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this is the way it be sometimes

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An FBI agent,slightly aloof but ultimately kindhearted. He’s got a few quirks that separate him from the other agents who occasionally join him on the case of the rampant serial killer haunting Reiner, Pennsylvania. He forms a strong bond with the local sheriff, and acts protectively over his cozily small department. He spends his time between hunting down or putting together clues at local businesses, acquainting himself with the locals. He passive aggressively dismisses the FBI agents who have no regard for the small town,treating the residents coldly despite the awful tragedy that has been and currently is ravaging their population. He quickly becomes a favourite when he saves a teenager from a would be kidnapping.

It’s three months into his investigation, when he’s become very familiar with the names and faces of the town. He was hurrying from his hotel to the police department after receiving a phone call from Daisy at the front desk that the sheriff wanted to see him— they had a new break in the case.

He’d just set foot outside his hotel room,still putting on his jacket when something slammed into his temple and he dropped like a rock. As his vision spun and his ears rang,he saw two black combat boots come closer to his face and he could only blearily watch as one kicked him into unconsciousness.

He wakes up somewhere damp and musty,cuffed to a chair with some contraption on his face. As soon as he starts looking around,a voice pours in through the speakers at the corners of the room. It explains the little game to him. There’s a key in the corpse laying ten feet from where he’s bound to the chair. Glass litters the floor,and the trap on his face? In two minutes,needles would puncture his face and eyes and he would bleed to death in this hellhole. As soon as the voice clicks off,the handcuffs fall open and a timer starts ticking at the back of the contraption.

He lurches to action,shards of glass cutting into the soft soles of his feet. He drops beside the body,mind working double time as he picks up the nastiest shard he can find before cutting into the abdomen. He didn’t see any stitches before cutting in so he assumes it’s either in the stomach or the intestines. His hands shake and he cuts into the cadaver,blood soaking his hands. He’s so focused that he doesn’t even realise that the heart is still beating sluggishly. Tempo slowed in a drugged stupor.

He’s down to the wire when he finds the key in the small intestines,bloody fingers scrabbling at it and hurriedly jamming it into the contraption’s back,finding the keyhole despite his shaking hands. The timer clicks moments after he gets it off his face,sharp needles gouging into his skin as he rips it away from him. He gasps in pain,breath rattling in his chest. Blood oozes down his face from the scourges left by the needles. If he’d been just a second slower,he would’ve been dead.

The voice crackled over the speakers again but he wasn’t listening. He was hyperventilating as the whole scene crashed into him in its full. He glances at the body,just in time to see the pulsing heart come to a full stop. His blood runs cold and he vomits in the corner,feet and legs and face bleeding.

He ends up finding his way through some winding tunnels before finding his things,folded and in a pile. Beside them,a trapdoor that when opened,leads to a cabin in the woods. It looks decrepit and abandoned. His bloodied hands shake as he dials the number of the police department, jacket and shoes clutched to his chest. He limps away from the cabin,flayed feet leaving a bloody trail over the dewy grass.

He gets dead air until he reaches a road with a sign,at which point Daisy answers. She’s hysteric when she recognises his voice,and when he informs her of the road sign he sees,she tells him that the sheriff is on his way to pick him up.

Five minutes later finds him sitting along the side of the road,using his socks to staunch his bleeding cuts on the undersides of his feet. Sirens in the distance get closer and then he sees the sheriff’s SUV pull up and he’s barely put it in park before he’s out of the car and running over to the agent. He’s calling for the guys from the ambulance to get over here,scooping the agent up. The sheriff takes in his bleeding feet and bleeding— well,everything— and anger or sadness flickers over his face. The agent finds it intriguing and a warm feeling settles in his stomach.

The agent is put in the ambulance and transported to the hospital,passing out along the way. The next time he wakes up,the sheriff is sitting in a chair next to his hospital bed,slumped slightly and snoring. Daisy is arranging pleasant looking flowers on the bedside table. She smiles fondly at him when she notices he’s awake. “Hello Agent Dunwell. How do you feel?”

They converse quietly amongst one another before she hugs him carefully and exits the room. He sits up against his pillows better,watching sun drift in through the half cracked blinds. The sheriff is still asleep,and something about it tugs fondly at Dunwell’s heart.

When the sheriff awakes, the agent is reading through the reports that Daisy brought for him. The man stands and lurches closer to the bed,movements sluggish from sleep still clinging to his body. He draped an arm around Dunwell’s shoulders,hugging him tight. The agent smiled slightly and he felt himself leaning into the touch,head resting against the sheriff’s chest. “I hope I didn’t worry you too much, Drake.”

The other man laughs,a bitter little sound. He sits on the bed after relinquishing his grip on Dunwell,but now his hand rests on the injured male’s leg,his dark gaze settling on his bandaged face. “You worry me all the time, Avery.”

The special agent feels warmth in his chest at the use of his first name,and he puts a gentle hand over Drake’s. “Hey. I’m okay now.”

The sheriff smiled bitterly and his gaze drifted away. Avery spared a glance at the door,which was shut. Sunlight played over the blankets on his bed, catching on Drake’s black hair and dark eyes. He was very handsome,in a rugged sort of way. Avery came to a very simple observation. He wished to kiss the other man. He voices this,and Drake gives him a queer look before chuckling. “Never one for subtlety,are you, Dunwell?”

“It has never been my strong suit,” The agent responds mirthfully,and the rest of his witty retaliation is lost when Drake presses his slightly chapped lips against his.

Birds sing outside,and the smell of pine drifts in from the opened window