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Jack P.O.V

The McLoughlin siblings sat in the small, cramped living room side by side on the ugly old sofa, Jack leaning into his sister as a way of comfort from the current situation.

Admittedly it wasn't all that much better than where they had been, they could still hear the chatter and clamour of the police who swarmed the house like insects, but at least they were left relatively alone for a while.

Jack let his mind wander, trying to think of anything other than what had just happened. For some reason his train of thought landed on his Ma. Nothing depressing or particularly dismal, simply noting the feeling of emptiness somewhere in him that was acting like a black hole, sucking everything else into an immense vacuum of nothingness.

Okay, maybe that was a little dismal but mostly Jack just missed her. He missed the way he could talk and talk and talk to her about anything and everything. He missed the security of knowing that she would be in her room, waiting for him to get home. And as stupid as it sounded, he missed the normality of going to see her every day. Jack just let his mind go in circles, trying to distract himself from everything that was happening.

That is, until a relatively cleaner Mark was lead into the room by a policewoman who said something about keeping all the witnesses together before leaving the room to do whatever it is that police officers do during this kind of investigation.

Mark sat opposite the McLoughlin siblings in the shitty faded armchair, leaning forwards with his clasped hands resting on his knees. He kept his head down, not even bothering to look either of them in the eye. Awkward silence surrounded the group and Jack shifted uncomfortably alongside his sister. Mark was the only one who stayed perfectly still, apparently immune to the choking awkwardness that threatened to swallow Jack whole.

This was all his fault.

He was the one who fucked up.

Suddenly the silence was shattered by Megan, her voice trembling slightly as she spoke. "I- I want to thank you." She began softly. "For what you did...I-"

Mark cut her off before she could continue. He was looking her right in the eyes now, completely ignoring Jack's existence and instead focusing his gaze on her. "No, I don't want any of your thank yous. I only did what you couldn't do." He sounded irritated, almost angry and Megan looked as shocked at his tone as Jack felt. What the fuck?

"I- I'm sorry, I don't-" She stuttered in confusion only to be once again cut off with Mark's bitter laughter.

"Oh fuck off." He scoffed. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm talking about all those times that bastard was attacking Jack and you just stood by and did absolutely fucking nothing." His words held a vicious bite in them that Jack had never heard before. In fact, he had never seen Mark so incredibly pissed.

Jack shook his head defiantly at the accusation, opening his mouth to speak for the first time since Jason was taken away in the back of a police car. "Mark, she didn't know. I never told her. It's not her fault, alright? It's mine. I should've said something." The green haired boy hung his head a little, guilt weighing him down.

But Mark wasn't having any of it.

"Are you fucking kidding me right now? Jack, you might think you're fooling everyone when you say shit like 'I fell down the stairs' or whatever, but come on. Excuses only get you so fucking far."

Jack was alarmed to feel his sister shaking beside him, her face hidden in her hands. Jack didn't need to look to know she was crying. Anger twisted his features as he placed a hand on his sister's back to try and comfort her.

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