Sam was trying to stop his hands from shaking but his brain kept throwing images and memories of Lew on the landmine and his death at him, as well as bits and pieces of the bomb experiences he remembered from JTF2.
He knew rationally that it was probably going to be fine, he had Spike in his ear telling him what to do and Sarge and Ed would make him get out of the range if it turned out that he wasn’t going to get it disarmed in time, but he had to pause for two seconds to shake out his hands and hope they stopped shaking.
“Sam, you ok?”
Sam could imagine the skeptical looks Sarge, and probably Ed, were giving him as he continued to feel around the casing to make sure he wasn’t missing anything important that could kill him-well kill him regardless of whether he was careful with the rest of it.
Spike’s voice in his ear said, “if you haven’t found anything yet, you’re most likely good to cut the green wire.”
That was Ed, actually saying what Sam was thinking but would never have said.
“I’m not there but as far as I can tell, there’s no reason why Sam shouldn’t be able to cut the green wire, but I’m not there looking at it.”
“I’m cutting the wire.”
Sam’s hands were shaking again as he moved the pliers around the wire and then they almost slipped off without cutting more than the the plastic coating and Sam had a moment of panic and then he readjusted his grip on the pliers and firmly snipped the wire.
The clock jumped forward a minute and Sam said, “Spike, what’s the next step?”
“Double check for any traps or tripwires or anything again and make sure nothing’s moved, and then cut the yellow wire.”
Sam slid his hands around the bomb like he’d done before and found nothing.
“Ok, all good. I’m cutting the yellow wire.”
He made sure he had a very firm hold on the pliers before he went to cut the wire and was happy to se that his hands were almost not shaking.
“Ok, done. And the timer’s stopped. We’re all good here.”
“I might make you into a bomb guy yet,” said Spike almost gleefully.
“I can help out but one bomb every two or three years or so is probably about what I can handle.”
“Well you did a great job with this one, Sam” came Greg’s voice.
Ed said, jokingly, “Spike, we need have a talk about terrifying your teammates like that over the radio.”
“Hey, there aren’t many other ways to say it.”
Sam said, “I personally appreciate the honesty. If I’m probably going to die, I like to know that when it’s possible to even know that.”
“Hey, no one’s dying today,” that was Greg giving the ‘let’s get back on track’ cue.
And Ed, “not on my watch.”
Sam rejoined the group and was surprised when Leah, and then Wordy, pulled him into short side hugs.
And when they got back to the Barn, Spike was there and, after a quick confirmation, wrapped his arms around Sam in a full hug.
“You did great Sam“
When Spike let go, Sam said “Hey, I just did what you told me to do.”
“That is so not true, you were doing things I assume you learned in the Army before I could tell you to do them or before but I could ask you if you knew what they were.”
“Just be there next time Spike, my hands are still shaking.”
“I am sorry Sam,” Spike looked serious, “and I promise I’ll actually be there next time.”
“Good enough for me, that’s good enough for me.”