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Kingdom for a Heart

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Rhys wasn’t sure how he exactly ended in this run facility or who he was with, the last he checked he was with Jack… erm well… Handsome Jack… As weird as that sounds; the next second he woke up in a strange building on what he thinks of Pandora, that was his destination, right? The kid couldn’t see outside to confirmed this theory, but he didn’t dwell on that before he only saw darkness encasing his eyes.

Next thing Rhys came to what he thinks is either blood or sweat running down his face, he can feel a gash on his numb face, but that wasn’t the most important thing at the moment, he just needs to get out of here. The brunette tried to look around his surrounding but his head was too heavy and gave way, lolling his head down and chin hitting the crook of his collarbone with a groan. His eyes were heavy with exhaustion and wasn’t sure how much longer he could stay awake before he attempted to open them wider to beat the tiredness his brain was succumbing him to. He furrowed his eyebrows in protest as pain soared through his angered nerves, but now he can only just picture Jack now, trying to find him around the penthouse and growing more and more frustrated as he could not find the lanky boy anywhere. How he would pace back and forth to think of the last place the kid could be.

The thought… it freaked Rhys out to no end, who know what Jack will do when he learns of this kidnapping? Helios may fall, Pandora could explode, and Elpis may or may not be sent to another galaxy in his anger to find him, ok, well… that may be exaggerating a bit, but this is Handsome Jack we are talking about. The stocky male was so unpredictable with the way he never thinks plans through when something drastic happens how he listens to his gut and how that has gotten the pair in some deep shit many times.

He was just about to let himself fall into sleep’s grasps as they certainly willed him to their side of the spectrum when he could feel his ECHO comm vibrating in his pants pocket it got his attention. He made a lame attempt to reach for it when he starts to realize he can’t move, he is tied to the chair by a thick wire rope digging into his skin. The areas around where the metal hit was red and irritated but the longer the ECHO comm rang the more determination he had to reach for it. Rhys tried wiggling his hand closer to his pants pocket, not truly minding all the cuts his arms were now obtaining and he managed to get the comm from his pocket to answer it. His lithe thumb hovered over the button and pressed it when a face appeared in front him, a light smile ghosted his lips and out came a soft voice of, “Hey Jack…”

 

---48 Hours Earlier---

 

Jack was hastily walking down the corridors, his PA trailing behind him with ease, thanks to his long legs. “Jack, this is what you get for sleeping in so late,” he said smugly, “Now you won’t get to the meeting on time.”

The CEO groaned as he quickened his pace, “I don’t see the problem of me being late, kiddo, I’m the CEO, for taints sake!” His arms flailed as he talked with grandiose in his voice.

“Jack… they are all CEOs... “ Rhys rolled his heterochromatic eyes as he shoved Jack into the meeting room, “Sit and listen, ok? We have more meetings after this one, which, let me tell you, we will also be late for because you were late to this one.” The lanky man got Jack into the seat and kissed his cheek, “Now, I beg of you, please pay attention and not be on your ECHO comm,” he whispered into his ear before taking his own seat next to him. During the meeting Jack continuously put his hand on Rhys’s leg, slowly moving upwards before it gets smacked away before it could reach the vital parts. By the end of the meeting, Jack’s hand was bright red and shit eatin grin on his face.

All day long Rhys dragged Jack from one meeting to the next, each time trying a different method to actually get him to not fool around and act like a giant kid, but it was futile. It wasn’t until they got to the penthouse that Rhys could finally yell at the stocky man for everything he pulled today.

“What the hell, Jack?” His face bright red and angry as he got Jack alone in the penthouse. “I asked you to pay attention for once in your life, but you end up trying to play footsies with me?” Rhys crossed his arms angrily looking away from with with a scowl.

       Jack got closer to his boyfriend and gently placed his massive hands on his shoulders, “Rhys, baby, kitten, cupcake… light of my life, I've been doing this years before you became my PA, I know how to not pay attention but still get the jist of it.” He flashed an award winning smile just as his thumbs began rubbing circles soothingly into the flesh of Rhys’s shoulders. “I totally appreciate what you're doing for me babe, but trust me, I got it.”

       Rhys flicked his eyes up to look at Jack’s handsome face and relaxed in his hold, “Fine, fine, but I’m here to keep you on track, if you don’t even listen to me, then what am I here for?”

His devilish smile softened and graced the older man’s lips, it was the look that made Rhys feel so content and safe around him, “Rhys, you’re more than just my silly little PA, like I more than like you… it’s more a… uh… advanced friendship…?” Jack was trying to find the right words, he isn’t exactly known for his endearing words.

