Part Two of Four of The Mini Series
TW: Angst, blood, gore, bodily harm
His cane hardly hit the ground, despite the immense pain coursing through him. Kaz Brekker was running through the alleys, he didn't know what he'd face when he found his friends. But he was going to do it, for them, for Inej.
He turned a corner and saw Rotty on his way back from the Harbor.
"Hey Boss-" He tried to catch up to him. Kaz gave him one look and Rotty saw the darkness in his eyes, the hatred, and most of all, the fear. Kaz did not stop running.
He couldn't help but imagine Inej's limp body, grey and cold. He shuddered and did his best to shake off the thought, but it clung to him, burrowing in his heart and eating away at what hope was left in him.
After what was eternity for him, he arrived at the bank, where he had been, not more than an hour ago. He smoothed his hair and slipped into the alley beside it, pulling himself up the to top of the shop next door. He went in through it's roof door, intending to use the secret passage under the building.
He passed down two flights of stairs, gave the guard who had a suspicious look the password, and continued down. The password, the roof entrance, the underground passage, the same thing Inej had done, less than three hours ago.
Kaz was inside the bank now, and he knew who he needed to find.
"Where are they?" He asked, he had his oyster knife to the man's throat.
"If they're still alive-" He laughed, so much confidence from a man in a life or death situation, Kaz pressed the knife down harder, two small beads of blood trickled down the man's neck before he wheezed out his answer, "The Beekhof Manor."
Like that, Kaz was off again, leaving the man shaking in his chair, he didn't have time to deal with him. ~~~~~~~~
Beekhof liked living near his money, and Kaz had thought he might take them there. Kaz made his way around the building, and what he saw unnerved him. The back door was open, a small slip of paper at the entrance, he was expected.
Kaz took a breath, looking at the sun, sky, and city that surrounded him just once, before entering the house. He knew his chances were slim, and his saint was not here to protect him. As he slipped through the door, he said one small prayer, not for himself, but for his friends. If they are alive, protect them when I cannot.
The house was dark and as he made his was down the hall he knew he was being watched. A small breath was all it took, Kaz gripped his cane and swung it to his right. There was thud, and following it, a movement to his left. Kaz felt a fist collide with his jaw and pain shot through his head, making his teeth rattle. He shifted his cane to bring the head of it to what he hoped was the face of the figure in front of him. Another thud.
Kaz picked up his pace, taking a right and walking through hall after hall, until he saw an open door. Light streamed out through the door, every window in the large room was open. He scanned the room, nothing, until he saw a small figure in the darkest corner of the room. Inej.
He ran to her, not another care in the world.
"Inej!" She didn't look up, her legs were outstretched in front of her, she was slumped against the wall, shaking ever so slightly.
"Inej!" He called out to her again, squatting down to her level, he touched her leg gently with his cane. Eliciting a scream from her, she awoke, yelping, tears streaming down her face. Ghezen, had he hurt her? Somehow? He'd only touched her.
"My legs," She looked up to see Kaz, "Oh thank the Saints... Kaz, they... Kaz they broke my legs." Tears streamed down her face and Kaz's heart dropped, they broke her legs. The rage inside him grew, a forest fire, it ripped through him, screaming to be released.
Inej looked back down, and Kaz thought his heart may break, guilt filled him as he dared to wonder if the child was alive. "Did they know, about..?' Kaz trailed off, cursing himself for asking. Inej shook her head. She was weak, her movements slow and labored. He sighed. They didn't know.
Her wrists were bruised. They must have had to hold her down somehow. Dirtyhands began to bargain his release, as did Rietveld.
"Inej, darling, where are the others?" He said, his heart broke for her, but she was alive.
Inej let out a small whimper as she shifted in her spot on the floor. "I'm sorry, I- I don't know."
"Don't be sorry Inej, you've done a wonderful job," Kaz had to swallow back the tears that threatened to form, there was no time for that now, "I'll find them Inej, I will be back for you. I promise." It was a promise he hardly dared to make. Inej nodded and shivered, wincing at the pain that flooded through her when she did. Kaz gave her his jacket, covering her, and leaving them there with the lightest touch of a kiss on her head, and all the love in his heart.
He knew he only found her because he was allowed to, he was being toyed with and he knew it. He was not in control tonight. He walked down the hall, turning on occasion, he felt like a rat in a maze. Another open door, he made his way to it, looking around before entering the room. Wylan sat in front of the piano, and questions filled Kaz's mind.
Wylan turned to see him, "Kaz, no." He said but he was too late, Kaz stepped through the door, foot hitting the trip wire attached to the oil lamp beside him. A distinct pop filled the air, hot oil soaked Kaz, flames licking at his skin. A small scream escaped him as he dropped to the ground, rolling to put out the flames before they made their way up his neck.
He slapped at the flames, and called to Wylan to help him. But Wylan didn't move. Kaz rolled until the last of the flames went out, holes were burnt in his trousers and his waistcoat was severely singed, burns patterned his arms.
Kaz used his cane to push himself from the floor, pain dancing across his arms. "Wylan, why didn't you-" He stopped, the words dying in his mouth when he saw Wyalns hands, still on the piano keys.
Nails, nails are what bound Wylan's fingers to the keys. Each finger with one in it. Tears stained Wylan's cheeks as he apologized to Kaz. "Is Jesper?" Alive was the word he refused to use.
"I don't know yet," Kaz looked to Wylan's feet and he let out a small gasp as he did. Two large metal spikes were stuck through his feet, binding them to the ground. Kaz looked up to meet Wylan's eyes.
"Save them, come for me last, just save Jesper, please Kaz, please." He begged Kaz, who shuddered as he looked at Wylan's fingers once again. He nodded to him, he didn't want to leave him like this, but he was alive.
Kaz had underestimated Beekhof, and now the Crows were paying for it. He made his way, running down the halls, through the kitchen and toward the servants quarters.
Once again, a door was open, this room was less grand than the others, and in the center of it was a table. Jesper was seated facing it and Kaz, blindfolded. From what he could see from outside the doorway, he was bound to the chair with barbed wire that was digging into his skin, and one of his revolvers lay in the center of the table, just out of reach. Russian roulette.
He didn't dare enter the room this time. "I told you, I'm not ready yet. Please.." Jesper's voice broke as he uttered the last word.
"It's me Jesper, it's Kaz." He said to him, as much kindness as he could muster filling his voice. Everything in Jesper seemed to relax, then tense again.
"Is Wylan okay?"
"He's alive." Jesper sighed, realizing a tad until the barbed wire bit into him.
"It's Russian roulette." Jesper said, laughing bitterly.
"I'll be back for you Jesper." At that Jesper shook his head, and Kaz continued down the hall.
The next door wasn't far off, Nina was there, surrounded by 5 other people. Each of them looking incredibly sickly, laying on the floor, moaning and grabbing at her. Nina was sitting in a corner, crying, all her hair had been chopped off and she looked badly bruised.
"Nina." She looked up to see Kaz in the doorway.
"Don't come in, they'll get you. I can't help them Kaz. I can't help any of them.." She sobbed, "Where is Matthias?" The pleading in her voice sunk Kaz's heart as much as the others.
"I know, learned the hard way," He said gesturing to his singed suit,"I haven't found him yet, the others are safe," Kaz took a deep breath, the guilt of leaving them all in their personal hell weighed on him, "I'll be back for you okay?"
Nina nodded, letting out a small sob and Kaz continued on. He needed Matthias for this part, hopefully he was in better shape than the others.