The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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07.09.2012 , 10:03 PM |
This actually a belated
entry, remember I was really having trouble with this story, and I finally got it worked out today. I wasn't going to post it, but my son loved it, so here it is:
Corso picked up a crate and handed it to Bow, who placed it on the sled. He was daydreaming about being back on the ranch with Miriah, only a few days away now. He could hear her talking to Risha up in the hold, they were almost done offloading, then they could take the manifests to Courscant and be off for a week. He heard Mir laugh, which made him smile, but then the sounds around him changed into the unmistakable sound of blaster fire, along with the deeper boom of an assault cannon.
He ran up the ramp, shoving the wookie ahead of him, shouting for Miriah to start engines. She looked up at him with a frown, but when she saw his face she didn’t question, just ran to the bridge. In under thirty seconds the
was lifting off the deck, and Corso was shouting in the radio to the air traffic office about taking fire in their secure hangar. Only then did he feel the sting of a wound, two shots to the hip and leg, the pain being masked by the rush of adrenaline he’d ridden to get Miriah out of there and safe. When he glanced down, all he could see was blood. He looked over at her in shock and only got out, “I’m hit,” before he fell to the floor unconscious.
Miriah fumbled in her hurry to get out of her harness and get to her husband, bleeding on the floor of the bridge. She shouted for Guss on the intercom, who she could hear now running up the hallway. She applied pressure to the wounds with her hands until the medic arrived.
“Hang on, Captain, Bow’s coming to move him to medbay,” Guss told her, but she didn’t hear him. Instead, she pulled Corso against her, and stood, stumbling backward down the hall, pulling over two hundred pounds of unconscious human. The wookie, who’d been hit in the hand, was already in the medbay when Miriah pulled Corso through the door, and he leaped up to help her. As they put him on the treatment cot, he started to open his eyes. Miriah stood near his head, trying to even out her breathing, noting that he was reaching for her even though he was the injured one.
“Mir, you ok?” he shook out. She put her hand on his cheek, shushing him, and his eyes closed as the kolto infused his system. She stretched, arms and legs burning with the effort of getting him to treatment. Guss reported that the wounds were not deep but were long enough to bleed profusely. He’d stopped the bleeding but knew he’d have to put his patient in a tank, something he knew Corso dreaded. He looked at his captain, and before he could say the words, she was nodding.
“Yes, we’ll use the tank, but only from the waist down. The mask is the thing he hates.” She moved to the far wall and started to prepare the tank, filling it half full with healing kolto liquid. “How’s he doing over there?”
“Vitals are good, bleeding is slowed, still unconscious but I expected that, dosed him with pain med so he wouldn’t know about the tank.” Guss shook his head. “I thought we weren’t supposed to be in gunfights and stuff anymore. All he was doing was unloading supplies.”
“I know, and I intend to find out what went on down there. In the meantime, I’m notifying fleet that as of now we are out of rotation!” She was reining in her temper until she was sure Corso was taken care of, but when that was accomplished, all bets were off. “Risha, take us to Coruscant, please,” she called to the bridge.
“Aye, Captain, course laid in, hyperdrive engaged.”
Once they’d hit the hyperlane, she took what remained of the plate armor, and everything else, off her sedated husband and she and Guss lifted him into the kolto tank. She’d set a small bench in it, so that they could prop him up on the walls and the wounds still be immersed but not his face. He had oxygen going to him through a small tube, just as a precaution. As they were putting more kolto in the tank, he opened his eyes, a little at first, but then wide with horror.
“Corso, baby, look at me.” She gently turned his face to hers. “Just from the waist down, no immersion, I promise.” He tried to lift his arms to hold onto her but the sedation was heavy.
“I’m okay,” he mumbled, but his mind said,
don’t leave me, please don’t leave me, please!
She held his head to her chest, stroking his hair and face, knowing he was in pain and afraid. She was standing in the sickly sweet smelling liquid but she didn’t care. She stripped off her boots and leather pants, leaving her in her leggings. Bow and Guss just stared as she shrugged out of her jacket, revealing her camisole. Akaavi strode in and gathered up Miriah’s clothing, asking if she needed anything, and glared at the other two as she left. Miriah figured a couple of hours in the tank would be enough, and by then she could stomp into the Republic’s logistics office and demand answers. Corso’s breathing had evened out and she could feel from the added weight he was out again.
