He doesn’t think about how all of those things are lies. He’s always been good at lying to himself)
“What are you doing here?” It’s little more than a croak, Flynn’s throat dry, his voice rusty from disuse.
“I’m—” For the first time since they started this…whatever it is between them, Lucy looks unsure of herself. “I’m rescuing you.”
“I—we need you,” she says simply, correcting herself in the next moment with, “We need your help.” Flynn almost laughs. She needs him? She needs him? After everything they’ve been through, now, when she has no right to ask him for anything, now she needs him?
“And why should I help you?” He spits. “So you can get me killed instead of arrested? Or are you going to promise to get my family back again? Fool me once, Lucy…”
Lucy flinches and it feels like satisfaction. “I know I have no right to expect you to trust me—”
Flynn does laugh then, sharp and bitter. “No, you’re right about that.”
“—but please,” she barrels on as if he hadn’t interrupted. “Please come with me. This is so much bigger than you and me, than any of us. It’s so much bigger, so much worse than we could have imagined, and we can’t do it without you.”
It’s not the first time she’s stood in front of him, pleading with him, begging him, pushing him to do more, to be better, but he’s far more wary this time, her betrayal too fresh in his mind (even if she was telling the truth and she didn’t know, he can’t help blaming her). But then—
It’s as though all the air leaves the room at once. He can’t breathe, his name echoing in his ears. Lucy’s never used it before, but that’s hardly a surprise. No one has used his first name since all of this began, and if Flynn’s honest with himself, he almost prefers it that way. Garcia was a good man, a good husband, a good father. Garcia loved and fought and didn’t always make the right choices, but by God, he did his best. Flynn…Flynn is the monster he’s become. The dark, twisted thing Rittenhouse turned him into.
“I don’t think you’re a monster.”
“I know you’re not a bad man.”
“Garcia.” He can’t speak, can still barely breathe when Lucy pulls the gun from its holster and slides it across the floor to him. His gaze flicks between the weapon and her, the rest of him frozen in place. He could shoot her. Pick up the gun and give in to the anger he feels toward her. Sure, that would definitely bring her soldier running in to end him, but death isn’t the worst thing in the world. Especially not in this world.
“I trust you,” Lucy says, and the truth of it is written plainly on her face.
So decided to draw an alternate reality where the Chocobros got to Altissia in time for the wedding - and Noctis had to have a photoshoot for publicity. Aaaand of course one of the shots is with his bestmen.
This was a commission for @jack-jazzrabbit! Thank you so much for letting me draw the boys!