AUTHOR: Nikki Harrington
FANDOM: The Sandbaggers
PAIRING: Neil Burnside/Willie Caine
PROMPT: 06 - Pain
WORD COUNT: 500
SUMMARY: Willie and Neil have been sent on a mission together. Willie is shot, and he sees a completely hitherto unknowns side of Neil.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Two bullets hit him in the shoulder, knocking him off balance and causing him to stumble. As he fell to the ground, searing pain raced through Willie's body. For a moment blackness and a wave of nausea threatened to overtake him, to drive him into unconsciousness, but then it cleared.
Seconds later he heard two double retorts from Neil's gun, but no answering fire. With one hand clamped against his shoulder in an attempt to staunch the blood, he tried not to think what would have happened had Neil not won the argument with D. Ops about two Sandbaggers rather than one being sent on the mission.
Gritting his teeth around the pain, he tried to stand up. But what should have been a simple movement was suddenly too much for him, and instead he sank back onto the ground, cursing his body. It was only a shoulder wound for heaven's sake; he'd had far worse injuries. Why was this one so painful?
For a second or two he closed his eyes and let the darkness wash over him.
Then a cool hand touched his forehead, and a voice he knew so well spoke his name. "Willie?"
He opened his eyes and looked up into the blue gaze that was heavy with worry, and something else Willie couldn't identify. "I'm okay," he said, feeling some of the pain begin to slip away, as he took comfort from his friend's touch. "Did you get them?"
Neil nodded. "Yes. They are both dead. C won't be pleased, but there was no other choice. I had no idea how badly you'd been injured. I just saw you fall, and . . ." He let his words trail off. He still hadn't taken his hand from Willie's forehead. "May I?" he then asked.
Willie nodded and moved his hand, letting Neil see the wound. He wiped his blood-covered hand on the grass, as firm but gentle fingers probed the edge of the wound.
"There's no exit wound," Neil said, pulling out his handkerchief and pressing it against Willie's shoulder. "However, at least it doesn't seem to be bleeding too badly. Does it hurt a lot?"
Willie just shrugged his uninjured shoulder.
"Willie," Neil suddenly said. And then, to Willie's shock and surprise, he felt his lips covered by Neil's. The kiss, for that is what it was, was light, brief, fleeting and very tender. And as he not only accepted but also welcomed it, he felt more of the pain slip away.
Then Neil moved his head away and sat more upright. Now the blue gaze was wary, as well as full of concern, and Neil looked as shocked and surprised as Willie still felt. He also looked as if he might stand up and flee.
As he reached up with his good hand and slipped it around the back of Neil's head and pulled it down so that he could put his lips to Neil's, Willie knew that nothing would, could, ever be the same again.
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