Reviews for Between a Rock and a Hard Place
UnpredictablyRandomOne chapter 1 . 7/27/2014
I agree with Michael. Just when I thought I'd seen everything you go and get the impaled. This was quite interesting. It made me a little sick when I saw them in their unfortunate situation but I couldn't look away. I loved this but at the same time I kept wishing I hadn't started this. I'm probably not making much sense but the point is I loved it. Blood and all.
Seiffer chapter 1 . 7/29/2012
I love you. :D

I really do. You are one of the reasons why I keep coming back to this wonderful fandom. I absolutely adore the dialogues and bits of character studies you put in. Here I was, expecting for an update and you managed to published yet another new story. You've just made my day. Looking forward to your future works.

Lena7142 chapter 1 . 7/28/2012

You know Casey&Billy joint-whump is kinda my favorite. This fic fills me with joy. And not Casey's sarcastic "joy" either. _ Thank you again for writing this fic with all its delightful h/c and angst and banter. You're wonderful.
MazokuTenshi chapter 1 . 7/28/2012
It makes me really happy that you still write fics about this amazing show. Keeps me loving them even more with every fic you write.

It's also pretty amazing how you get their voices so right that I can just hear them talking in my head! Ugh, and with all the interesting scenarios you get to put them all in, it really is a wonder how the show got canceled. So many possibilities!

Well done! You (and Billy's tendency to get hurt and Casey's obvious soft spot) never fail to make my day!
fearlessgoddess2 chapter 1 . 7/27/2012
So great. Highly intense bonding and highly amusing. :)
penless chapter 1 . 7/26/2012
You are spoiling us with your frequent posts (but please don't stop!). This story is great. As always, you blend humor and drama effortlessly. You made me cringe in some parts and giggle in others. Do you know how hard that is, to get me to do that?

Billy willing dying to ensure that Casey gets the best possible chance of survival? Perfect. And Casey saving the day through his tenacity and stubborn refusal to sit back and allow others to decide Billy's fate? PERFECT.

You put stars in my eyes every. Single. Time. Please don't ever stop!

Thank you so much.
sockie1000 chapter 1 . 7/26/2012
oh, I loved this! (no surprise there). ;) I was holding my breath trying to figure out how you were going to get the guys out of this one. And you did not disappoint. Casey pulling himself off to give Billy a chance was the perfect solution.

and this part just made me laugh:

A very special bond, indeed.

The sentimentality of it make Casey want to throw something.

lol! poor casey. :D

thanks for the great read!
SophieSaulie chapter 1 . 7/26/2012
I LOVE this story and the parts that I love the most comprise of scenes that go beyond the external protestations and sarcastic exchanges that they usually subject each other, that when the circumstances are grim and warrant cooperation, their true friendship and deep commitment to each other shines through and you write those scenes with such affection for these men that I can't help but smile.

Fave parts (you know what they are, but have to share them again):

Billy's still there. True, it's not like he can go anywhere, but he's not smiling anymore. His entire body is tense, slumped forward but barely upright. Casey only has to focus for a second to realize that the Scot is diverting all of his attention keeping himself as straight as he can.

Straight enough to keep off of Casey.

Billy's always been one to ignore personal space. He likes friendly pats and playful punches. He takes pleasure from getting too close to Casey, to violating all his boundaries just to see him squirm. But right now, Billy's pouring every ounce of effort into giving Casey the few centimeters he has to call his own.

It seems stupid, but then Casey realizes why.

It's for Casey.

Billy knows Casey and he'll annoy Casey for kicks when he can. But when things are serious, when the chips are down, Billy doesn't mess around, even at his own expense.

Especially at his own expense.

Casey keeps his eyes trained on Billy, who's eyes are diverted down now, breathing in harsh, even puffs.

"Hey," he says.

Billy startles a little, looking up. He blinks and tries to smile. The result is a wavering half grin.

Casey doesn't move. "Don't," he says.

Billy swallows, a tremulous movement. When he breathes, it seems to be a chore, and Casey can hear his lungs grating over the sound of the road. Billy shakes his head, confused.

"Don't pretend," Casey clarifies.

It clearly takes all of Billy's strength but he says, "It may be present circumstances, but I'm not sure I follow."

Billy's words have their usual flair but his voice lacks luster.

Casey shakes his head. "You're exhausted."

"Well, I like to think the situation warrants a bit of weariness."

"I know," Casey replies readily – almost gently, as much as he's capable – even as the medic starts adjusting monitors. "Which is why you don't have to pretend."

