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All Pretender characters belong to those who own The Pretender. Don't sue me.
Scenes from the Pretender belong to the owners and creators of the show.
This story spans a strange period of time. It is called After the Dragon because it starts right after the explosion at the end of Dragon House. It then skips through time until Jarod and Kyle see each other again when Kyle saves him from Lyle.
This story was previous put up on The Pretender Fan Fiction site under the pen name Mknzy. But that's me too. ;-)
Synopsis from my site (PHQ) was used.
Comments are appreciated as is criticism. Please be kind.

After the Dragon

He wiped the blood from his lips and scooted out on his butt from the flipped van grabbing a gun as he went and sticking it into the front of his pants. As he made his way through the broken windshield, his leg throbbed in agony. He bit back the scream that threatened to escape his lips. He had to make it out of the wreckage before the police came close enough to see he had survived. His older brother had risked his own life and freedom to save him; he had to keep himself from being caught.

He had finally pulled himself far enough away to where he could see the van, but not the police nor his fleeing brother. He pulled the gun from its ready make holster and pointed it towards the van’s gas tank. He listened for the sound of Corkus’ fire, then shot. One shot is all it took for the van to explode into a ball of flames. Over the roar of the explosion, he could hear voices, one of which he knew was his brother screaming, “Noooo!” He wanted to tell his brother he was still alive, but making himself known at this point would only bring the cops down on him and his brother.

He turned his attention to the next task he had to accomplish; he had to make his way to the highway without the police seeing him. He pulled at the grass and the dirt. He had a cut on his arm that was somewhat painful. As he scooted along the dirt, he wished his leg hadn’t gotten hurt in the crash because he needed to move faster. His mind kept drifting to his brother’s scream. His brother had only recently found him, and he wanted more than anything to be a good little brother.

He hadn’t realized how long he had been thinking about the past few days and their events until he felt the asphalt under his palms as he pulled himself up onto the shoulder of the highway. He had let his mind wonder and those thoughts helped him to keep his mind off his own pain. His big brother had helped him again. He would have to repay him. He looked down the highway and could see an old pick-up truck was head his way. He needed to get to his feet. He pushed himself up making, no, willing the pain to subside. He couldn’t think about the pain; he had to get up and get out of there. When he was on his feet, he could feel the pain shoot through his right leg and threatened to send him face down into the asphalt. He resisted the temptation to let his left knee buckle. He put all his weight on his good leg and stuck his thumb up for the motorist to see.

The truck came to a stop and a woman with long brown hair jumped out. “What happened to you?” she sounded worried. She ran to his side and wrapped his arm around her shoulders to let him lean on her. He silently thanked her as she helped him into the truck. She slammed the door, ran around to the driver’s side door, and hopped into the vehicle. “You didn’t answer my question?” She shifted the gears and headed down the highway.

“Huh? Oh… yeah….. well…. I was hitch hiking and these guys came down the highway like maniacs and I had to jump out of the way so they wouldn’t hit me. I fell down the embankment and I hurt my leg. I got a few other scraps on the way down.” He stared at her waiting for a reaction. She watched the highway occasionally glancing at him. He couldn’t tell if she believed him or not.

She looked out over the road that lay in front of her. Should she believe him? There was something about this guy. “Those crazy tourists. They come up here spend a little money and then think they can nearly kill people.”

He let out a sigh of relief. He didn’t need any other problems at this time. His hair had fallen down in his face. The mousse he had used to do his hair that morning was practically gone with everything that had happened. As his hair whipped down in his face from the wind coming through the trucks opened window, he felt a sting on his forehead and reached up to put his hand on his hairline. When he brought his hand down, there was blood on it. He was cut, not badly by the amount of blood on his hand, but enough to sting.

“So what is your name?” She glanced at him quickly, her blue eyes sparkling as the sunlight caught them.

“Kyle.” He watched her. The truck suddenly lurched as they hit a large bump in the road. Kyle gritted his teeth, but a small sound of pain past over his lips.

“Sorry about that, it couldn’t be avoided. Kyle, it is nice to meet you. My name is Elizabeth, but everyone calls me Beth.”

“Beth.” Kyle said taking in the information. He winced as he shifted in the seat of the truck.

