Story: The End

Status: Draft 1

Author: G. Richmond

Warnings: Angst, character death

Feedback levels: UP TO LEVEL 2

Feedback requests: Grammar, story flow

Author's notes: For the 100fics prompt 'Ends'. So the episode in which Face gets shot sparked a whole lot of ideas for me, and I was in an angsty mood, so here's another short ficlet based around that scene.

The end came suddenly. Like a thief in the night it snuck in and stole what was most important. It stole the future.

It was only supposed to have been a gut-shot, but a small slip had aimed the gun higher, and by then it was too late to release the pressure on the trigger.

They had all watched in shock as he fell back against the counter, frozen in time as he slid down to the ground like a rag doll then lay there motionless, half on his side with his body bent at an unnatural angle. The red had already saturated his shirt before he had hit the floor and pooled out onto the scuffed tile.

It was all so unnatural, so unreal. Like a bad fairy tale. Rather he sleep for 100 years, or wait for true love's first kiss. Anything but this.

And then the spell was broken.

The gunman and his two cohorts got out of there quick; they had shot the wrong man, there was no point staying, but the others barely noticed as the world rushed in and reality resumed like someone had just pressed play.

"Face!" Murdock rushed over to the fallen man, the colour draining from his cheeks as he fell to the hard floor on his knees, hot blood soaking into his pants as he struggled to move the blond, "Face? Face!" There was panic in his voice and it enclosed around his chest like a fist. Somewhere in the distance Frankie was calling for an ambulance.

He moved the conman onto his back, and the breath tore from his lungs when he saw. Oh God, there was so much blood.

"Face? Come on, talk to me buddy." There were tears of panic already on his cheeks. He knew it was too late, he was too good a soldier not to know; but he couldn't accept it. It couldn't be too late, it couldn't just end like that! Not in some obscure little restaurant, not just by accident. If they were going to die it was supposed to be together, with a purpose, and in a blaze of glory that would have people talking for years.

"Face!" He was still breathing, just, but all the colour had drained from his skin(and stretched out across the restaurant floor), and when he opened his eyes they were grey and unfocussed. He opened his mouth, but no sound came out.

"I-it's okay…you're gonna be fine, buddy." The pilot's voice was breathless but insistent, like if he sounded sure enough it would be true. He pressed his hand over Face's shirt, over the tiny hole with charred edges that went in far too deep, "Just hold on, kay? Ambulance'll be here soon. You're gonna be okay."

Face didn't even wince at the pressure, couldn't even feel it, and gave the pilot a sympathetic smile. He knew Murdock was lying.

The blood had slowed and started to cool, and Murdock could feel it drying on his skin, but he couldn't pay attention to it, couldn't focus on that. Face had closed his eyes and the pilot couldn't get him to open them again.

"Face! Come on…" His voice broke and faltered, and his vision was blurry. Under his palm he could feel the weak heartbeat slowing further. The blond's chest had already stopped moving with breaths., "You cant just leave like this." He could barely speak at more than a whisper, throat too tight.

He felt the instant he died.

Murdock didn't even register the anguished cry that escaped him; the inhumane noise that was furious, terrified and panicked all at once. He had no control over it. What else could he do? In the space of mere minutes his life had crumbled into dust. The fist had closed tighter around his ribs and his sobs stole his breath.

It was over, nothing could ever be the same.

It was the end of everything.