A/N: Wow, this story is so old (old as balls). I must have written this three or four years ago? I can't remember why I never posted it, really. Anyways, all I did was edit the bad spelling/grammar mistakes. I wanted to change the whole relationship thingy but that would be too much lazy and I am a lazy slob.
I own nothing.
Universe alteration on S04E08.

You're all I need.

Guess we both know we're in over our heads
we got nowhere to go and no home that's left.
The water is rising on a river turning red.
It all might be ok or we might be dead...

If everything we've got is slipping away
I meant what I said, when I said:
'Until my dying day.'


The toxin was running havoc in his body. He could feel it. The agonizing cramps in his arm caused them to seize up and clench on its own accord. He was slowly but surely losing sensation in his fingers. No, scratch that, he already had. It was now spreading up to his elbow and shoulder.

As he was moved inside of yet another facility, Michael couldn't help but wonder if this was his last stop. If this was it: his final destination. Stuck in some facility, dying from unknown bacteria. Scott was somewhere with Pirogova, hopefully safe and back at HQ.

He was vaguely aware of two people clad in isolation circling around him. If only his damned vision hadn't left him. He was seeing nothing but fuzzy shapes and shades. He could vaguely distinguish the symbol of biochemical weapons. This was not good.

His lungs seized up again and he feebly coughed, trying to get rid of the sensation of fluid in his lungs. The people brought him in some sort of a glass cubicle. He gazed around and saw Andersson in the same position as he was: strapped to a gurney and surrounded by people dressed in isolation clothing.

'No!' Andersson called out and feebly tried to get loose as they injected him with something.

Another cough wrecked his body and this one hurt more than the others had. He needed to get out of whatever shithole this was.
A person brought in a glass container with vials of some sort of chemical, most likely meant to inject into one of their subjects. A woman and a man both came in. The woman looked at him as he tried to expel more fluid from his lungs and she pressed the stethoscope against his chest. As she heard the crackling noise and felt the heat radiating from the man's body, she stepped away.

'Use vector-string.' The man ordered with a broken English accent as he prepared something but the woman shook her head.
'He is running a fever, looks like there are respiratory problems.'

The man looked down at Michael and saw the heaving chest of a man who couldn't properly breathe.
'Dispose of him.' He said and walked out.

Michael groaned as pain rippled through his body. He could only hope Scott would be here soon. He closed his eyes, feigning unconsciousness although he was standing on the brink of falling into oblivion. He just shouldn't give in. Not yet.

Two different people came in as the doctors left. The rolled him out of the cubicle and through a double door. Shivers wrecked his body and he wasn't sure whether it was the fever or the trepidation of what was going to happen to him and where they were taking him.

And most importantly: if he could get out. He kept his eyes firmly shut even when they rolled him into a room that smelled suspiciously of fire and burnt flesh. One man opened the steel door and Michael could feel the heat radiating out of the oven. He waited until all of the restraints were unstrapped and then made his move. He shot right up, knocking both men onto the ground, lashing out and kicking them away. A man grabbed him from behind, trying to strangle him but Michael moved backwards, towards the open oven. Fire caught the man's clothes and in seconds he became a human torch.

Michael watched the flames lick at the man's body whilst he tried to stay upright, ignoring the dizziness that was trying to subdue him. He grabbed the iron pole one of them had tried to use to beat him with and smashed it down on the man's skull, blood and brains splattering all over the walls and floor.

He dropped the pole and slid down the cold wall. It felt incredibly good against his feverish skin and he allowed himself a few moments of respite before he moved on. He pulled off the overall Smashed Brain was wearing and put it on. He also took the mouth mask for he had no clue what kinds of toxins were flying around in this damned facility. He tried to suppress a cough but it was getting harder to breathe with every passing minute. He didn't have long. A door opened and Michael ran towards the woman coming through. She yelped as he grabbed her throat.
'Sit down. Sit!' he growled and pushed her against a table.
'Where is this place? Where the fuck are we?' he gritted out, squeezing the woman's throat. She yelped again but answered nonetheless.
'It's a research facility. D-Drezna.'
'What kind of research?' Michael asked.
The woman was quiet for a moment.
'I don't know.' She said and Michael pressed her down harshly.
'Bullshit.' He spat out.
'It's biological.' She gasped.
Michael let go of her, trying to find some support on the table. Damned head was spinning like a merry-go-round.
'We plant Small-Pox.' She said.
They stared at each other for a moment.
'Shit.' Michael hissed and grabbed a scalpel that was lying in a kidney-dish.

The woman stared at it with fear, afraid of what might happen to her.
'Give me a phone.' Michael said, getting more and more out of breath.
'They are not permitted. Only doctor Takenaka has a phone.'

Blood was rushing through his ears. He didn't have fucking time for all of this bullshit. He needed to contact HQ as soon as possible.
'Take me…-take me to Andersson. He is the man I came in with. Take me to him.' He said, leaning heavily on the table.
He felt his lungs contract again and coughed, trying to get some more air in his lungs.

