Darkest Before Dawn
by Settiai



Warning: Possible character death--depending on how you look at it.
Author's Note: Being bored in Latin class can bring about strange ideas...



Blue eyes, their usual sparkle dulled by pain, stared up at Jim. A single tear escaped them, slowly making a wet trail down Blair’s pale face. Jim unconsciously gripped his friend’s hand, trying to ignore the ever-growing red stain on the younger man’s shirt. He forced himself to grin, though he was fairly certain that it appeared forced.

“Next time, do me a favor and duck. Think you can handle that, Chief?”

Blair smiled weakly, and Jim had to struggle to tear his eyes away from his friend’s ashen face. He managed to glance at the bustle behind them for a moment though. His eyes caught sight of a familiar face making its way over to them, and he once more forced himself to mask what he was feeling.

“Where’s the damn ambulance, Simon?”

Simon shrugged helplessly as he made his way over to the two of them, his eyes widening in worry when he noticed just how much blood was covering Blair’s shirt.

“It should be here any minute.”

He paused for a moment, his eyes focusing on Blair’s now closed eyes. A sigh escaped his lips as he glanced up, his gaze meeting Jim’s own.

“How’s he doing, Jim?”

Jim started to answer, but he was cut off by a coughing fit coming from Blair. The younger man’s eyes slowly opened, and he lifted his head slightly--a stubborn expression shining in his eyes.

“I’m going to be fine, Sim... Captain. It’s just a... little scratch.”

Both Simon and Jim shot him incredulous looks before--in one gentle motion--pushing his head back to the ground. As they did, a flicker of pain went across his face. Another tear forced its way out of his eyes, and the two older men shared a worried glance. Simon quickly pulled out his cell phone and walked a few feet away. Jim and Blair both smiled weakly as they heard him berating someone on the other end for not having an ambulance there ten minutes earlier.

Blair grinned up at Jim, a deep tiredness suddenly making its way across his face. As his eyes finally closed and his mind drifted into peaceful unconsciousness, Jim lightly squeezed the younger man’s hand--his eyes focused on his friend’s rising and falling chest, and his ears focused on his unusually erratic heartbeat.

“Just hang on, Sandburg.”

Without any warning, silence suddenly reigned.

“Don’t you dare do this, Blair...”





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