I knew the pathway like the back of my hand; Danny

"What do you mean he's gone?" Flynn demanded, staring around the room. It had been cleared in a hurry, the bedside drawers were only half-closed and forgotten items littered the floor. "We only just got him back." Renn shrugged in the corner behind him. A tear ran down the side of her nose.
"I told him to tell you himself..." she sniffed, pulling her jumper sleeve down over her hand, "but he said he knew this kind of person, and if he didn't go now..." Flynn closed the space between them and pulled her into a hug. He felt her arms close around him as she buried her head in his chest.
"I knew I couldn't keep him here forever," she mumbled, wiping at her eyes, "I just thought we'd have a bit longer, being a proper family. It's all I ever wanted." Flynn hugged her tighter.
"Did he say anything else? Anything at all?" Renn pulled back a little so she could look up at him. Her bottom lip trembled.
"He said to tell you that, for once, he was doing the right thing."

Flynn's stomach turned over. When the king had been killed his first instinct had been to run off into the Kingswood and find the Prince. His family had been loyal to Arthur since the beginning, and Flynn couldn't believe that Tristan could kill his own father. The story didn't hang together. It didn't make sense.
"I know," he said as Renn pulled him back into their hug. He stroked her hair gently, "I know he is."
"Flynn..." she muttered into his shoulder, reluctant to let go.
"Mhm?" Flynn replied.
"I have to go too." He sighed. He'd seen that one coming. Ever since Henry had come home he and Renn had been inseparable. Flynn knew, despite Renn starting the night in her own room, she was nearly always in Henry's by morning.
"I know that too," he confessed heavily, "but I need you both to be careful." Reluctantly, he released his grip on her, allowing her to pull away and move back towards the centre of the room. She stared out of the window for a moment and then spun back to face him.
"Come with me!" she insisted, "you and the boys. Come with us!"

It killed him to say no.

Dylan and Danny were still so young, they were children and it was his job to keep them safe. As outlaws opposed to a king capable of regicide and fratricide they would be anything but safe. If they could keep their heads down at the castle they could get on with their lives. There were more opportunities for them, they could carry on learning and training until they were grown. And then they could make their own decisions, and he would, finally, be free to make his.
"You're a good man, Flynn," Renn told him, closing the gap between them again and taking his hands in hers, "I understand. Just, please don't lose yourself along the way?" He smiled at her for a while, and promised.
"Come on," he said heavily, "I'll help you pack."


"You've got everything you need?" he asked Renn as he carried her suitcase out of her bedroom into the living room. Setting it down on the sofa he glanced at her for confirmation. She was trying her best not to laugh at his fussing.
"Everything and some extra!" she promised, "and a few things Henry forgot. He always forgets something" Like saying goodbye, for example. Renn pulled on her coat and hat.

The front door started to rattle and they both froze, sharing guilty looks. There was a clunk as the key turned and freed the lock. It swung open to reveal Danny, a stethoscope around his neck. Renn and Flynn turned to face him in unison.
An awkward silence descended.


photo by Randi Hauskenat flickr.com


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