the black donnellys/boondock saints crossoverdown on my knees
but not to pray
hit so hard across the skull
it buckled my legs
white light exploded in his head, searing pain erupting in the back of the skull and spreading throughout his entire head, front to back, marring his senses and blackening his vision. he stumbled forward, one step, two, and then fell forward, knees grinding into gravel as he hit the ground; the soft fabric of his jeans frayed, the softer skin underneath stinging with the contact. his knees were burning from the harsh contact but he never even noticed; his entire head was throbbing with its own—worse—pain and that was all he could notice at the moment, blood dripping down from the wound onto his neck and t-shirt, pooling slowly on the dirty ground behind him. it blended in well there: how many bodies had been dumped out here? how many others assaulted (like he was being)? darkness edged in on the corners of his vision but he blinked it away. he couldn't pass out, not here, not now. he had to stay conscious and fight back until tommy or jimmy showed up to save him. he squeezed his eyes shut, then allowed them to widen in opening again when the darkness began fading away to fuzziness, and instead of passing out (he wanted to though sleep sounded so good right now) he retched. soft liquid found its way up his throat and he spat it out; he hadn't eaten anything since dinner the previous night, and before finding himself kneeling on the pavement in the alley beside the firecracker, he had been in the bar, downing shots of hard liqour every time joey passed one over to him. it had been a stupid fucking idea, he realized now, because he'd stumbled out the back of the bar, too drunk, and found this gang of assholes just standing there. why they were there, he had no idea; he'd never had the chance to ask before he was being hit across the back of the head with a crowbar one of them had found lying around (jimmy had probably left it out there the last time he'd locked himself out of the bar). cruel taunts fell on him, laughing and mocking, and he hissed angrily at them to shut the hell up. the only reason he was even on the ground was because of them; what right did they have to jeer at him for being so weak now? kevin pushed up with his hands and knees, struggling to get himself back up onto his feet. he was halfway there when pain laced through his head again and he groaned as he slumped forward, his palms taking the impact of his fall this time. his knees, at least, were saved the burden of any more abuse.
"what a fucking pussy," one of the men called out. kevin wished he could get on his feet then, he wanted to pummel the guy until he realized just how much of a pussy he really was.
"what's it matter?" another answered, and he sounded close, too close, that kevin almost tried to crawl away. that would only show another sign of weakness, however, and he held back, staying exactly where he was. money
, he thought. they just want money
. he knew he had fifty dollars in his wallet—joey had handed it over after betting kevin he couldn't down another shot after he'd already had ten, and kevin had just grinned, downed the shot (plus two more) and snatched the money from joey and stumbled out the back door of the bar. he had been trying to find the washroom but in his drunken state had (stupidly) stumbled out the wrong door. and now here he was, quickly sobering up as pain and fear surged through him, pushing out everything else and taking control. maybe if he wasn't so goddamned terrified he could run away. unluckily for him, any fight where he was horribly outnumbered or not drunk enough to just fight without caring had him backing off, trying to remain unseen. jimmy would always laugh at him, slap him on the back and tell him to man up, but kevin had never been the strong one —jimmy was, at least physically, and tommy easily followed (although tommy was always the strongest of mind out of the four donnellys) and sean was just the baby, not expected to join in any fighting unless he felt like it, and he almost always did because he felt left out if he didn't join in a fight with his brothers, or a coward if he backed down from his own fights. kevin knew sean was just trying to show off to whichever girl it was he was trying to impress, and usually it worked. money
, kevin thought again, trying to focus his thoughts back on this fight, not all of the past ones he and his brothers had been a part of; those were done with, and thinking about them would definitely not help him now, unless thinking hard enough about his brothers would make them appear. he forced himself back up onto his knees, not noticing the man standing over him until he was reaching back for his wallet and the man took hold of his arm and twisted it hard behind his back. kevin exhaled suddenly, fear gripping him almost as tightly as the man holding his arm behind his back.
"he'll work better on his knees," the man said, and kevin's heart began to hammer in his chest, beating faster to match rhythm with the throbbing pain still flaring through his head. he felt his mouth go dry and he swallowed heavily, licking at his lips, trying to regain the lost moisture. the man holding his arm released his grip slightly, kevin still held captive by the hand on his arm but at least it didn't feel like it was going to be ripped out of the socket anytime now. "i've got money," he said stupidly, and the man behind him let out a small chuckle. "good," he said, "that'll come in handy, too. afterwards. we'll be thirsty, for sure. for now, though, i think you oughtta start making better use of that mouth of yours."
the leering remark unnerved kevin worse than dokey and his axe and his threats of chopping all of his toes off ever could—okay, only once (although one encounter with dokey was enough as far as kevin was concerned) when kevin was walking with joey to the firecracker and dokey had driven by (or been driven, really; the guy hardly ever drove himself) and pulled to a stop ahead of the duo; the threat had come as kevin and joey walked by, oblivious to the vehichle's passengers until a window rolled down and dokey's voice called out. "kevin donnelly," he'd said, and kevin's head had jerked sideways at the call; his stomach lurched at the sight of dokey and he wanted to run but curiosity held him in place. dokey hadn't actually verbally threatened kevin, but his dark stare and the axe he held in his hand were threat enough. kevin had swallowed hard, nodded, and turned away. dokey drove off and kevin just stood there well joey shouted curses after the retreating vehicle. he still had all of his toes though; soon enough he wasn't even sure he'd still have his life, however, and kevin nearly threw up again. he began to struggle, yanking his arm free easier than he'd thought it would be but then again the man probably wasn't expecting the struggle or for kevin to release himself easily so his grip had been slack, just a cautionary measure to hold kevin in place.
