Author: The Dreaming Demon PM
A short, angsty Billy/Mac one-shot set just a few moments after the battles on Alcatraz. Rated T for character death.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Friendship - Billy the kid & Nicollo M. - Words: 1,027 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-09-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8413055
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: The ending on this one is a little abrupt, but... meh. I couldn't think of another way to extend it. All I'm gonna say is that here will be sequal one-shots to this one, and to the previous one, as well. Enjoy!
Areop-Enap scuttled eagerly away from the collected immortals, leaving them weary and alone on the battlefield. Billy let his eyes close again, and took a deep breath, while Niccolò gazed after the arachnid Elder, before his gray eyes once more fell upon the American's face. The outlaw did not look well, though moments before he had seemed to regain some strength. Or perhaps he had spent some of his last. Worried, Machiavelli spoke Billy's name softly.
His eyes opened again, but this time not fully. Machiavelli knew his wound was deep, and it was still uncertain if the younger man would live to see tomorrow. Billy offered a smile.
"What? I feel fine," he began, then his eyes squeezed shut, and flickered open once again. This time his pain was obvious. "Perfectly fine," he insisted, seeing the concern upon the Italian's face. Billy's head was still cradled in Niccolò's lap, and he reached up to touch the older Immortal's cheek. "I'm sure I'll be running around and giving you headaches again by tomorrow."
Machiavelli's smile was thin, and far from genuine. He could read the severity of the American's wound clearly in the pain in his eyes. Billy's hand began to slip off of Niccolò's cheek, and the Italian reached up and held it to his face. His heart began to race suddenly, and he knew it was hopeless. He was too weak to continue healing the American, and Billy would not leave the island alive. The Italian's eyes were blurred with a rush of tears.
It was both perfectly unfair, and cruelly fitting that the man who had begun to teach Niccolò to live would now die in his arms. A single droplet slipped from Machiavelli's eyelashes, and Billy caught it on his thumb. He laughed weakly, then grimaced in pain.
"Damn, Mac. I didn't think you'd cry," he said, attempting a smile, but dropping all pretense of 'feeling just fine.' "We haven't even known each other that long." Niccolò sighed shakily and explained in a hushed voice to Billy that the American had taught him to seize the day, to truly appreciate his immortality-
"Dude, shut up," Billy interrupted, catching the older man off guard. "Just... stop." Machiavelli realized then it might not have been such a good idea to bring up enjoying eternal life. That spark within the American's eyes had not gone out- if anything it blazed more furiously now- and yet both of them knew Billy had little time left, and it was more than the Kid could bear, though he refused to shed any tears.
Billy wanted to leap to his feet, to kick and scream his way to the end, but his limbs felt heavy and his chest felt hollow, and there was nothing left to do. He had lived a full and wondrous life; a long life. But only a short portion of the life Machiavelli must have lead, and yet somehow he man had never fully enjoyed it. The former outlaw wanted nothing more now- knowing he could not physically fight the inevitable- than to curl against Niccolò's chest and listen to the man's heart, even as his own stilled. It was a peculiar wish, he knew, and in what pride he had left in his last minutes he would not voice it.
The Flamels had followed Areop-Enap, to watch as she ripped the other monsters to shreds, and the two men were left alone, and it seemed as though the Italian had similar desires. He carefully pulled Billy onto his lap, and the wounded American did what he could to assist in the shifting position. Billy's head immediately rested on Niccolò's shoulder, and he allowed his eyes to remain closed. For a moment they sat in perfect stillness, listening to one another breathe and the shrieks of the creatures.
"I don't want to die here," Billy stated softly. "It stinks." Niccolò could not help but chuckle, despite himself. "I just... I don't want to die, Mac. Not yet. Not here, not like this." His voice wavered now, revealing his fear. Machiavelli held him more tightly, and Billy could feel the world slipping from him. He clung to it with violent desperation, the edges of his conscious mind digging its fingernails into remaining awake, alive. His body had been punctured through, his innards ripped by the piercing leg of the crab. There was no fixing this.
"Niccolò," he said softly, fingers clutching tightly at the man's shirt.
"Shh." Machiavelli knew the younger immortal's fear. He himself had been on the brink of death before, but the thought that Billy would cross that brink- Niccolò's heart dropped like a stone into the pit where he was sure his stomach had been moments before. It wasn't fair. But had life ever been?
Billy's grip on the Italian's shirt began to slacken, and before he could react, he felt a hiss of breath against his neck- and then nothing. The American was limp in his arms, and Niccolò felt as though his insides were all being constricted.
"Billy?" His voice shook, and he shifted the man so he could could see his face. The American's eyes were closed and he appeared peaceful, as one would expect of the dead. For he was dead. Machiavelli felt the tears that had gathered in his eyes spill over, and he clutched Billy's body close, his own weakened frame shaking with sudden yet silent sobs.
The monsters had all been taken care of at this point, and the only sounds on Alcatraz were the flies that had begun to settle on carcasses, and the roaring sea. And Machiavelli was ensnared in the awful quiet.