Title: Never Let Them See You Bleed

Disclaimer: I do not own Chaos.

A/N: Short, plotless h/c. Beta by sockie1000.

Summary: Casey's never been scared of such responsibility, but he's scared of this.


Billy staggers, and Casey barely has time to catch him as his knees give out and he tumbles gracelessly to the floor. Casey grunts, trying to cushion the fall, but they end up together in a tangled mess.

Cursing, Casey tries to get into a better position, but Billy's body is heavy and unwieldy on top of him. By the time he extricates himself, Billy is mostly prone on the floor.

"Collins?" Casey asks, moving on his knees to tap Billy's face. "Collins!"

Billy moans, his head lolling to the side but he doesn't wake. Under his touch, Billy's skin is clammy. Frowning, Casey looks down the length of Billy's body, noting the rapid rise and fall of his chest. If he didn't know any better, he'd say the younger man is going into shock.

But that's impossible. They were in a firefight, but that was five minutes ago. They'd secured the bad guys, got the intel, and were now on their way to the pick up point to meet Michael and Rick.

They'd won.

Casey moves down, feeling Billy's arms and running his hands along the Scot's chest. When he finally pulls open the suit coat, he sees the dark red stain, and he understands.

"Damn it," he hisses. "Why the hell didn't you tell me?"

He's surprised when Billy actually answers. "You know what they say," the Scot says, his words running together. "Never let them see you bleed."

Casey glares at him, but he can't muster up any malice. Billy's eyes are glassy, and the sheen of sweat on his forehead really is the start of shock. "You only think that because the sight of blood makes you sick."

Billy shrugs feebly. "Whatever works."

Casey snorts, taking off his jacket and balling it up to press against the bullet wound in Billy's side. "I'm actually not sure this is working for you."

Billy cries out as Casey puts on pressure, his body trembling as he writhes against the pain. He lifts his head and looks down, face paling even further before his head drops back to the floor with a thump. "Okay," he says. "I amend that. Never let me see anyone bleed."

"Or better still," Casey says, finagling his phone out to text a 9-1-1. "How about never bleeding in the first place."

Billy laughs raggedly. "Casey Malick," he says. "Brawn and brains."

"And what does that leave you with?" Casey asks.

Billy flashes a wavering grin. "Beauty."

Casey rolls his eyes. "Or bloody," he says.

"I'd really prefer beauty," Billy gasps.

"Then stop walking into bullets!"

Billy nods. "I will take that under advisement."

Casey shakes his head. "Like it'll do any good."

"Well, I'm just glad - I'm glad you're not squeamish, mate," Billy says, his voice starting to fade.

Casey jostles him. He doesn't tell Billy that the sight of all this blood is making his stomach turn; that it's horrifying and terrifying and this part never gets easier. He's holding back Billy's blood; he's practically holding his life in his hands. Casey's never been scared of such responsibility, but he's scared of this.

Yet, if Billy won't let people see him bleed, Casey won't let them see him cry. It's the hard way, maybe.

But they make it work.

They will always make it work.