Panic. It hit the building and runs through it like a flash flood, palpable, almost tangible. Try as she might to keep the children calm, reassured, there's no hiding her own sense of dread. The sound of metal banging against metal makes the children gasp and cry, or cry harder as the case may be. Kaylee's hand reaches out to soothingly pet one of the girl's hair, blonde and fine. Delicate, like the girl it belongs to. Sweet, precious girl who will never be innocent again. Covering her face with her hand, Lynette fights back the urge to cry herself, that panic pushing her normally hoarded emotions to the surface. What are we going to do? What happened? What went wrong? Why this? Why me?

Even as the questions run through her mind, she feels a soothing hand on her own back. "Preacher…" she starts, but stops there. Who knows what to say at a time like this? The urge to spout some meaningful, final goodbye is getting hard to fight off.

"First truck is clear," he tells her — it sounds like good news, the way the Tennessee-tinged words rush out, as if maybe they might stem the threat of oncoming tears from the safehouse leader. Either way, it denies room for last words. He holds a shotgun, its muzzle tilted floorwards. "They got out. Raith knows we're runnin' behind— "

Before he can finish, there's a small, helpless cry from behind a door. And even as they can hear boots stomping through the stairwell, all it takes is a panicked look from the women to the man, and he's off. Lynette sighs in relief, but it's a short lived reprieve. As they go back to helping the children into the escape hatch, there's a firm stomp on the tile behind them. "Don't move," comes a strong, gravely and downright frightening voice.

The two women pause for a moment, but as the little blonde starts to wail, Lynette watches in slow motion, in the span of a breath… Kaylee turning to the girl, the ring of gunfire, a scream from the children, a gasp from Kaylee… and all in the background as her own panicked breathing fills her ears. But panic feeds into anger when she sees the blood, and with one arm around the telepath, she turns from caretaker to soldier, an arc of blinding white electricity reaching from her hand to the shooter. She almost can't hear the cries behind her, or feel the woman in her arms, or care about how much she's pumping into the man attacking them. It's only the gentle tug from tiny fingers on her jacket that tears her away.

And the thunderous blam of a shotgun in another room sends Lynette back to the present.

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