a/n: Many thanks to my beautiful friend LadyRiesling for the beta.
In the Hands of the Enemy
By water4willows, aka The-Wandering-Whumper
Damien Scott watched as the helicopter carrying the Small Pox vials slowly disappeared over the tree-dappled horizon. His trigger finger itched, eagerness to just open fire and bring the bird down so strong at the moment, he was having trouble controlling himself. But Locke's orders had been clear. The helicopter was off-limits, so he reluctantly lowered his weapon with a frustrated sigh. They had been close, so fucking close, to denying al-Zuhari this one thing, and he was getting sick and tired of always being two steps behind that bastard.
Sure if he opened his mouth now, he'd say something he'd later regret, Damien took off towards the entrance of the medical facility, Locke and Richmond not far behind. He kicked his way in, listening to the satisfying smack as the metal door crashed into a wall and relishing the violence. Rage, as molten and viscous as lava, coursed through his veins. He wanted to hurt someone, grab the nearest bad guy he could get his hands on, and beat the ever living shit out of them. Nothing had gone right during this op, and he was ready to go off on someone or something, anything to relieve some of the tension and frustration cracking along his each one of his nerve endings.
The Russian soldiers they'd arrived with were rounding up everyone left in the building. Most were scientists who eyed the automatic weapons with fear and trepidation. Every once in awhile someone would struggle, and as much as Damien wanted to be a part of those altercations, he held back. There was only one person on his mind now, and he made his way over to where Michael Stonebridge had collapsed against a stainless steel cabinet with eyes tightly closed. Scott could still see the puncture wound where the soldier had injected himself with the antitoxin, an angry red patch of skin just below his heart. The last thing Damien wanted to do was rouse his partner, but the fact of the matter was, Mikey knew more about this place than any of them now, and Scott had questions. He knelt at his friend's side and touched him lightly on the shoulder. The heat emanating from the soldier's skin was immense and Scott pulled his hand back as though he'd just been scalded.
"Jesus!" Stonebridge was completely still and Scott's fingers flew to his pulse point.
"Mikey? Can you hear me?" When the man didn't respond, Damian leaned in close to the soldier's mouth, expecting to feel tiny puffs of air against his skin. There was nothing.
"I need some fuckin' help over here!" He bellowed and several people rushed over. Scott carefully lowered his unconscious friend to the ground and tried once more to find a pulse. There was a minute tremor in his hands. Medical care in the field had never been his strong suit and he prayed the stillness beneath his shaking touch was just a product of ineptitude, and not his friend actively dying.
"I don't think he's breathing," Scott informed the first person to fall to their knees beside him.
"Shit!" It was Richmond and the woman's eyes grew wide with shock as she fumbled for Michael's carotid to confirm the diagnosis. "Start compressions." Richmond repositioned herself so they were now facing one another and Damien understood what was about to happen. They were going to perform CPR on their teammate. They were going to try and keep Michael alive long enough for the fully trained medics to get there.
Behind him Damien could hear Locke screaming into his walkie for a med evac. For the first time in his life, he felt true fear rise up into the back of his throat. Injury was not something that normally spooked him. Give him knife wounds and bullet grazes every day of the week and he could handle it. But this? Neurotoxins and biological weapons? His friend dying right in front of him? What the fuck did he know about things like this? Still, he positioned himself over Stonebridge's still form, hands clasped in the way every CPR class had ever taught him, and began.
Michael's skin had an ashy grey color and was clammy beneath his hands by the time Scott finally found a rhythm and fell into that mindless headspace where the world dropped away and only the mission and his fallen teammate remained. He pushed down with just enough force to hopefully do the job yet not crack his friend's bones, and would continue to do it until Michael sputtered back to life or someone physically pulled him off Stonebridge's cold, dead corpse.
CPR wasn't as easy as the movies made it out to be. It was hard work, unnerving, and he cringed each time the ribcage bowed beneath his clasped hands. His arms burned from the unnatural angle and sweat was beginning to form on his brow but Damien ignored it. Someone had produced one of those blue hospital Ambu bags and Richmond was using it to force air into Michael's lungs every time Scott paused his punishing compressions.
"Why the hell wasn't anyone with him?" Damien growled after a few moments. Richmond looked up from the Ambu bag, guilt painted plainly across her pretty features.
"He said he was fine. He wouldn't let anyone near him, and then everything happened with the helicopter…" she let her words drop off with her gaze as she looked back down at Michael. The sharp edges of his face were lax and dark pools had formed beneath his eyes. He looked dead and Scott felt some of his earlier anger rise back up.
"Someone should have fucking been with him." Christ, this op had been a shit show from the beginning. They'd lost so many fucking people and now Michael was on his way out too. It was enough to make him want to retire, leave all this behind, and retire back to the states and become some fat rent-a-cop.
"I pulled a few strings," Locke said a moment later, coming to stand just behind Damien. "They can have a helicopter here in 30."
Scott swore loudly, wiping some of the sweat dripping down his face onto the shoulder of his tac. vest. Richmond gave the signal to pause and he sat back on his haunches as she checked Michael's pulse again. A slight shake to her head told Damien to start back in on the compressions. "I don't think he has that long." If they can even save him at all, he thought to himself, shuddering a bit. Both he and Richmond had rudimentary medical training at best, enough to stay alive in the field and find help, if need be, but they were hardly doctors. If only…
"Are you telling me, that in this entire medical facility, there isn't one fucking medical doctor?" Scott craned his neck to look over at Locke, but the man was already headed towards one of the Russian soldiers who spoke English. They discussed something Damien couldn't hear then the soldier rushed over to where the rounded-up members of the staff were sitting on the floor near the exit.