Rhys smiles at him and shakes his head, “Jack, we’ve been together for a couple years now, I know you love m-” a finger came up to his lips to stop his talking.

“Shh, Daddy’s trying to tell you something,” he said, “I’ve never actually told you and you’re ruining it, pumpkin.” The stockier man pulled his PA to his chest, “What I’m trying to say, baby, is that I trust you… very much,” He suddenly stopped talking, seemingly trying to figure out what else to say or just the how to say it. “Fuck, uh, Rhysie baby, I think I’m just trying to say how much I appreciate you tolerating me and how I think it makes me feel… which is…” the last part was quiet which is something the older man doesn’t do often, or at all. The quietness caused Rhys to look up at Jack only to see his head turned away, a look in his eyes that showed how hard he was thinking this through.

The lanky man pecked his lips chastely against Jack’s, “Geez, I never knew you could be cute like this.” Rhys smirked when Jack’s head snapped back to look into the boy’s brown eyes, “What?”

Jack furrowed his eyebrows, “I’m trying to tell you I love you and you call me cute? Great way to ruin the mood, Kiddo,” he said without thinking, and then, and only then did he realize he just said it which he then groaned loudly.

The lanky man on the other hand, his face was completely red. The words ran through his head, he had a feeling that, that was what Jack was going to tell him, but hearing him say it just did things to Rhys. His hands fisted Jack’s shirt and buried his face against his chest. He awkwardly chuckled and just tried to get as close to him as he could.

Wrapping arms around the boy’s shoulders, “You ok there, Rhysie?” his massive hands rubbed his back in soothing circles, he could see the red tinge on his ears which he then smirked wildly. “Rhysie, baby~” He crooned into his ear teasing the boy.

“Jaack~” Rhys lightly moaned, he bit his lip at hearing the low voice being whispered into his ear and looked up at the powerful CEO and smiling softly at him. “I… Jack- I… Love you too,” he softly said back to him. Not too much longer after that, they were devouring each other’s mouths.

The kiss was long and very well needed, their tongues dancing across one another’s like a practiced dance. Metal and flesh hands meet behind Jack’s neck, slightly going into his hair to pull him closer. Jack lightly bit at Rhys’s lip as they pulled apart, heavy breathing filled the silence of the room, “What a great gift, babe.”

Rhys smiled and straightened up Jack’s coat and vest to make him look presentable, “Let’s go, we have one last meeting before we can go home.” He took his hand into his and they began their way down to the conference room. On the way, Jack began to swing their hands obnoxiously getting looks from people, but the people made themselves scarce once Jack gave them glares back.

When the day was finally over from all the annoying meetings and what not they went back to the penthouse apartment on the top floor of Helios. Rhys already changed out of his work clothing sat wrapped up in a blanket on the couch as he forced himself to stay awake a bit longer. The smell of dinner being cooked and the soft humming coming from that vicinity lulled him to sleep. He was completely vulnerable and relaxed on the plush white couch, hair splaying over the cushion until he felt a hand gently shaking him but soon it felt like an earthquake hit the boy.

“Rhysie! Wake up, pumpkin!” Jack shouted earning a scream from the kid, “Rise and shine, baby, dinner is ready!” He patted his face before standing up stretching out his back before returning to the kitchen.

“What the fuck, Jack?” Rhys said sitting up and the blanket sliding off of his shoulders, “Why did you have to shake me so hard?”

“Why? Because, honestly, baby, you sleep like a rock, had to wake you up somehow,” He stated as a matter of fact, smile plastered to his face, “But doesn’t mean I didn’t get a cute little photo of you before I woke you up.” Jack turned on his ECHO comm and showed the background of Rhys sleeping with some drool slipping out of his mouth, “Don’t you look just precious?”

Rhys looked betrayed and bolted off the couch to Jack, “No no, get rid of that!” He tried reaching for the comm but Jack kept it out his reach. “God, Jack! I look horrible!”

“What? Kiddo, you never look horrible… except maybe in that one picture I too-” Jack didn’t finish before he had a hand plastered over his mouth.

“No no no, please don’t bring up that photo, that was disgusting...” Rhys lightly glared at Jack, “And stop licking my hand.”