Billy blinks and stares for a moment. "Is that an allowance for weakness?" he asks, in actual disbelief.

"An allowance for reality," Casey tells him. "Besides, given what we're going to go through at the hospital, I think it's fair for you to save your strength for when it matters."

Billy hesitates, the needs of his body plainly conflicting with the carefully constructed facades they both keep.

Casey sighs. "This is a limited time offer," he says gruffly.

"Well, then," Billy says. "Who am I to refuse such generosity?"

No one. And Billy doesn't fight it anymore. With the permission granted, Billy sags. His skin is clammy against Casey, as their shoulders touch in full. Billy's head stays upright but propped against Casey's cheek. The position is stabilizing, somehow reassuring.

Casey can't see his face, but he feels the laugh, a soft puff of air against his hair. "Male bonding with Casey Malick," he muses, voice barely audible over the sirens and the sounds of the road. "If only I could reach my camera phone."

Casey grunts but doesn't pull away. "Then this pipe would be the least of your concerns."

- Casey at his most sympathetic and caring!

"So you take one of us off," Casey says. "I get it."

She nods, but doesn't seem encouraged by his understanding. "It's a question of who to remove from the metal first," she explains. "The piping is essentially saving both of your lives at the moment. Whoever gets removed first will be in a perilous position."

Meaning: whoever gets taken off first is more likely to die.

Suddenly, the debate makes sense. They're not just discussing a course of action. They're deciding who to give the best chance of survival to.

The thing is, it's not a discussion at all. "Me," Casey says. "You'll take me off first."

The doctor glances back again.

Billy stiffens, head moving slightly as he takes a noisy breath. The fact that he's been silent this long throughout the conversation is indicative of his condition, but Casey's not surprised when he still musters up the strength to speak. "Casey—"

Casey shakes his head, adamant now. "Billy's clearly worse off," he says. "His surgery is going to be far more difficult than mine is. Plus, my body is already in peak condition. This is a nonissue. Take me off first."

Billy pulls his head back weakly, bracing himself with his hand against the side of the gurney they're on. He looks worse now, dark circles standing out under his eyes and his complexion pasty. There's more blood on his lips, but he shakes his head even as he seems to struggle for air. "Don't be daft," he says. He pauses to cough before gritting his teeth and continuing. "Listen to what they have to say."

Casey gives a half hearted shrug, mindful of the metal. "There's nothing to say," he replies, looking from Billy to the doctor. "The most critical patient gets the most critical care. Basic triage."

The doctor doesn't seem convinced. She hedges. "There would be extensive bleeding, possibly more than we could fix," she says.

"I can take it," Casey says. "I know my own limitations. I know what I'm capable of. My chances of survival are still good."

"But mine aren't," Billy says. The words are clearer than before, surprisingly lucid and distinct.

Casey looks at him, surprised, but there's nothing but certainty on Billy's face. The Scot looks from the doctor to Casey, his expression clearer than it's been since they arrived at the hospital. "My injuries are such that I am not likely to survive, even if they take you first."

The words send a shiver through Casey's body, and suddenly he has to work to stay upright. Billy's talking about dying. Billy's talking about not making it through this alive.

"That's stupid," Casey says, the denials bitter on his tongue. He looks to the doctor, but there is no comfort there. She agrees with Billy.

That's what they've been trying to decide on. Whether or not to sacrifice Billy's life to increase Casey's odds. Whether or not to consider Billy mostly a lost cause.

It's a hard fact, and one that Casey refuses. He shakes his head. "No," he says.

"I give my full consent," Billy says, glancing toward the doctor.

"Well, I don't," Casey snaps.

"Casey," Billy says, voice low. "Be reasonable."

"I am being reasonable," he says. "It's reasonable to expect doctors to make choices based on the possibilities for all patients, not just those they deem fit."

"Casey," Billy says again, pleading a little this time.

Casey shakes his head. "No," he says, looking Billy in the eyes. "No."

Billy's eyes are clouded with pain and with drugs, but the protest is there. It's written all over his face as he inhales raggedly. He believes the doctors.

And yet, he doesn't say anything.

Casey gathers what strength he has and turns to the doctors. "Find another way."

The doctor starts to speak.

Casey shakes his head, the anger almost too much to control. He doesn't care how, he doesn't care what, but he won't accept this fate. Not for himself, and definitely not for Billy. "Find another way!"

-One word *THUD! Oh, and pass me the kleenex! SO much lovely self-sacrifice. I can NEVER get enough!