“You seem to be in a lot of pain. I should take you to the hospital.”

“No! I can’t go there.” He bit down on his lip.

“Why not?” She looked suspicious.

“No insurance. It would cost too much.” He winced again.

“All right then, Kyle, out of the goodness of my heart, I will fix you up myself.”

Kyle stared at the road in front of them and abruptly they headed off of the highway onto a dirt road. “Where are we going?” Kyle winced because the dirt road was bumpy.

“My house.”

It was only a few moments more before the trees surrounding the road from both sides parted, to reveal a log cabin style home, which was rather large.

Beth got out of the truck and ran around to the other side. She pulled opened the door and helped Kyle down and into the house. But when they entered it wasn’t a house they entered, but a clinic, an animal clinic by the looks of the instruments.

“I thought you said we were going to your house?”

“This is my house. I work out of my home. This is just the business part of it.” She helped him onto the table in the middle of the room.

“So you’re a veterinarian?” Kyle stared at her as she lugged a heavy machine towards the table.

“Yep, but you have to be the most talkative patient I have ever had.” She smiled at him.

Kyle couldn’t help but smile back. “What is that thing?”

“X-ray machine. It is easier than taking the animal to the machine, believe me.”

She positioned the machine above his leg, placed the protective cover over him, and took the x-ray. She then disappeared for a while, but returned with the x-ray in hand. “Kyle, let’s see how bad it is.” She put the x-ray on the viewer and turned the light on. Both of them could clearly see his leg wasn’t broken. “Well it looks like…”

“A bad sprain to the knee.” Kyle put his hand to his cut forehead to wipe away the blood that was forming. He looked at his hand to check how much he was bleeding and next wiped his hand on his pants.

She turned and stared at Kyle. “Are you a doctor?” She noticed the blood on his forehead.

“Not at the moment.” He smiled to throw her off.

“Funny. I’ll get the stuff I need to wrap that up. I will be back.” She walked out of the room.

Kyle had to think of something. She would want to know about him. He couldn’t say, “Well, I was stolen from my parents at a very young age and taken to this place called the Centre, where this man named Raines turned me into a sociopath and then sent me to prison where I am still supposed to be.” He had to think of something better.

She walked back into the room and pulled her doctor stool toward the table where Kyle lay. “This part is going to hurt a bit.” She grabbed his leg and proceeded to wrap his knee in a brace that would help it heal.

Kyle jerked a bit and flinched. He clutched the bed on either side with his hands as he fought the urge to make noise.

“Usually my patients are more vocal when I fix them up. I’ve heard dogs whimper and howl, cats hiss and yeow, and other animals sound much worse. I have even heard men scream.”

“I have a high pain threshold.”

“To say the least.” She wrapped his knee and then stood. She looked at him. He just stared at her with a slight smile. Something made her want to take care of him. He just stared back at her as if he could see into her soul. Something about him was getting to her. She shook the thought off. “Your cuts. Let’s take care of them. I will get the bandages.” She went to the cabinets behind her and opened one. She got the antiseptic and bandages and headed back over to him. He pulled himself up to a sitting position. She opened the bottle of antiseptic and grabbed a sterile pad and doused it with the liquid. “This is going to sting.” She carefully placed the pad over the cut and Kyle sighed a bit with the pain. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” His eyes looked up at her. He was completely comfortable with her, something he had never felt with anyone except Jarod when they were young. He didn’t feel that way with Jarod recently. Jarod was good and honest. Kyle was dangerous and he knew it.

She took a cotton swab and rubbed the liquid on his cut lip. Then, she helped him remove his jacket, so she could bandage his arm. She looked down into his eyes and felt herself starting to get lost. She could see the pain on his face, but it didn’t seem to be about his injuries. It was a pain he had been carrying for a while. She refocused her thoughts, reached for a bandage, and placed it on his head. “All finished. I still have the crutches from when I hurt my ankle, so I can adjust them to you and so you can get around better.” She helped him down and took him into her house. She helped him onto the couch and went down the hall. She returned moments later with the crutches.

Kyle watched her as she sat on the other couch adjusting the height of the crutches. Her long hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail, which she had obviously just pulled back. She was almost as tall as he. She had a slender build and was obviously stronger than she looked. Her sparkling blue eyes focused on the crutches as she fought to adjust them. Small strands of hair had fallen down in her face and Kyle had the almost irresistible urge to brush them away.

