1I've gotten into the whole 'dark fic' things. Sorry. Not all that great of writing, just trying to get back into the characters heads.

"Steve," he whispers, and I can tell he hardly has the strength to form the words. I lean in a little closer to hear him, his voice is barely audible over the sound of war.

"You're gonna be okay," I tell him, but in my heart I know it isn't true. There's too much blood mixed in the mud, on the leaves, on his shirt, on my hands.

"Steve, don't..." he says, trying to push my hands away from where I have them clamped over the gaping wound in his stomach. But he does not even have the strength to lift his hand an inch out of the mud. I pretend not to hear him.

"Medic!" I scream again as I raise my head away from his face, but over the deafening din of gunfire and screaming, I am not heard. Or perhaps I am ignored, no one out here has the time to look after anyone but themselves, except the two of us. He'd helped me back at basic training, slinging my gun over his shoulder during the fun runs when we were so far behind no one would see. He always had been the better, had the better lungs...

"Got something to ask you, Steve," he says, but I can't think of what it would be. We'd talked for hours about everything we'd always wanted to know, or do, or say to each other but never had the chance.

"Don't," I tell him, and since there seems nothing else to do, I press my hand more firmly on his stomach. I don't want to hear him.

More blood pours out from around my fingers, and I'm amazed he has more blood to lose. I could see the pool beneath him getting bigger and bigger; at first it hadn't seemed that bad, at first the blood was coming from his gut, not his back. I hadn't been even sure if there had been an exit wound for a minute, but now... I wish I had an extra set of hands. I press a little harder; pressure stops bleeding, we'd learned...

His eyes roll up in his head, and I'm sure he's gone. He's pale as death, and his lips are taking on a blue hue. Don't you dare take him too, God...

"Hey..." I say, taking my hand off his gut and putting it on his neck, using the other hand to probe his back to try to find the exit wound. Need more pressure... I tap his cheek a little, trying to wake him up; he keeps going into this half-dead state, and I don't like it.

I can see his eyes come back down; they don't look right. Where there used to be vibrant colour and happiness is now bloodshot pain. Even the whites of his eyes are red. I look away and take my hand out from under him; I can't find the bullet hole. I'm no medic, I'm just a kid from Tulsa trying to prove myself in a muddy jungle on the other side of the country.

"Is that a vehicle, Steve?" he asks, and I turn my head to follow the gaze. He'd been doing that for at least ten minutes as we crouched here, saying things that weren't true, seeing things that weren't there...

"That's a fucking pack, buddy," I tell him, and he weakly shakes his head. He's silent for a moment, then turns his eyes back to me.

"Don't use this as another reason to hate God, Steve."

"Don't know what you're talking about," I tell him. That fucking guy, always seemed to be able to read my mind.

"I know..." he says, and I notice his breathing is getting more and more laboured. Where is that medic?

"Know what?" I ask him, and for a brief moment I think I see a smile flicker across his pained face.

"You blame God, Steve... For your mom... For Johnny, and Dally... For your dad... For this war... You blame God for everything that goes bad, Steve."

"If there was a God, he wouldn't let stuff like this happen." He always had faith, while I always lacked it. He always had love, while I felt hate. He always had a way of understanding, when all I had was anger...

"That's not God, Steve, that's just people..."

"People didn't... People don't..." I say, but his hyperventilating is really getting to me, the smell of blood is making me nauseous... "Stay with me," I tell him when I see his eyes starting to wander again.

"Don't use this as another reason to hate God, Steve," he tells me again, and I can tell I'm losing him. His skin is a dull-grey now, and his lips are blue.

I never hear him say another word; he's gone to me. His eyes are rolled back so far I cannot see anything but whites; these whites aren't even bloodshot. It's unnatural for such a handsome boy so different. His face is pinched, his eyes are unseeing, and although the blood all around him is warm, his skin is cool. His breathing has changed, and rather than taking the deep, sucking breaths of moments before, they seem too shallow.

He's leaving me, but I can't take it. Grabbing his rifle and some ammo out of his belt, I stand up and look around. The fight had moved without me even noticing, so I run forward to kill some Gooks with my best friends rifle, because Sodapop Curtis didn't have the chance.