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It's Not Far

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“It’s not far, it’s not far, I promise.”

 

Oh… that was Caboose. What wasn’t far again?

 

He slowly came to finding himself slung over Caboose’s shoulder. Shit. The sniper! Locus .

 

“What’s happening?” He gasped. His helmet was gone and blood was seeping down his face. His right leg and left shoulder were on fire. Caboose hefted him and he shouted in surprise pain.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It’s not far, I promise it’s not far.”

 

He had never heard Caboose panic before, it was more frightening than the amount of blood sliding down onto the blue armor holding him up.

 

Rain beat down in sheets. The terrain was rocky and slippery. Cliffs on one side ocean on the other.

 

A bang rang out and Caboose staggered crying out in pain.

 

“Caboose!”

 

Wash fell off his back and landed hard on the ground. He bit his hand trying hard not to scream.

 

“I’m sorry!!” Caboose crawled to him and dragged him behind a large rock. “Are you--are you okay?”

 

He couldn’t see Caboose’s worried face clearly through his own tears.

 

“Did he get you, Caboose?”

 

Caboose looked down at himself. He pointed at his thigh. Damn it. Locus was trying to slow them down.

 

“Are you okay to run?”

 

Caboose nodded. “It only hurts a little,” He lied. Wash knew the tone he took when he was lying. When he was the one that left the empty carton of milk in the fridge, or when he blew something up by accident or blamed it on Tucker, or when he was shot and trying to put on a brave face.  Wash reached for biofoam, but there was none on him.

 

“I had to use it, all on you,” Caboose said. “I’m okay I promise.

 

“We don’t have much time.” Wash’s shaky hands reached over and undid the armor on Caboose’s thigh and the armor on his own wounded arm.

 

“What are you doing?” Caboose asked. He sounded so frightened.

 

Wash wished for his helmet. He had the feeling the only reason he was functioning was because his suit had dosed him with anesthetic, but there wouldn’t be enough, and it wouldn’t go beyond safety levels without his helmet.

 

He took out his combat knife and sliced off the sleeve of his undersuit.

 

“I… I can’t do it.” His shoulder hurt too much. “Take that and wrap it tight around your leg wound. Tight as you can, alright?”

 

Caboose nodded and did his best to focus.

 

“It doesn’t have to be like shoe laces, just a good knot is fine.”

 

“Okay, and then we can go?”

 

“Tight as you can, Caboose.”

 

“Okay, okay,” Caboose finished. That would do until he got to a medic.

 

The pain in his leg was getting worse. Gun fire was getting louder. Caboose reached over for him.

 

Wash closed his eyes tightly, squeezing them shut.

 

“No,” he said softly.

 

“Huh?”

 

“Caboose. You need to go on without me. I’ll…”

 

“No!” Caboose cut him off viciously. He grabbed him slinging him on his back. Wash screamed.

 

“I’m sorry Wash! I’ll try not to hurt you!” Every step Caboose let out a small whimper as he tried so hard not to shake Wash more than he needed to.

 

Pain burned through Wash’s entire body.

 

“Caboose. You’ll make it if you leave me behind.”

 

“I’m not going to! You can’t make me!”

 

“Caboose, please!”

 

Maybe it was the years of training or maybe dumb luck. Wash on half a feeling he tilted hard to cover Caboose’s neck, just as another bang thundered.

 

“AH!”

 

“Wash!” Caboose dove for cover again. The rain was coming down harder now, washing the never ending pool of blood off Wash’s head wound.

 

“I don’t have anymore foam!” He felt Caboose’s large gentle hands carefully touch the new bullet hole in his already messed up shoulder.

 

Shit, everything was getting fuzzy. He was going into shock.

 

“Adrenaline. In your med pack. The needle. Stab it into my thigh.”

 

“Wash,” Caboose whimpered.

 

“You can do this.”

 

Caboose grabbed the med kit. Wash whited out before a surge shook his heart.

 

Okay. Okay.

 

“Shove the gauze in and tape it up.”

 

“But that’ll hurt you.”

 

It will it really will, but bleeding out right now wouldn’t be good either.

 

“Please.”

 

“I’m sorry!” Caboose shoved as much as he could in. White hot pain stretched every single nerve ending in his back.

 

Damn, damn, damn. But it was done, and Wash would worry about infections later.

 

“Okay. Ngh--Okay. Now you need to go Caboose. That’s an order.”

 

Caboose kept shaking his head back and forth. “I’m not going to leave you again. Tucker would get mad, and I … what if something bad happens to you? I can’t let something bad happen to you Agent Washington, you’re my friend!”

 

Wash took Caboose’s hand. He tried to breathe steadily, but it was hard.

 

“I can’t let anything bad happen to you either,” Wash said looking up at the familiar helmet, meeting the eyes obscured by the yellow glass. “Because we’re friends. Tucker can’t lose both of us, right?”

 

His words panicked Caboose more. “I’m okay I can carry you, I promise we’re almost there.”

 

“I’ll only slow you down.”

 

“Agent Washington,” Caboose pleaded.

 

“He’s going to take me alive. You need to get back to the others so you can rescue me, okay?” He wouldn’t be able to last much longer, even with the bio foam and gauze he was losing blood too quickly. “I’ll distract him and you keep running and don’t stop until you get to the extraction point. Will you do that?”

 

“I don’t want to leave you.”

 

Wash squeezed his hand. “I trust you, Caboose. I know you’ll come back for me.”

 

“Aq--uiring-g-g-g-g… t-t-t-target…” Freckles had been smashed at some point. Caboose had him strapped to his arm.

 

“They’re coming,” Wash said. “Leave me your pistol and go.”

 

“I promise! I’ll save you! I’ll get everyone and I’ll save you!” Caboose cried. “So please! Please don’t--” He handed off his pistol and couldn’t finish the sentence. A bullet ricochet off their cover. Caboose stood taking off into a hard sprint, his limp didn’t slow him at all.

 

Wash’s let himself breath. Good. He pulled himself up so that he was leaning up against the rock. He stared at the pistol.


They’ll torture him for information. They’ll make it hurt. And when they have all he can give they’ll dispose of him, or worse, use him against his friends . He was a liability. He lifted the pistol to his temple.

 

“So please! Please don’t--”

 

“Damn it,” Wash swore. He rolled over in a quick agonizing motion and brought the pistol up over the rock. They were closer than he had thought. He fired getting a lucky shot to one of the Space Pirate’s necks. His next shots went wide. Another hit to a leg. He was running out of ammo and they were getting closer.

 

He heard the sound of a gun cocking behind him. He turned his head sharply. The air shimmered. Damn it!

 

“Follow him,” Locus’ low voice cut into him worse than the bullet holes. “And get Agent Washington a medic. We have a lot to talk about.”