“There! Got ‘em.” She stood and walked toward him. “I will leave these here next to the couch.” She placed the crutches up against the couch and started to walk past him.

He reached out and grabbed her hand gently. He wasn’t sure what he was feeling but he wanted to thank her. Her hand was soft, unlike his own. He glanced up at her, “Thank you.”

She smiled down at him. “You’re welcome.” She continued past him and her hand slipped out of his. He could hear her behind him. Her footsteps told him she was walking on tile. “Are you hungry? I could fix us something to eat.”

“I could eat.”

“Have any requests?”

“Whatever you have is good. If you have some Pez that would be nice.”

She was in the kitchen for a while, and Kyle could hear her opening the refrigerator and the cabinets. While he waited, he stared at the photos on her walls. It looked as though she had no siblings. He noticed the picture of who were possibly her parents.

She walked up behind him startling him slightly. She had a plate in each hand with a sandwich and chips, and pinned to her sides by her arms were cans which said Pepsi on them. “Sorry, I’m all out of Pez but I have sandwiches, Doritos, and Pepsi.”

“That is good.” He had discovered Doritos when he had escaped from prison, but he was use to drinking something called Coca Cola Classic. He took a plate and a Pepsi from her and set them on the coffee table in front of him.

She reached around to her other arm and saved the Pepsi as it started to slip to the floor. She sat on the couch across from him with her food on the table as well.

Kyle popped open the Pepsi and took a swig. “This is much better than that Coke stuff.”

“I have always thought so.” She stared at him for a moment. “You sound like you have never had a Pepsi before.”

“I haven’t.” He drank some more and then ate.

She stared at him with a bit of shock. She could barely believe one American in this country had never had a Pepsi. She picked up her sandwich and began to eat.

Kyle swallowed his bit of sandwich and then looked up at her wall. “Is that your parents?”

“Yes.” She stood and walked over to the wall. She pointed at the picture with four people on it. “This is my mother and father, and this is my dad’s brother and his wife. My mom was an only child as I am.” She looked at him. “Do you have any family?”

“Kind of.” He hung is head and started to eat more of his sandwich.

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know who my parents are, but I just found my brother. I still have as sister out there too.”

“Wow. Were you adopted?”

“Nope. Stolen.”

“What? You’re kidding! Why?”

“They thought I was special,” Kyle sighed, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

He reached for his soda and she noticed the scar on his hand. “What happened?” She crossed the space to the coffee table, reached down, and grabbed his hand.

He pulled his hand out of hers gently. “It was an accident. When we were little, my brother accidentally burned me.”

“I thought you said you just found your brother?” She folded her arms.

“I did. When we were little, both my brother and I were stolen and taken somewhere. When we were together again, we didn’t remember one another, so at the time this happened I didn’t know he was my brother. Just recently we saw each other again and now we know we are brothers.” Kyle leaned back on the couch.

“Where were you taken?” Beth sat on the couch with him.

“Look, I said I didn’t want to talk about it. It’s a lot of bad memories for me. Maybe some other time.” He had his head turned to her. His eyes were kind and sad.

She stared into his eyes and could see the pain behind them. “I’m sorry. Another time.”

“I am really tired.” Kyle closed his eyes.

“How about I put you up in the guest bedroom?”

“That sounds good.” He opened his eyes and sat up. He tried to get up but soon realized he wasn’t getting out of the couch by himself, at least not with his knee hurting.

“Let me help you.” She held out her hand and pulled him into a standing position, but she ended up sitting on the coffee table missing the plates and sodas by inches. Kyle, still holding on to her, hauled her up. She was now standing very close to him and he could feel his pulse racing. He looked into her eyes and she stared back with a slight smile on her face. Her face became serious and she backed up. Kyle reached for his crutches and hobbled out into the more spacious part of the living room. “Follow me,” she said as she walked down the hall. He followed down the hall and into one of the bedrooms. “You can use this room. If you need anything, just call.”

“I will.” Beth left the room and Kyle staggered over to the bed and laid down. He closed his eyes and within moments he was fast asleep.


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