'You are dying.' The woman stated.
Michael looked up.
'I could help.' She offered. 'I could help you.'
Yeah, of course you would, Michael thought bitterly.

'Just take me to Andersson. Now.' He ordered and placed the mouth mask against his mouth and nose again.

The both of them walked back into the area where they kept an eye on their subjects. Doctor Takenaka was standing there, watching the horror he had created with glee. Things were going well. He saw his assistant doctor Valnir coming in with another man. It didn't occur to him that he was rather unfamiliar and walking hunched over.
'Watch out!' she yelled but Michael was faster and grabbed the man, pressing the scalpel against his throat.

'Don't. Don't you run!' Michael yelled at the woman. 'Or I'll slit his throat.'
Wide-eyed, Valnir stayed where she was.
'Give me your phone.' Michael growled.
When the man showed him his phone, Michael said: 'Put it in my left hand.'

The man did as he was told.
'He won't do it! He needs me alive!' the doctor yelled to Valnir. 'Go. Go!'

'Don't you dare.' Michael threatened but it was to no avail.

The woman ran away warning the guards. As soon as the doctor told Michael that he couldn't get Andersson out because of the infection, Michael felt something break inside of him. So this had been all for nothing then? He needed to get answers. He grabbed the doctor, interrogating him about the Small Pox and how, if Al-Zuhari would get it, thousands of people would die. The doctor told him there would be more casualties.

'But why? You're not even a believer. What is it? Money?' Michael heaved.
'Science.' The doctor spat out.

Michael dragged the man closer towards the glass cubicle and looked at Andersson. Blood was already leaking out of various places of his body. He spoke to Andersson about how he needed the information. He needed to know. He couldn't get Andersson out. The man would die if he would and he himself would get infected. He had to know, only then he could save Andersson. The man nodded and told him about how he not only downloaded information but also uploaded information and tagged them. They should be able to find the uploaded information.
In a moment of weakness, the doctor managed to get free, Michael doubling over as the pain ripped through his body again.
'Guards!' the doctor yelled.

'Everything I did, I tagged!' Andersson called out after Michael had thanked him and left, tears rolling down his cheeks.

Michael ran back to the room where he had first interrogated the woman, grabbed a steel cart and barricaded the door. He fell to the ground, taking aluminium boxes with him in his descent. They clattered to the ground and the noise washed painfully through Michael's ears.

He pulled out the phone with shaking hands and dialled Richmond.
His colleague picked up immediately.
' Michael.' She said and Michael sighed in relief.
'Sergeant?' Locke asked.
'Boss.' Michael answered.
'What's your status?' Locke asked.
'I'm alive...Is Damien with you?' He needed to know that at least Scott was save.
'Yeah, I'm here, bud. I'm all good.' The familiar voice of the cocky American piped up and Michael felt a surge of contentment rush through him.
'What is your location, Michael?' Locke asked.
'Drezna. They are developing weaponised Small Pox for Al-Zuhari. The Black Bear prisoners are the test subjects.' He explained.
There was a short silence in which Michael heard Richmond confirming a locked signal.
'Boss...Andersson has been infected. But he's not just decoding data.' He hissed at the pain in his chest. 'He was uploading.'
'Uploading what?'
'Clean schemes, he's been putting dead people linked to the system. Fake ID's.' Michael heard the rumour of guards outside. He didn't have much longer.
'But he tagged them somehow.'
'Michael, we have your meds and are on our way now.' Locked assured.

The doors opened with a bang and guards streamed into the area.
'Roger that.' Michael said, hoping he'd get to see Scott before he was going to get killed.
He barely saw anything at this point, his focus completely leaving him. A man clad in blue scrubs walked towards him, taking away the phone. Michael tried to grab him, but his energy was spent.

Guards were hauling him up and he groaned in pain. They were jostling him and nausea crept into his stomach. He started to gag and the guards dropped him on all fours. He crumpled to the ground and the impact made his stomach roil and bring up what little he had in his stomach. Vomiting was extremely painful and left him gasping for air. He blacked out as the guards hauled him up again, succumbing to the pain and the unconsciousness that had been beckoning for him.


Back at HQ, Scott was incredibly agitated. His friend, no, his lover was out there. Dying. And he was here, stuck. He wanted nothing more than to save Michael and take him to the hospital. When they finally moved he was determined to kill every enemy crossing his path. Nothing would stop him now.


Michael woke up and found to his dismay that he was shackled to a bed, arms spread like an eagle.
Scott would definitely come up with a Jesus-joke. But this was serious. His arm felt as if it was being ripped off.

Then the lights went on and he squinted. He looked up and vaguely distinguished Leo Kamali and Richmond.
He clenched his eyes shut and groaned. Was his salvation near? Was he going to be saved? They were talking but he couldn't hear anything except for muffled sounds. He saw Richmond and Kamali exchange glances, and he knew something was not right.

