They finally had gotten somewhere with their pursuit, even if it was a situation that was likely to end badly. Sebastian, at gunpoint, Joseph standing beside him, gun drawn at the suspect who was five paces away. Backed into an alley where there was no escape, his gun aimed straight at Joseph's heart. Threatening that if they didn't let him go, they'd both die. Yet no one moved.

It was then Sebastian made the first move and pulled his trigger, in that one single infinite second of distraction, and landed a bullet in the man's shoulder. The impact knocked him to the ground, and his gun went off as his wrist smacked against the dirt. Sebastian immediately leapt on top of the man so he could wrench the pistol from his hand and place him under arrest for good.

But it wasn't until he'd snapped the handcuffs around the man's wrist with a satisfied smirk that he heard something some distance behind him that made his heart sink into his stomach. It was Joseph, coughing and choking, gloved hands slick with blood as they pressed to his left side. Joseph was standing, barely, body pressed heavily against the brick wall of the alley. The goddamn bastard had managed to get a shot in after all.

"You motherfucker," Sebastian hissed down at the suspect, who had blacked out. Served him right. Sebastian gave his shirt a forceful tug before dropping him carelessly on the ground. He would certainly be dealt with later.

But for the time being he had to focus on his partner. Sebastian pulled out his cellphone and called an ambulance for Joseph, and for backup to pick up the stupid fucker. Now all he could do was wait, and hoped Joseph would make it. Sebastian knew from past experiences that getting shot was a living hell. He just hoped Joseph had enough strength left in him to hang on. And on top of the circumstances, it was Joseph's first time being shot. That alone was terrifying. He should have listened to Joseph's advice about not leaving their bulletproof vests behind, even if they were in need of repair…

"Joseph! Joseph—shit…" Sebastian's hands were immediately at his partner's shoulders as he guided him gently into lying down without trying to cause him too much pain. Blood poured freely from Joseph's left side, soaking through his shirt and pooling down against the gravel, and Sebastian could do little to stop it. "Stay with me, Joseph. Say something. Don't you dare pass out on me... An ambulance is on the way. You'll be alright."

As he could do little else, Joseph coughed and shook his head, a thin trickle of blood trailing from the corner of his lips. Fuck. "Lucky shot," Joseph hissed through clenched teeth, eyes screwed shut as he struggled to breathe, both hands still clenched to his side. "Ah—Jesus—it h-hurts…"

"I know. I know it does. Just keep breathing, alright? …Here, let me see. I'll do what I can to help." Carefully, Sebastian eased Joseph's hands from their protective position over his side and did his best to stay unnerved at the sight of the wound. It looked pretty deep, the bullet probably lodged somewhere below his ribs, as there was no hole through Joseph's back… from what Sebastian could tell, the shot had been angled far enough away from his organs that it hadn't done as much damage as it could have. Thank god.

After he'd set Joseph's hands by his sides, Sebastian slipped his tie out from its place around his neck and wrapped it around his palm a few times, pressing the fabric-wrapped hand against Joseph's torso and pressing down hard, trying his best to stop the steady flow of blood from the wound. Joseph's breath hitched and he let out a faint string of curses, writhing against the ground in protest.

"Sorry…" Sebastian said, looking down at Joseph with worry. His partner's face was slick with sweat and blood, his body beginning to tremble lightly beneath his hands. Where the fuck was that ambulance… "Just hang on a little longer. You can do that. You're not gonna lose to some fucker's last bullet, are you?"

And speaking of the "fucker," Sebastian glanced back at the man who was lying in the dirt some feet away. He hadn't moved. The guy was out cold, and probably would be for some time. It's not like he was going anywhere with a bullet in his shoulder, but Sebastian didn't care too much. He returned his focus to Joseph again, watching his partner's face with concern.

Joseph chuckled dryly between coughs and shook his head, opening one eye just enough so he could catch a glimpse of Sebastian's face. "Not… n-not likely…"

"Yeah, I know getting shot sucks, though. Believe me. But you'll have one hell of a scar to show off to the ladies, eh?" Sebastian winked and chuckled, hoping the diversion would keep Joseph's mind off of his pain for as long as he could.

"Right," Joseph said skeptically, "Of course… because I'm all about showing off to the… ladies... Sounds like something you—" Joseph cut off in a fit of painful coughs and Sebastian shifted so he could raise Joseph's head onto his lap, to offer some support without aggravating the injury too much. "Sounds like something… you would do…"

"Hm. You're right," Sebastian said with a shrug. "You know me too well."

"I'm your—partner, I should." Joseph mumbled, his words starting to slur together, eyelids beginning to flutter shut.

"Joseph! Don't faint on me. Please," Sebastian pleaded, unsure of how much of his worry slipped into his tone. He had to stay calm if he wanted to keep Joseph calm as well. He was a professional, he had to remind himself that. Panicking in these kinds of situations only led to more panic.

His partner winced and sighed, a slow, quiet exhale of breath, one filled with discomfort. "It just hurts… a lot. Can't think… I just…"

Sebastian pressed down a little harder against the wound, hoping it would help keep Joseph awake on top of make the blood flow begin to stop. Both seemed to be working equally for now, which meant there was some progress being made. Joseph groaned and one hand flew up to grasp at a handful of his blood-soaked vest, as he bit down on his lip to keep himself awake.

"Joseph?"

Joseph opened one eye again to look up at Sebastian, eyes shining with pain and concern. "Mmh? Wh… what?"

Before he could stop himself, Sebastian leaned down and pressed his lips to Joseph's, as it was all he could think of left to do. If anything it was another attempt to take Joseph's mind off the pain. To surprise him. And it seemed to, as the other's face soon was coated with a warm shade of pink blush.

"S-Seb, what… what was… what was that? A-are you… crazy?" Joseph gasped quietly, eyes darting around like he was trying to figure out if he was hallucinating.

"Got you to stop thinking about the pain, didn't I?" Sebastian said, ruffling Joseph's hair gently. He tried not to think too much about the way Joseph's lips fit nearly perfectly against his own, still soft and warm despite everything that was going on.

"What the—what the hell, Seb?" Joseph's eyes were wide, eyebrows furrowed, he really looked confused. And very, very surprised. At least his plan worked. "You've definitely lost it…"

"Mm-hmm. Well, you're welcome," Sebastian said softly, smiling, though sparing a glance down to Joseph's side to check on the injury. The bleeding had stopped mostly as well. Even better.

Joseph's face tinted red again as he looked back up at his partner. "Do you… think you could do it again? It—it really did help… Jesus, that sounds so stupid, doesn't it…"

Sebastian smirked but obliged. "Best stupid plan ever, if you ask me," he muttered as he leaned down a second time to join their lips again in another kiss. It only lasted a few moments, and they could have stayed there like that longer if the sound of sirens blasting in the distance hadn't caught their attention and reminded them of the situation they were in. It wouldn't be a fun time if he had to explain why he looked like he was making out with his half-conscious and bleeding partner. But, whatever worked, worked. It was as simple as that.

"…H-hey, Seb," Joseph called weakly.

"Yeah? What is it? You feeling okay?"

"Next time… take me out to dinner or something first, would you?" Joseph asked with a small smirk.

"You got it, partner. Next time."