Jack began talking behind his hand and made his as murmured as he could just to piss of the PA even more, a wicked smile growing even more as he saw it was working. Rhys removed his hand and stared at him before waving a hand as if to say, ‘please continue?’ Jack cleared his throat, “Now, as I was saying, we should eat dinner before it gets cold, so I can get to dessert sooner.” He licked his lips as he looked down at Rhys hungrily. He put a hand around his waist before sitting him down at the table and filling his plate up with the freshly hot dinner he made, “You’re gonna like this babe, these are Handsome Jack’s ‘Awesome’ pretzel chicken tenders! Bone Apple tea!”

The smaller man looked at Jack like he had grown two heads, “You mean, Bon Appetite?” He raised one of his eyebrows and curiously watched Jack’s face as he thought over what he said.

“That is what I said, right?”

“Not really no.”

“Hm, Well I never learned Spanish-”

“French.”

“Never learned French, and don’t plan on that anytime soon,” He ended up shrugging before planting a kiss on Rhys’ messed up hair, “Either way, eat up, Princess, or it’s gonna get cold!”

Dinner went as well as one could imagine, usually consisted of Jack flinging some food at Rhys and the kid reciprocating it back at him, then somehow always ended with Jack trying to lick it off of him. Once they cleaned up the two headed to bed, climbing into the warmth of the silk sheets, laid in eachother’s arms, “Jack, you have an important meeting with Dahl down on Pandora this Wednesday, but your schedule is all filled so I was thinking-”

Jack sharply sat up and looked at Rhys, “You are not going to Pandora.”

“Well, someone has to go to the meeting, and you don’t have the time to get down there,” He said, “Besides, I’ve wanted to see how Pandora is for a long time now, I’ll be fine.”

“See how Pandora is? Geez, Rhysie, it’s too murderous for you down there, literally everything tries to kill you one way or another,” The CEO leaned over Rhys’ body to carefully lay kisses on his face, “You’re too fragile for that planet, babe.”

“Oh wow, thanks for the vote of confidence there, Jack.” Rhys muttered to himself, “I am very capable, thank you very much…”

“What was that?”

“Nothing, nothing… Just how much I would love to just give you a break from you’re extremely busy schedule and actually let me do something for you,” Rhys stated poking and prodding at Jack’s bare face, “Come on, imagine only having to worry about one on station meeting for the whole day and that’s it.”

Jack pondered for a couple seconds before skeptically looking at him, “Why can’t you do the one on station and I go to the Dahl meeting?”

“You may end up killing them before they even speak, that’s why.”

‘Fuck. Rhys knows me better than I thought,’ he sighed running a hand slowly down his scarred face, “Fine, fine, but you are going with bodyguards; the whole nine yard which will include you taking my shields. I have to know you’re safe down there, ok?” Jack reached across Rhys to get to the nightstand and rummage through the drawer obtaining the hexagonally shaped shield generator. He placed the object in Rhys’ palm, curling his lithe fingers over the hard edges. “Just to keep my paranoia down… Well not completely, but you know.”

The corners of Rhys’ mouth morphed upwards, “Thanks, Jack, this really does mean a lot to me…” He extended his arms to pull the CEO down for a loving hug, “I’ll be extra careful, I promise.”

“I’m going to hold you to that, kitten, call me like every 10 minutes, make sure you look into the cave before you go in, check behind big rocks for skags, and-”

“Alright! Alright! Jack, calm down, I’ll be fine, it’s just a short trip down to the planet and back, that’s all,” he chuckled at the worried look Jack was giving him, “Come, let’s go to sleep. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.” He nestled his head under Jack’s chin, snuggling close to his heat.

“Handsome… not pretty… handsome…” Jack mumbled with slight irritation before they both ended nodding off.

The next day, Rhys had a small carry-on bag filled with clothing and other necessities Jack wanted him to be with. He had the shield he was given clipped securely onto his belt, he was ready to go, however, the CEO took a light hold on his arm causing him to pause. “Hey.”

“Hey… just-” Jack sighed, “Just be careful down there, Pandora can be an ass, and if it was up to me, I would be going down there and not you.”

Rhys stepped closer to Jack, encasing him in his arms, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back and maybe…” A smirk spread on his lips as he leaned in close to whisper sweet nothings into Jack’s ear.

A shuddering gasp practically moaned from his lips showing how excited he was for his return, “I’ll be looking forward to that, kitten,” he licked his lips in response before planting one on the smaller boy.

