The world is dark, no, there is no world only a void.
The void is dark around him. The pocket of blackness is familiar, like a dream only remembered when sleeping. He remembers a warm haze that filled the void before, it’s gone now. Replaced with seeping coldness and a sensation of falling, like sinking slowly through mud. A quicksand void, pulling consciousness farther into the darkness.
The void fills with another sensation, an expanding sadness. Then another, creeping regret, then burning anger. Respawn’s warm cradle isn’t there to catch him and no matter how hard he struggles to lift himself up from the darkness there is nothing solid to hold on to.
The stirring emotions fade into the black void, leaving him alone once more, victim to the slow free fall into nothing.
Please wake up.
Begging without words, he repeats the plea as many times as he can before another layer in the void washes new worry into his mind. The empty air grows heavy with each passing moment. He remembers this feeling, the slow crushing grasp of the water’s depths pulling the air from his lungs. He can’t fight back the suffocation. He tries, but he has no leverage or grasp.
All Bruce can do is give in and drown.
She stumbles, his hand missing her throat by a lucky centimeter. The knife, however, cuts into her shoulder and makes up for the miss, and her shout is more of rage than pain. Odette draws her machete primarily on reflex, stumbling further back and away from him, her lip curling as she spits, “what the fuck — “
Odette stops herself. She knows what’s wrong,he’s blatantly telling her so, and yet she still doesn’t understand.
“So I used you,” she snaps, “so I lied. What’s got your panties in a bunch, Brucey? You should be angry with yourself, lad, you’re the one who made yourself such an easy target.”
“I was just tryin’ t’ do somethin’ good. I didn’t ask t’ be a pawn in yer petty siblin’ rivalry!” He swings the knife again, widely missing the woman in his fit.
“If it was just any old job yeh used me for, fine. I’d just make yeh pay me. But I ain’t goin’ t’ let yeh interfere with my personal life like yeh own me, yeh cunt.” He closes the distance step by step, blade at the ready.
It’s dark enough for Quintin to momentarily mistake Robert’s vehicle as Bruce’s, and as it slows for a turn into the parking lot he storms right up to it. He jogs alongside and bangs a fist on the driver’s side door, and only realizes then that the man driving is Robert, not Bruce, and he stumbles away from the motor home.
“Robert,” he snaps, directing his anger to the general area, “where have you been? Have you seen Bruce? Are you listening to me!”
Robert barely pays attention to the screaming spy, completely ignoring him while he parks his vehicle. He opens the driver’s door and steps out, not even looking Quintin’s way before he’s running to the passenger side’s door.
“Don’t have time fer this, poppet. Get a bloody medic.”
He lifts the bleeding burrito’d counterpart from his seat, holding him close to his chest in another bridal style hold. He turns and starts jogging towards base, whether Quintin is following or not.
The bloodied sniper is listless, pale, and cold, despite the blanket wrapped so well around him. He doesn’t so much as flinch as he’s removed from the passenger’s seat. After the whole drive whimpering from his injuries, he doesn’t make a noise.
Some point between pulling into the lot and parking, Bruce’s breathing stopped. His pulse slowed to a murmur of what it should be and now fades fast. The RED is little more than dead weight in Robert’s arms.
“Don’t get up, yeh bloody LOON.”
The BLU reaches his counterpart after the poor bastard’s attempt to sit up. Robert curses to himself as he tries to survey the damage by flashlight. From the blood and bruising, he can tell Bruce was in an accident of some sort. There’s no way he can calculate every injury by flash light on the side of the road without any sort of medical experience aside from basic first aid.
“Jes… ” He takes in a deep breath, “This is gonna hurt, pet. It’s gonna hurt bad.”
Robert doesn’t bother explaining before he’s already working his arms carefully under the younger sniper’s back and knees. He bites his lower lip before pulling the sniper up with him as he stands, holding the sniper in the basic bridal style. It was the quickest way to carry him to his van.
He starts to make his way to his motor home, trying to be careful of Bruce’s injuries.
Bruce nods lightly. He’s gone through enough to find his safety on the side of the road, he could handle a few more aches.
