14 years earlier

Bane was already outside Lucas’s house when he’d run out of it and vomited in the bushes. He’d still been on his knees when he noticed Bane’s old jalopy of a car idling in the street like a fucking angel’s wing.

Lucas didn’t hesitate. He had the clothes on his back, the bag he’d grabbed on the way out and some money. He hadn’t taken all of it, instead shoved it into the littler kids’ pockets for them to have when they woke.

He’d made Bane stop several blocks away so he could call the police too, because someone needed to be there for those kids.

He’d left the front door open so no one would scare them and he’d detailed to the police what he’d seen in the house, emphasizing that there were little kids inside who were sleeping. Who’d be scared—“scarred for life”—if the police came blazing in.

As he got back into Bane’s car, he could only hope for the best. For both of them. Bane was holding his arm at an unnatural angle and they both ignored that and the slate of bruises turning colors on the side of his face.

Instead, Lucas stared at the blood on his own hands as they drove through the night.