Settling into the shuttle with a couple of guards at his side, he waved goodbye through the plexiglass windows before setting off down towards the dangerous planet. Rhys felt nervous going down there for the first time, but he kept taking deep breaths to get himself situated. He kept his eyes shut to avoid looking at the long drop from Helios to Pandora, the guards didn’t need him to vomit on them. The shuttle soon landed on the barren desert that stretched for miles in each direction. The only thing in view was the Hyperion base located here on Pandora for Rhys to stay. It wasn’t quite what he expected… well that’s not true, he didn’t really expect much anyways other than something murderous to nab him.

Rhys was led by a group of Hyperion soldiers to get him inside safely know if anything were to happen off goes their heads. The huge building slowly came closer, he was just about to get inside the facility when he hears distant gun fire. They told him it wasn’t a concern, people shoot each other all the time down here. However, the sound kept getting closer and closer to them until it was being directed at the soldiers. One of them pushed his head down to avoid the crossfire and ushered him into the facility, “Get him somewhere safe!”One soldier yelled to another before he got shot down right in front of Rhys causing him to panic and leave the hold that the soldier had on him.

“Sir! Mr. Sommertset! You need to come with me! You need-” He stopped mid sentence when he noticed something roll by his feet, “Shit-” The soldier only had a couple second to move before the object exploded right in their face.

Rhys was blown backwards from the shockwave it produced, making him hit the wall at a force in which knocked all the air out of his lungs. He blacked out to the sound of alarms blaring and strange people who certainly didn’t look Hyperion walk right up to him, “Boss, we got him,” they said before completely passing out.

---Present---

 

“Hey Jack…” The words fell out of his mouth in a soft whisper, seeing his face certainly helped him relax just enough for the metal constricting him hurt less. His eyes were heavily lidded as he watched the holographic man turn from worried to fuming with anger.

“Rhys, where the fuck are you?! Are you ok?!” He tried to angle himself to try to get a look around the room, however, the skinny man couldn’t help but notice how messy Jack’s hair is and the mused clothing he was wearing.

Rhys tried his best to keep his eyes open longer, but opted out for moving his head closer to the speaker to not strain his voice, “M’not sure…” he slurred. The lanky man’s head wound and burns from the explosion was making him dizzy, his grip on the ECHO comm was starting to loosen and Jack was becoming very apparent of that as he started to shout at Rhys. He couldn’t quite hear him, everything became muffled as he felt the comm slip from his hands. The device dropped to the floor with a loud clank, yelling became louder before he ended up shrouded by darkness again.

 

---Helios---

 

“Fuck! Rhys!” The quaffed man shouted as loudly as he could into the speaker port of the comm as he was met with only a view of darkness, he ended the call by throwing the comm at the nearest wall smashing the electronic into tiny shards of plastic. “Those pathetic, idiotic, imbeciles let him get fucking taken?!” He frustratedly paced the room, hand drawn up at his face unsure of how to approach this situation, they’ll want something, right? Right? Or did they take him just for hahas, or-” A blaring ringing sound interrupted his thoughts and on instinct he ended up shooting his desk in paranoia only to figure out his ECHO comm was ringing. “Shit… Rhys is going to give me flack for shooting my desk again…” he muttered angrily to himself before answering the call. He saw a familiar and very welcome face appear onto the comm.

“Hey, honey,” The cowboy hat wearing woman answer in a sultry voice, “Jackie, what is this I hear? Your secretary called me and told me that you are in distress?” Her bright purple turned into a frown and her face turns into a scowl soon after.

“Yeah, well, whatever her name can screw off, that’s not her job, I don’t need a babysitter,” He huffed and crossed his arm. “Besides…” Jack ran a hand over his face and let out a low grumble. “I do need some help, Nisha…” His voice was soft, just above a whisper almost like he was afraid for admitting that even he needs a little bit of help sometimes.

Nisha ran her hand through her short bob of black hair to move it back into place, “Anything you need, sugar, you know I’ll be here for you, Jackie, baby.”

Handsome Jack’s jaw clenched as tightly as it could before it could break his teeth, “Some fucking lowlife shot up my Hyperion base on Pandora…” He took a deep breath and shakily let it out, hoping that some anger had left him before he continued to speak. “They took Rhys… my Rhysie.” Jack’s hands clenched hard enough for his nails to leave markings on his palms, the veins in his hands popping out ever so slightly.

Nisha pursed her lips slightly, “Do you perhaps know where they took him, sweetie?” She said looking at her nails before flicking her eye back at the man on the screen.

“I-” He cleared his throat, “Shit, I forgot to trace the signal before smashing…”

“You broke the comm?”

“Mhm…”

“This is why you need to think before you act, honey. You need me to come up to Helios?”