"Come on, buddy. Don't give up on me now," Damien demanded of the still body beneath his hands, returning his focus to Michael. "Don't you fucking die." They'd been through too much to call it quits now. Countless missions, a constant back and forth volley of saving each other's lives. Michael grounded him when he needed it, and in turn, Damien was there to push the by-the-book solider forward when protocol dictated he must turn back. And then there was the little fact of the swath of carnage they'd cut into the Russian countryside just to get Michael the meds that should have saved his life. Instead, he was unconscious, pulseless, not breathing and not even Damien's punishing compressions were apparently enough to pin him to the earth. "Fuck me," Damien swore again, more to himself than to anyone else as he wiped away more perspiration from his brow. His arms were starting to shake with the exertion and Richmond had a strange look on her face. He had a feeling that at any moment someone was going to demand that he stop and let Stonebridge finally fade away for good.
"Scott?" Christ, the order was going to come sooner than he expected.
"I'm not stoppin'," he ground out through clenched teeth. He glanced up at Michael's pale face, half obscured by the blue mouthpiece of the Ambu bag.
"I'm not asking you to." Locke appeared again at his side, kneeling down and putting a hand on his shoulder. Had he not been performing CPR on his friend and partner in that moment, he would have knocked the hand away and decked the senior British official. "Scott, this is Dr. Nikkoli. She says her team can help."
Damien glanced over to where a blond woman wearing blue scrubs had knelt down beside Richmond. A few other members of the staff were behind her, one towing the AED. He immediately disengaged and looked over at Locke for confirmation that this was all kosher. No way he was letting those bastards get anywhere near Michael if there was any sign they were up to no good. Locke offered him as reassuring a smile as he could seem to manage and Damien allowed the man to pull him up and away from Michael. The Russian team swooped in and soon Richmond joined them on the periphery of the chaos.
This was the part he always hated, being relegated to the back to wait and watch while others pulled off the things he just couldn't do. Needles and defibrillators were way above his paygrade and he hated the fact that he had no idea if what they were doing would save his partner's life, or take it from him. They could be killing him, driving the knife in deeper for all Damien knew, and no one here would be the wiser. They were all military, not a medic amongst them.
When they started injecting him with drugs, Scott couldn't take it anymore, and started pacing the hall. This way he only caught snippets of the action as he walked, subjected to the torture only on the back half of his circuit. He saw the intubation, unfortunately, and watched as they slapped the pads of the AED on Michael's already exposed chest. The machine spoke only in Russian and as Scott pivoted on his toes and started walking back down the hall for the second time, he registered the thrum of electricity in the air followed by the sickening smack of flesh against floor as Michael's torso arched off the tiles and then slammed back down. It played out in his mind like some kind of sick pantomime and he dug at his eyes with his palm. That urge to do violence was back and he let his hands ball up into fists. If Michael died here and there was even the slightest hint that those sick fucks in the scrubs had done it, he was going to kill someone. And it wasn't just an idle threat, some fantasy playing out in his mind. No, the fee for Michael's death could only be paid in blood – quarts of it.
Scott wondered if anyone in the hallway with him at that moment really realized the damage he could inflict if he truly let himself go. He'd proven himself an adept soldier time and time again with Section 20, but no one on his team had seen him truly unleashed, witnessed the darkness hiding inside of him just itching to be set free. He could do it here, now, and he wouldn't hesitate if Michael died. They'd been through too much just to have fate step in and screw them over now.
"They save him," a Russian voice cried out, and Damien whipped around, leaving his dark thoughts there in the hall behind him. One of the doctors was pointing at the AED which showed the steady ebb and flow of a regular rhythm. Michael was still unconscious, but the sight of his heartbeat was enough to assure Scott that he was at least alive. He whooped loudly and swept Richmond off her feet and up into a hug. She returned it with a smile but Damien could tell he'd just bruised her uptight British sensibilities. He placed the woman back on her feet and clasped hands with Locke.
"They say he needs hospital," the Russian soldier explained in his broken English, but Scott could already hear the deep swoosh of a helicopter approaching through the open front doors. With any luck, that would be their ride out of this shithole.
"I'm going with him," Damien all but told Locke and the Section 20 leader nodded.
"If they'll let you, that's fine by me. Richmond and I will follow."
Damien wasn't about to give them a choice. He shadowed the new team as they swooped in to strap Michael's unconscious form onto a backboard. He followed along behind with weapon at the ready as they carried him out to the waiting chopper and brokered no argument as he slipped silently into the chopper alongside his friend. He would stay with Michael until the end. Until he was delivered into the hands of actual doctors who adhered to things like the Hippocratic Oath and whatnot.
The doors of the helicopter slid shut and Scott watched as the ground disappeared from beneath the bird. He let himself relax a little after that, depositing his weapon on the ground between his knees and reaching over to where Michael lay, lost in a sea of criss crossing wires and IV paraphernalia. Knowing it was out of character, even for him, yet not giving a flying fuck if the medics on the helicopter saw or not, he grabbed for one of Michael's pale hands and squeezed. His partner's skin was warm again, the earlier clamminess gone, and there was color in his cheeks. Damien hadn't understood a single word that had been said by the Russians but the thumbs up one of the medics gave him was enough to get him to crack a smile. She was cute, actually; petite and brunet. Not exactly his type, per se, but that wasn't going to stop him from trying to get into her pants when all this was over. Besides, he thought as they sped towards the nearest Russian hospital, Michael would expect nothing less.