He wails from the sharpness of the pain, shaking and crying by the time he’s secure in the other man’s arms. It’s worse than first thought and with each breath he winces while being carried. Too weak to say a word, he grips the older sniper’s shirt and grits his teeth. Doing everything he can to ease his mind off the stinging in his torso.
It takes Robert a moment to notice the light. Though, admittedly, it’s hard to ignore a light after a while when it’s suddenly brushing over one’s eyes.
A wave of relief washes over the battered sniper and he can relax. The light falls from Bruce’s hand as his arm goes limp. He tries to talk, but all he can manage is a weak, breathless laugh. You’re a good mate, Robert. Always around when you aren’t expected. Such a good mate.
There’s little energy left in Bruce’s body, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to get to his feet. The pain from a broken rib does though. He does little more than lift his back from the dirt before collapsing again.
“i take a poopoo on ur face”
hes pissy now
There’s only so much isolation he could take before he would need human interaction.
To cure this issue he decided staying in town and making himself at home would be a perfect way to lift his spirits a bit. He needed a break from his usual routine. Or maybe he just needed a break from the usual faces. He pushed that aside, choosing to use his time to forget.
Robert knew he had to go back sooner or later. Tonight seemed to be the slowest night in his usual bar so far , a good time to make the trip back to show his ugly mug to his teammates again.
Packing up took up most of his day, his camper now packed with enough resources to last him the trip. The bartender was nice enough to give him some extra alcohol as a parting gift. It made the sniper wonder if he did it because Robert’s great in bed or just to keep him away longer.
The road was clear of traffic so he decided to go at a leisurely pace back towards base.
It’s becoming more and more difficult for Bruce to keep a hold on awareness as the minutes pass. Time slips away as darkness turns darker in long gaps of unconsciousness.
Inevitably, the sniper’s pace comes to a halt. He’s exhausted, unable to walk any longer, and near ready to drop where he stands.
He lifts the flashlight, following the grooves dug by the tires of a heavy camper, until the light fades into open air. There it is, just what he was searching for.
Not too far off, the road lays in the distance just on the edge of the light.
He can make it, just a few more feet. The discovery brings both a rush of hope and excitement. Carelessly, he runs for it. The faster he closes the distance the sooner he can flag someone down for help.
Careless indeed. After walking so far with his eyes on the ground he can’t keep track of his own feet and stumbles. Crashing to the dirt, he lands right on a broken rib. The pain is unbearable and the grown man cries.
Moving is too difficult now. What little luck the gunman had is used up.
All but defeated, Bruce pushes through the pain to lay on his back and dig the flashlight into the earth beside himself with the light pointing at the road.
At least he has a nice view of the stars.
Keeping track of time is difficult. With an uneven pace and no light, Bruce can only assume just how long he’s been walking.
Every few minutes his steps slow and his balance wavers.
There’s still no sign of the road.
He wakes again to the smell of gasoline and blood.
Bruce sits up too quickly, his chest burns with pain, and the world spins. He crawls to his camper and, using the open doorway as a hold, forces his weak body to stand.
The flashlight is still on, laying in the grass where he came to. He risks toppling over again to retrieve it. The sniper can barely stand on his own, but manages well enough to take a look around.
Somehow he ended up in the woods. The front of the camper is wedged around a tree and leaking just as many vital fluids from its engine as the gunman is from his cracked skull. He grunts and grabs his head. Rubbing at his temple, he finds his glasses are shattered and the right lens is missing a large portion. He must have hit the windshield and steering wheel hard.
The light illuminates the driver’s seat, shining off of the fresh blood painting the inside of the cabin. There’s a lot. He’s not unused to the sight of blood, but still it unsettles the mercenary. So much lost and still losing more.
With a shaken breath he circles around to the back of the camper. The ground was wet enough for his camper to make visible tracks. It should be easy to get back to the road by following them.
He keeps the flashlight pointed at the ground head, careful with every step. Another fall could be fatal, he might not be able to get back to his feet
… or wake up again.