Jack’s heterochromatic eyes stared at Nisha for a couple of seconds before nodding his head, “Yeah, that’d be wonderful… Hey, bring TimTam up with ya if he’s near you.”

Nisha raised an eyebrow at him, “Jack, this time, just leave him out, he’s been enjoying not having to do anything remotely dangerous.”

Jack didn’t say anything except for a tiny grumble and a tiny nod, “Bye Nisha, see you in a bit.” The CEO ran a hand through his coiffed hair once more before slowly making his way to the plush sofa he kept in his office for Rhys to laze around on while he did work. He sat himself down on the soft material, hand grazing the top as he thought about the lanky boy; about how he should be up here, where he is safe.



---Pandora---

 

The sounds of boots echoed the room, was he conscious? Was this a dream? He hoped it was a dream, however, it became a reality when a hand came crashing against his face, snapping his eyes wide open. Rhys came face to face with a crazy looking man, he had one eye, it wasn’t even covered with an eyepatch, just an empty socket. He had a hack job of an arm with an robotic attachment to the elbow. The man had a nasty smile almost embedded onto his face… except that it was? It was literally carved into his face, what happened to this man?

“Looks like sleepin’ beauty is awake!” The man hollered in the loudest voice he could manage. The smell of rotten eggs and meat filled Rhys’ nose and made him nearly vomit right then and there. “Now, ya got pretty eyes, don’t cha?” His hand touched extremely close to Rhys’ eye, down his cheek and grabbed a hold of his chin, “Pretty brown, would look great on me, wouldn’t it?”

Rhys didn’t know what to say, his eyebrows knitted together as he tried to look away and shrink into the chair he was tied to, “Leave me alone…” He whispered.

The man’s fake smile turned into a scowl, “Look at who is talking to ya!” His hand collided once more with Rhys’ soft skin, leaving a nasty red mark on his pale complexion.

He looked back at the scary man in front of him, “Now, thas better innit? Listen here ya lil shit, I need ya to make sure this comm here ain’t gonna get traced back here before ya gonna call your lil boytoy in the space ship. Ya gottit?” The bandit’s thick accent only got worse the more he spoke, but Rhys nodded his head anyways, only when the bandit took off his hand restraints before he placed the comm into his hand and a screwdriver he looked at him weirdly.

“For Chrissakes- make it untraceable!” He shouted on the top of his lungs, jolting the poor boy to start working on the electronic device in front of him. Rhys’ hands were shaking making it harder for him work in this kind of conditions. However, it only took him a couple minutes before it was modded the way the bandit asked, too meek to go against his wishes.

“I-it’s all done…” Rhys said in a small voice holding the electronic up to him only to get it snatched away from him. The Bandit turned it on and clicked the contact labeled at ‘The Handsomest Jack Ever ♥’ which got a scoff from the bandit.

 

---Helios---

Jack heard his comm start ringing, he got up off the couch having just picked Nisha up from the loading bay and brought her back to his office. “Hold up once second, gorgeous, Jack’s got a call coming in.” He walked over to his desk, pressing accept and the picture loaded up onto the monitor.

“Hello, Mistah Jack, now ya must be wonderin’ who in the fuck I am, right?” The bandit on the monitor said in a matter of factly.

“Hurry up, cupcake, I don’t have all day, I’m on a time crunch and don’t have time to be playing your silly little game. So chop chop,” Jack said with disdain in his voice. He looked back over to Nisha who had a look of ‘Who is it?’ all he did was shrug.

The man on the screen tsked, “Where’re my manners? I am Wayland the Serpent, Mistah Jack.”

All Jack did was shrug, “I still have no idea who you are, so I will be on my way.” Across the room Nisha shook her head and held her hand up, ‘Ask him where he got this frequency,’ she mouthed to him. He nodded and looked back to Wayland, “How in the hell did you get this frequency anyways?” Clearly annoyed with this whole ordeal.

The Bandit just started to laugh, first it was softly and ended up working its way to a full on laugh, “How naive must ya be?” He turned the camera to show a wide eyed Rhys tied and gagged to a chair, bruises fresh on his face from the slaps. “Does tha answer ya question?”

The CEO’s mouth was open wide as he saw the state of Rhys, his eyes began to burn with anger needing to get the boy from that bandit’s grimey hands. “Who the fuck do you think you are!? Do you have a death wish!?” Jack shouted at the monitor causing Nisha to spring up from her seat to see what is going on over by his desk.

