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there wasn't anything left that mattered

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All it took for the day to go horribly wrong was a ridge in the pavement. Curt was firing at their pursuer, his hand steady, knowing that his aim was true. Then he stumbled, and his hand jerked to the right as he tried to catch himself, his finger hitting the trigger and releasing the bullet with a loud bang

 

    He cursed, not taking the time to see what the bullet had hit, frantically adjusting his aim, wincing as a bullet whizzed by him, inches from his face, took a deep breath, and fired.

 

    The man fell, and he let out a breath of relief. They had made it. He felt the stinging pain in his side from where he had been shot earlier, and pulled the makeshift bandage tighter around the wound.

 

    “Owen? We have to move.”

 

    He turned back, scanning the area. Owen had been just a few feet to his right just a few minutes before--maybe he had moved to check if there was anyone else nearby? Curt stepped between a few wood crates, but his foot twisted and he stumbled to the side, slipping on something and falling onto the cold concrete. He looked up, bewildered and confused at what he could have tripped and then slipped on. He froze as he noticed the liquid pooling on the ground. 

 

    “What the--Owen?”

 

    His heart plummeted into his stomach. Owen was lying on the ground, hair fanned out messily. His eyes were closed, but Curt could see him taking shaky breaths. One leg was hooked over the corner of a crate almost like he-- Curt felt sick as the world spun around him. Almost like he had been standing to Curt’s right when he was shot, and fell backwards.

 

“Owen?” Curt crawled forwards, refusing to look at the growing pool of blood. “O. C’mon, now isn’t the time for this. Come on.”

 

He shook Owen gently, his heart racing. “Owen, please. Please.

 

Owen’s eyes opened. They were dazed, and he looked like he didn’t know where he was. 

 

“Oh thank god. You’re okay. You’re okay, I got you.” It would be okay. Curt knew it would be okay. The growing pool of slick red liquid and rasping breaths wouldn’t matter. 

 

Owen’s mouth opened, and Curt could swear he could hear something. “What?” He leaned closer, trying to hear. “It’s okay, you’re gonna be fine.” There was no way he wouldn’t be. Owen was never injured. He was going to be fine.

 

Owen coughed on blood, shaking as Curt held him. “Shh, just a minute.” He pushed away the feeling that he was talking like Owen was dying. Owen couldn’t die. 

 

He took off his jacket, wrapping it around Owen, reassured each time he heard the shaky pants. Owen was fine. He closed his eyes for a minute, hugging Owen close. They would stay there for just a minute in the quiet, and then go home. The mission was done. Owen could get to a hospital, and then that night-- Curt fingered the ring in his pocket. They would be okay.

 

It was so quiet. Too quiet. 

 

Curt’s eyes flew open. No. No. No.

 

He shook Owen gently, then more frantically. “You can’t do this O. You-- you can’t do this to me. You--you promised you were always going to be okay--no you have to be okay--”

 

Curt could feel his eyes burning and a pit in his chest. Owen couldn’t be dead, he couldn’t be anything other than alive. This was just another nightmare, and in moments he’d wake. He closed his eyes, feeling dizzy and lightheaded, and counted to ten. When he opened his eyes, they’d be at the hotel.

 

The only thing he saw when he opened his eyes was Open slumped lifelessly in his arms. His side was covered in blood, and a small trail of it leaked from the side of his mouth. His chest was still. 

 

Curt could hardly see him anymore through the tears building in his eyes. He couldn’t live without Owen, couldn’t do this without him. Couldn’t-- he wrapped his hands in Owen’s jacket and hugged him again. He couldn’t be gone, that just couldn’t happen.

 

Vaguely, he heard Cynthia’s voice, and then Barb’s, demanding him to talk to them. It was nothing but meaningless chatter. Why did it matter? Why did any of that matter? All that mattered was that Owen was lying in his arms, eyes closed, unaware of the world. 

 

The tears blurred his vision out completely, and he took shuddering breaths, shaking as he sobbed over Owen’s body. He couldn’t move. He didn’t care if he was caught or killed. He had already killed the only person who had ever loved him.