kevin's head throbbed in protest as he hauled himself up, struggling hard not to keel over again when pain and nausea overcame him. he ran then, fear overcoming every other thing his body was feeling, and he pushed the pain and nausea to the back of his head, knowing that if either one were allowed to come over him he'd be back down on the ground in seconds. it didn't seem to matter, though, because he was still weak and dizzy and his movements were sluggish. he hadn't even gotten halfway down the alley—and it wasn't even a long alley—when one of the men from behind caught him and tackled him to the ground. kevin thought it was an unnecessary move; they could have just grabbed the back of his jacket and pulled him to a stop. again kevin's knees bore the brunt of the impact as he slammed down into the hard pavement, and then his stomach as the man shoved him down flat, fully subduing the younger man. kevin screamed, a desperate plea for help, but nobody came. he could see a few people pass by the alley but they all seemed too busy to care about what was happening in some dark deserted back alley of new york. he'd ignored enough alleys himself to understand how many people could just walk by and not notice that he was being attacked and needed help, but it didn't lessen the despair he felt. somebody should have at least heard him cry out for help. he wanted to keep screaming for help but the man holding him had pressed his hand against kevin's mouth, effectively gagging him and quieting his calls for help. he was dragged back onto his feet and shoved back to the group of men. he tried to look pissed off but he knew he looked more scared than anything. he felt helpless now, his escape attempt draining what little energy he'd had left; his head seemed to hurt worse and darkness was trying to overcome him again. concussion
, he thought bitterly. a crowbar to the head will do that
kevin thought that he must have blacked out at some point. he's being shaken, hard, rough, and he blinks open his eyes and mumbles wearily: "what?" he's back home in bed, and everything was just a bad dream. his ma's shaking him awake because he's always the last one up—tommy and sean have school and jimmy has the bar or whatever else he needs to do—and kevin is usually just the tag along. he doesn't tag along with tommy or sean when they go to school, but afterward he'll follow whoever will let him (it's usually to a bar, before it was mcguinty's, now the firecracker, but if tommy or sean have a date he'll get shoved back into the apartment and told to stay put). he follows jimmy to the bar, eventually, though, and he helps out there in the afternoons most days, but the mornings, he'd concluded, were for sleep.
"shit, man, i thought we killed the kid."
kevin's wide awake with that blunt statement, staring at the men watching him cautiously and everything comes back, cascading over him like a tidal wave. "i'm not a kid," he says. he sure as hell sounds like a kid when he says that though. there's a hand in kevin's hair, though, tugging his head up, and he can't help it.
"please," he whispers, because he doesn't know what else to say. he hates to beg but he's scared and he doesn't want this. he wants to go home, to see his ma and sean and jimmy and tommy. he wants this nightmare to be over. he wants his brothers to be here, to save him, and he wonders why they aren't because he's being assaulted in the alley outside jimmy's bar for crying out loud. the man who's gripping his hair tight enough that the scalp is burning laughs and then jerks kevin's head forward. he'd pulled the zipper down while kevin had been wishing for everything to go away and now he's pulling down his jeans and boxers as he draws kevin's head closer. jesus christ
, kevin thinks, i can't do this
. he can feel the tears and he wishes he wasn't such a coward. if he was brave and strong like tommy and jimmy he would have made it out of the alley when he'd managed to escape the guy's grasp earlier. kevin presses his lips together tightly but there's too many of them. somebody else grabs his chin and squeezes his jaw until he gasps in pain, and that's all it takes. he gags as the cock is shoved into his mouth, and he suddenly can't breathe. tears stream down his face as the man thrusts in harder, deeper, and kevin knows he's going to throw up again. he begs forgiveness from god and bites down hard. the man screeches and jumps backward. kevin turns his head away quickly and begins vomiting again, come mixed in with the liquid mess this time.
"you little fucker." okay
, kevin thinks, bad idea
, right as the man's booted foot connects with the side of his face. he's going to kill me, kevin thinks, but it's somehow a relief. death would be better than sucking off the guy and all his friends, and god only knew what else. a gunshot cracked through the silence and kevin jerked, thinking the guy had shot him. there's no pain or blood, though, and when he looks up to stare at his killer he's gone, running sideways away from whoever was shooting. "oh," kevin says, and then pushes himself up against the nearest wall. two guys, identical in clothing and movement, are walking down the alley, holding guns in front and shooting at any of the gang that tries to move closer or run away. all of a sudden kevin's being dragged to his feet and pulled into the line of gunfire. he hadn't really thought to keep an eye out in case any of the men tried to attack him again, he'd been too focused on the two guys shooting their way down the alley. he wanted to shout out "don't shoot" because it seemed to him that these two guys were only after the men that had attacked him, but whoever had decided to use kevin as a shield had a hand clamped over his mouth. "keep your fucking mouth shut," is hissed in his ear and kevin can't argue or not do as told because of the hand over his mouth. he wonders why the command was even whispered in his ear in the first place.
the two men dressed in dark jeans and darker shirts stop when kevin is dragged into view. there wasn't much to stop, anyway: they'd already shot the other four guys and they were now too dead or too injured to do anything but lay on the cold cement as their blood and lives drained from them.