She peers at the screen looking surprised before placing a hand on Jack’s shoulder and took her gun out of the holster, “Trace the call, if you can, Jack,” she began to gently massage the back of his neck, right behind his ear knowing that it will help relax him a bit and avoid him from break the monitor needed to get the location of the hideout.

He took a deep breath and kept the chat up before trying to trace the call back to the ECHO comm, for some reason it kept taking Jack to different locations each time, he pounded his hands down in anger, “What the fuck?!”

Wayland turned the camera back to his face with a satisfied smirk on his lips, “Jack-a-boy, ya think I’m stupid or sumthin’? I had ya toy here block the signal, good ta know he follows directions well,” He cackled, “He’s a keeper.”

Handsome Jack snarled, “What do you want? I’ll give anything for him back.”

“Was hopin’ ya were gonna say that, hear that boy? Mistah Jack willin’ ta give anything for ya. How sweet,” Wayland shook his head, “I’ll tell ya what, ya give me ya secret weapons les say… a whole arsenal, and I’ll give ya part of him back.”

Jack was about to say deal when he heard he wanted weapons but the part where he’d only get part of him back put Jack on guard, “Hell no, you will give me all of him or no deal on anything, you’re wearing me thin before I go down there and raid all of Pandora.”

“Ok, ok, alrigh’ alrigh’, the real deal if tha I want the travel codes and deed to Hyperion,” The Serpent stated like that was only a small feet to ask for.

Jack, on the other hand, eye’s bugged out at the mention of the deed to Hyperion, “Excuse me? Like I’d give up my throne, baby. Also, no way in hell you’re going to get the travel codes, you think I’m stupid?”

Wayland frowned, “I take that as a no deal then?” He shook his head solemnly, “He has pretty eyes doesn’ he?”

The sudden change of conversation confused Jack before he saw a took being passed to the Bandit as he walked closer to the skinny boy. “Hey, Hey! Get away from him!” He shouted at the screen.

“I always wanted brown eyes,” Wayland had his men hold Rhys down, opening the lids of his left eye before he delve the instrument into the socket. Hearing the boy scream was music to his ear, isn’t that why they are called instruments of torture, right? The tool scooped around the eyeball, blood seeping out from the socket and down the pale contrasted face and collecting at his shirt. Soon the eyeball was cut from the now empty socket and was held by the bandit. “Innit beautiful?” He showed it to the ECHO comm.

Jack was silent, unmoving, and scarily still. In the background he could hear the gross sobs of the boy, and his face started to contort in a way he wasn’t sure was possible… he thinks. His eyes felt wet, which was odd, could that even happen? He brought a hand up to his eyes to wipe whatever it was that was leaking from his face. He felt Nisha take hold of his face and looked at him with a soft expression. “Jackie, honey, you’re crying…” She said quietly so only he could hear.

“Impossible… Handsome Jack doesn’t cry… not for anyone…” His voice was for once in his life soft and delicate at the thought of losing his Rhys… his cute little PA. He was irreplaceable and now? Jack didn’t know how to exactly feel at this moment, he felt like a stone being thrown in the ocean of guilt. It’s his fault Hyperion wasn’t guarded enough for him, it’s his fault that he got taken, it was his fault he couldn’t protect this one important thing in his life. What was wrong with Jack? Why does he keep messing everything up? Is he destined to not have any happiness in his life?

“Have ya reconsidered the deal, Mistah Jack?” Wayland piped up, “I can always give ya a couple days, and if ya don’ give me an answer by then… well… I’ll send ya some more of his body parts as a gift,” with that Wayland ended the call and Jack fell back into his bright yellow Hyperion chair.

“Nish, what do I do…? Either way I lose something important to me…” He leaned forward and placed his face into his hands covering his eyes in shame.

“Honey, we’re going to get him back, that way you won’t have to give up anything,” she said, “We’re going to find them and kill them ourselves, ok?” Nisha continued to rub his shoulder.

Nisha and Jack started to conduct a plan over the next couple days, they would go down to Pandora and trace the steps of which direction the caravan came from and follow it right to their base. It was nothing eccentric, but it was the only thing they could come up with and it was frankly better than nothing at this point. Over his intercom Jack’s secretary beeped him, “Jack, there is a package awaiting your approval before being let onto the station, it’s labeled for you.”

Jack’s eyebrows furrowed down, “No one sends Handsome Jack packages… send it up to me.” He finished the conversation and in the matter of minutes a package was being delivered to his office door. “Alrighty, let’s see what is in this box,” he brought it over to his desk and hacked it open with a knife he kept laying on his desk. He opened the flaps of the box being the pieces of cardboard in the direction he wanted and laid his eyes on the content.