She was trying to figure out exactly what happened when Risha cautiously entered the medbay and took small steps until she could talk to the captain. “He’s gonna be okay, right?” she looked at Miriah and saw tears leak out of the corners of her eyes as she nodded. Risha took a deep breath, letting it out slowly, and pulled a chair up to the tank.
“Want me to get you a warmer shirt?” Miriah shook her head.
“I’m fine, thanks though.”
They sat in silence, Risha working on her datapad, Miriah keeping her hands on her husband, the only way she could think of to let him know she was there. She heard the chime of the navcomp, telling them they were decelerating from hyperspace, and Risha got up to go to the bridge. As she turned to go, Miriah stopped her.
“Rish, thanks, for being here.”
“Just promise me you’ll let me be there when you tell Corso I saw him in his boxers.” She could hear Risha giggling as she left.
Guss came back in and helped Miriah get Corso out of the tank, but they agreed to let him just sleep off the pain med rather than injecting him with a stim. They walked the half-conscious man to the shower to wash off the kolto, and Bow came to carry him to their quarters. Miriah put his soft sleeping clothes on him, and tucked the blanket around him, leaving him to sleep with a gentle kiss.
Corso could hear the heated tone of his wife’s voice as she berated someone over the holo, and it didn’t take much to figure out about what. They were on Alderaan, unloading medical supplies at a remote outpost, in what was supposed to be a secure hangar, when the shooting started. He took a deep breath and realized that he’d been cleaned and dressed, hoping that was all Mir’s doing. He wanted to get up and go to her, but was still groggy and didn’t want to undo the healing he’d already gotten. He’d just drifted back to sleep, holding her pillow to his chest, when he heard her tone change. He was used to the harsh, angry tone she’d been using, but this one, this one meant business. She must be beyond angry to use that one, he thought. It was not loud, but had enough steel under it to make a trooper turn. It was low in pitch, with the words practically spit at their target, delivered with the intent to make the other person know she was deadly serious, emphasis on “deadly”. All delivered from a woman who barely registered five feet tall, the effect was quite impressive.
“I don’t give a womp rat’s hairy *** what Garza thinks, I’m done. Simple as that. I’ll be there with the manifest in the morning.” He heard her kick the holo switch to disconnect the call, and winced. Her pacing steps echoed in the ensuing silence, the crew knew better than to say anything to her right now. Corso was usually the only one brave enough to try and calm her down. He shifted, testing out the healing so far to his wounds, and felt like they were doing well, so he eased himself to a sitting position. So far, so good, he thought, but standing was another matter. It took him some time to get out of the bed and out into the hallway, where he could see her sitting in the empty cargo hold floor, hugging her knees and resting her head on them. He took careful steps, trying to be quiet, and did well until he was standing behind her.
She turned her face to him, dried tears of anger leaving traces on her face, her eyes weary and red. She forced a smile for him, but it didn’t reach her eyes. She put her arm around his waist, and helped him back to the lounge to sit. The entire ship was asleep, so she won’t yell at me, he thought. Once he was settled, she began pacing again, but not with as much agitation as earlier. He said nothing, just watched her, round after round. She stopped and looked at him.
“Corso, is it worth it? Is it worth being with me when crap like this happens and you get hurt?” She turned angrily and started pacing again. “I don’t know anymore. “ She continued, around the holo, until he reached out and grabbed her wrist as she passed him. She struggled at first, not wanting to let go of this anger just yet, but he just gently held her arm, waiting for her to sit. When she flopped down beside him, he shifted his hold to put his arm around her, still grasping her wrist.
“Anytime, anywhere I’m with you, it’s worth it. Helping the Republic beat back the Empire? Worth it. Running guns and supplies instead of fighting back rakghouls and cannibals? Worth it. Getting what can only be described as a flesh wound, and opening my eyes to see my lovely wife in her underthings holding me in the kolto tank? Oh, hell yeah, worth it!” He saw her lift her mouth in a small smile. “Sweetheart, look at me, anything is worth being with you.”
They sat there, her head on his shoulder, for a few minutes before she said quietly, “I get crazy when you’re hurt.”
“I know. I’m the same way when it happens to you.”
“I’m gonna yell at a general in the morning.”
He chuckled softly, “Yeah, I heard that part, darlin’. I’ve got your back. Always.”
Love is the strongest magic of them all.