"you bastards," the man holding kevin hisses, and he can place the voice now. he's not surprised that the one who had assaulted him the worst was the one who'd decided to drag him out into the alley. kevin had pissed him off severely and this guy still hadn't gotten his revenge. the others had most likely forgotten all about kevin the minute the first bullet buried itself into the chest of one of their friends.
"let him go," one of the men says. they both have their guns aimed at the man holding kevin, which only means that the guns are pointed at kevin as well. he isn't sure how he's going to get out of this alive. okay
, kevin thinks, they're on my side
. that, or they want to be the ones that kill me
. he doesn't recognize them, though, and he hasn't made any bets to anyone besides joey since the whole mess with louie downtown. tommy had made him swear he'd go straight but kevin had already decided that for himself after seeing sean lying in the hospital bed, face so damaged he'd hardly recognized him, their ma sitting beside him and clutching his hand tight and trying not to let her other sons see her crying. there's a bang behind them and kevin's the only one not startled by the noise. somebody had just come out of the bar, by way of the back exit. kevin knew that only him and his brothers ever used that door, or sometimes joey, but nobody else, because it was the door that they used to take out the trash or to go smoke or talk in private. or, as kevin had done, accidentally exit out of when they were too drunk to realize where they were going. it's jimmy that starts shouting—"hey! get the hell away from my brother!"—and the man's grip on kevin loosens as he whirls around to face the newcomer. jimmy and tommy are running at them but somehow jimmy's the first one to reach them; he tackles them both to the ground, effectively releasing kevin. kevin would hit him, but it had gotten him free so he doesn't care. his head is throbbing, though, still, and he's wondering if he's going to pass out again. it sure feels like he's about to. jimmy is beating the shit out of the guy when the two gun-wielders step up beside him. they say something to jimmy and his brother climbs off of the guy. kevin thinks what the hell
and then the two guys are dragging the guy up, into a kneeling position.
"kevin, you okay?" tommy's beside him, touching him, looking for other injuries. his fingers trace along the bruised cheek, prodding, trying to see if any bones have been broken. kevin winces and tommy apologizes with a small smile. kevin wants to smile back but he can't; he hurts too much. he finds his gaze drawn back to the two men and the guy who'd attacked him. the two men have guns drawn and pointed down at the back of the guy's head; they're saying something but kevin doesn't understand. when they're done, they pull the triggers. as identical as their clothes and movement
, kevin thinks, amazed. tommy doesn't look at the two men until the guns go off; he frowns, watching as one man-darker haired, a bit shorter-pulls pennies from his jacket pocket and places them on the closed lids of the man they'd just killed.
"hey," jimmy speaks up, when it looks like they're finished.
"hey," the dark-haired man replies. "you a'ight?" he asks, nodding at kevin. his voice is low but his irish accent is still prominent.
kevin nods slowly, although he doesn't think he is. he feels tired, and when he nods dizziness overcomes him and his vision grows fuzzy. tommy notices something's wrong and tells kevin to lean forward; he inspects the back of his head and sighs. "think you're gonna need stitches. probably got a concussion, too."
"yeah," kevin mumbles. "i'm tired."
"just stay awake for a little bit longer, okay? jimmy, jesus, get over here."
the oldest donnelly looks toward tommy suddenly, snapping out of a daze; he'd been watching the two men as they'd executed the man. "uh, yeah..." jimmy hurried over to his brothers, looking once at kevin and curling his hands into fists. "you okay?"
"he needs to go to the hospital," tommy states. jimmy nods slowly, and to anybody but his brothers it would seem as if he hadn't understood what tommy had said. kevin's not paying attention to his two brothers, however; his eyes are on the two strangers—the lighter-haired man had gone and placed more pennies on the eyes of the other dead men and kevin only sort of understands because his ma had explained to him and his brothers about different cultures and death when they were younger after sean had asked where their father was; he didn't really understand how there could only be one heaven, one place where everybody went after they died, though, which had lead to a boring lesson that kevin had only paid half attention to—standing over the dead man still and watching the donnellys. kevin looks at the dead man, the first one killed, slumped on the cold cement, and he sees the pennies shining on his closed eyelids. he inhales sharply as realization hits. tommy and jimmy are all over him, thinking that he'd been breathing out sharply in pain, not acknowledgment. "holy shit," kevin says, and the strangers' eyes are on him now. understanding creeps over them and they nod.
"kevin, what's the matter?" tommy says, and fingers are prodding at his torn skin again, looking for any unseen damage. "no," kevin says. "not me. them. they're uh...jesus christ. i think those're the saints."