Jack kept his eyes on the insides of the box to find a note laid next to a set of five fingers, all laid neatly from smallest to biggest. He took the note out of the box and set the rest of the contents down on the surface to read the note. ‘Dear Mistar Jack, It has come to my atentin that you hav not ansered my deal proposal. Shame really. As a gift, I gave you a piece of your little toy in the box. Boy is he a screemer. Tha longer you make me wait, the more of him your going to get. You understnd me? With Love, Wayland the Serpant.’

By the end of the note the CEO was shaking in anger in his fit of rage he ended up balling up the message throwing it into the air and shooting the paper down with his gun, he thinks he can get away with this? That son of a taint thinks that he can hurt what is rightfully his, then think again. “Nisha, we’re going down to Pandora and we are going to find my Rhysie.” He made sure his mask was secure, gun clip was full and headed out the door with Nisha in tow. ‘Watch out, Handsome Jack is coming to rue the day.’

---Pandora---

Rhys was deliriously sitting in the chair for days on end, hand and eye gone numb but throbbing in discomfort, his head was lolled forward as he didn’t have the strength to keep it up right. Where was Jack? He would think he would have found him already, but how many days have passed? Three? Four? There are no windows in this place so he cannot even tell if it is day or night right now. He hopes it hasn’t been too long away from home. He doesn’t want to worry Jack any more than he already is. He should have listened to him. Rhys shouldn’t have begged to come down here… He never wants to even hear the word Pandora ever again. Buds of tears filled the corners of his eyes before they spilt over cascaded down his face. Was he a bad person? Did he deserve all this pain?

“J...ack…” His throat was raw from the amount of screaming he has done and barely managed to get out as a croak. “I-m… so so-rry…” He whispered to himself through the tears, glad that no one else was in the room, especially Wayland. The Bandit would probably think he deserved to lose something else, not vital seeing as he is more valuable alive than dead, but anything to give him pain. Once he stopped crying the anxiety kicked in on how he will get abandoned down here, Jack will forget about him and move on to someone new. He knows it.

Rhys heard sounds getting closer to him, he could tell who it was by the way they walked, and he tried to move his body as far into the chair as he could get without pulling too hard on his right hand. That hand was still throbbing as the wounds were more fresh than the eye.

“Rhysie, Mistah Jack still hasn’ answered me, gotta take somethin’ else. I was thinkin’ the rest of tha nasty arm there. No one will wanna look at someone who has no fingers. I’ll fix tha’ righ’ up for ya.” Wayland smiled softly at the brunette haired boy before grabbing a saw and began at the top of his shoulder. “Will only hurt a lot,” he said, “Don’ worry, I won’ make it quick.” Familiar screams filled the empty warehouse.

---Jack---

They reached the Hyperion base located on Pandora, bodies laid all across the sand, their bodies already been looted and salvaged of all valuables. Jack shook his head and tried to find even the smallest of prints that could lead them the way. However, since they got here too late, the wind has blown most if not all of the tracks away already. Jack angrily kicked the sand up in frustration, what could he do now? He had no leads whatsoever, he needed to get to Rhys before they did anything else to him. “Nisha, you got anything, dear?” He said through gritted teeth.

Nisha was crouched down over by a body that didn’t look Hyperion, “Actually, yeah, hon, look at this, he ain’t Hyperion and has a strange tattoo on his arm. Look familiar?” She ripped off the body’s sleeve to show Jack the tattoo on his arm.

Jack put a hand to his chin and really took a look at it, “I have no idea what that is supposed to be, Nisha, enlighten me?”

“These people are crazy, Jackie, and don’t give me that ‘I already know’ answer, no I mean they probably want the Eye of Helios to send moon shots at random places on Pandora. Granted you do that already, but they want to try to explode the whole god damned planet,” she said, “Plus Helios would be a fun playground for them to just have fun and kill people seeing as they can’t run from them there.”

“Does the body have a map or message on them to figure out where they are located? We only have so much time before they probably kill Rhys.” Jack anxiously tapped his foot against the sandy floor.

Nisha searched his pockets thoroughly only finding a small piece of paper with random numbers on it, “Jackpot. Looters won’t take that,” the Sheriff smirked up at Handsome Jack, “I bet you these are coordinates to a building.” She waved around the paper in her hand before taking Jack’s new ECHO comm and typing in the coordinates into the map. On the screen pinged a location and Jack’s honestly never felt this happy nor relieved to finally have a solid grasp on getting Rhys back into his hold again.

“Well? What are we waiting for? Let’s get a move on, already!” Jack started off on the way of the beacon on the comm. The only thought on his mind was that ‘I’m coming, Rhysie, don’t you worry anymore.’

It took the two a couple hours on foot to reach the location, they were tired and exhausted, but knowing that he was in that building was the only thing keep Jack going for this long. The reached the giant metal rusted doors, carefully pushed them open trying to keep the squeaking down to a minimum. Nisha got her gun out to the ready as Jack finished pushing the door open. Once inside Jack got his own pistol out of the holster with the safety taken off. They cautiously made their way through the complex following the sounds echoing down the halls reverberating and made Jack feel queasy.

He didn’t quite know why that particular sound hit him the wrong way, it sounded familiar, however he couldn’t wrap his head around as to why this was. The closer they got to the sound the more it sounded like screams and that was when it hit Jack. Rhys- They made it to an open layout of nothing but a barebone room, in the center stood Wayland… what was he doing?

Jack approached the man, he noticed the amount of blood collecting on the floor as well as… oh shit. “I would step away from the boy if I were you,” His voice was icily calm.

Wayland dropped his hand to his side, saw still tight in his hand, blood staining the front of his clothing and saw. His face was covered in it, wait a minute… didn’t he only have one eye…? “Hello Mistah Jack,” He was even more disgusting in person than over the comm.

The color was a familiar shade of brown- oh. Fucking hell. “You disgusting heap of a man!” Jack raised his hand and shot him in the kneecap causing him to collapse to the floor, lying in the fresh puddle of blood. Wayland laid on the floor, knee bleeding terribly, “Have fun with tha leftova’s, I only lef’ a lil bit for ya… he was so much fun to chop up!” He laughed at Jack.

His nostrils flared as his rage was uncontrollable anymore. He ripped the saw from Wayland’s hand and began to beat his face with the sharp part of the blade, cutting deep into the skin.

Blood spurted into the air landing on anything in the way, “This is for taking what is mine!” Slash “This is for taking his eye and using it on your own disgusting body” Slash “This is for even touching him!” Slash “And this is for using him as a bargaining chip!” The man’s face was caved in at this point and he stopped moving. Jack stood up from the floor and his eyes softened as he looked at Rhys’ unconscious form in the chair.

He approached him, hand carefully caressing his face, careful not to touch his eye. Nisha had already been trying to stop his arm to stop bleeding, but there was just so much of it. She tore up her overshirt tieing it around the shoulder stub and Jack used his own shirt to secure it around his torso. Jack cut the ties around his other arm and ankles before lifting him into his arms carrying him out of the building.

---Helios---

It took Rhys a couple days for him to wake up from his deep sleep, he could open only one of his eyes the other one was dark for some reason. He didn’t quite question it, but the room was just so bright he had to squint. Was he… in the infirmary? The brunette looked around the room slowly, his eye catching multiple people sitting in chairs all sleeping. One person on each side of his bed, one, who he presumed to be Jack, is holding his hand in a lax grip. He tried to hold the hand back, but all he can move is his fingers. It was enough to stir Jack awake from the light sleep.

“Rhysie? Kitten?” Jack’s voice was raspy, sounded like he was crying? Jack didn’t cry, especially not over him… right? “You awake?” he asked in a soft voice.

“No…” He croaked out, the only thing he could get his voice to say without sound too pathetic. The answer got a light chuckle from Jack and his hand entered his brunette hair, stroking the boy’s head. “Mmm…” Rhys lightly moaned from the loving gesture he was getting, “Where…?” he asked.

“Baby, you’re in my private infirmary, you’re safe, I got you,” Jack leaned forward and pressed a light kiss to his temple, “I glad you’re awake and ok, cupcake.”

“How… y-you find… m-m….me?” He whispered.

“I’ll give you the short version, Rhysie,” Jack winked, “Because, baby, the hero always finds a way. And baby, I’m your hero. Forever and always, ok?”

Rhys cracked a light smile, “Ok…”

The others started to stir at the sound of the conversation occurring in the room and so Rhys heard people shrieking to the sound of ‘Rhys is awake!’ or ‘Oh thank god!’ the thought of so many people caring about him in this dire situation made him feel warm and happy on the inside. It felt as if he didn’t need to care about the outside world at this point. His friends and family were the only things that were important to him as of right now. Yeah… Rhys loved them all, and they loved Rhys.