Then Al-Zuhari and Ulyanov walked in. They looked at him as if he were an animal in the zoo. He stared back, vicious even though his focus was wavering constantly. Ulyanov nodded. And then things changed. There were gunshots and the men ran out, pulling out their guns. Michael shivered and his knees buckled again. Shit, his time was running out. His head drooped to his chest, taking a wheezy breath.
And then, there was Scott.
'Michael!' his colleague called out, fear clouding his senses for just a split second when he saw the man.
'Mate, you need a key.' Michael called out as loud as possible.
'Huh?' Scott asked.
'Key!' Michael bellowed. His chest spluttered.
Scott circled around the glass cage.
'Got one!' he yelled. He moved to the side and shot at the corners of the glass, mindful not to hit Michael.
'I'm here, Mikey.' Scott said and got inside the cubicle. 'You alright?'
'It's nice of you to show up.' Michael heaved.
'Yeah well, I wasn't sure you'd appreciate it, huh.'
Michael heaved in another breath, darkness clouding his sight at the edges. He could barely breathe. Scott untied his arm and it flopped limply to the side.
'They tried any funny experiments on you?' Scott joked.
'Gah...fuck...' Michael cursed. He saw Scott's mouth move but couldn't hear a thing.
'Just get me the hell out of here.'
'All right, here.' Scott handed him the dose of medicine that would stop the neurotoxin of shutting down his body. He grabbed it, but his energy left him and he buckled, hanging upright on one arm. The medicine clattered to the ground.

'Michael!' Scott called out and hoisted an arm over his shoulder, trying to prevent a dislocated shoulder. He grabbed the syringe. Michael's head lolled against Scott's chest, wheezing softly.
'Come on mate. I fucking got to you. Don't die on me now!' Scott hissed and pressed the needle into Michael's chest, pressing the plunger down.
Michael hissed in pain and pressed his face against Scott's neck.

'Come on, Michael, we need to get out of here. Can you walk?' he asked, patting Michael's cheek.
'I can keep up with you.' He heaved and Scott pressed a handgun in his hand. Scott hoisted Michael upright and to his surprise, the man stayed on his feet. His face had grown even paler but he was standing and lucid, aiming the gun at possible upcoming guards.
'I feel better already.' Michael said with a hoarse voice.
'Really?' Scott asked, moving away as much glass as possible to Michael wouldn't cut his feet.
'No...' Michael said. 'Ah shit.' He cursed as he moved through the glass shards. A few nicked his feet and little specks of blood trickled to the ground. Adrenaline made sure he didn't feel anything. Not even his lungs constricting worse than before.

They moved through the hall, dropping guards here and there. Scott was surprised Michael was able to hit the target every time. He was proud actually.
But then Michael saw Andersson who had succumbed to the Small Pox.
'Ah shit, poor bastard.' He whispered.
They moved back, killing more guards crossing their path.

Scott could hear Michael's breathing worsening and he wondered why the vaccine wasn't working. Once they reached the secure area, Michael broke down in a coughing fit. Scott saw Pirogova sitting on the ground, holding her bleeding arm and was about to say something when there was a groan and a slap of skin on the ground.

'Michael!' Scott called out and dashed back to his fallen friend.
'Buddy...' he wheezed, handing back the gun, 'I've got to...s-sit this one o..out.' Then his eyes rolled up in their sockets and he went completely limp.
'No, no, no, no. Michael! Open your fucking eyes!' Scott bellowed.
Locke walked towards Martinez.
'They've got Kamali. Go after them.' The woman nodded, motioning two other soldiers to come with her.
'Scott, what happened?' he asked, looking at his two sergeants.
Scott rubbed a hand through his hair and felt Michael's pulse.
'He fucking collapsed. I thought this vaccine was supposed to work!' he gritted out.

There was another wheezing breath and then silence.
'Michael. Michael, mate, you with me?' Scott shook the man's shoulders.
No response.
Scott leant over Michael, listening carefully.
No breath.
Michael wasn't breathing anymore. He wasn't...

Scott panicked, face blanching, unable to breath himself. But then his instincts kicked in. He threw his gun to the side and intertwined his hands, pressing them down on Michael's bare chest. He pumped thirty times before tilting Michael's head up and pinching his nose. He covered the pale lips with his own and breathed twice, each time checking if Michael's chest was going up and back down.

'Come on, buddy.' Scott pleaded, pressing down again. Repeating the steps of CPR over and over again.
He had been going on for thirteen minutes and sweat was pouring down his face. Then Locke stepped up.
'Scott. He is gone.' The man placed a hand on Scott's shoulder, but the sergeant ripped his shoulder away, giving two more breaths.
'Scott. Scott, for the love of-…'
'Shut up.' Scott hissed, a lone tear mixing with the sweat rolling down his face.

Locke shook his head. This had to stop. They had been too late. They had lost Kamali, the world was in danger and now he had lost one of his finest men.
'Sergeant. Stand down.' Locke ordered, pulling Scott away from Michael's lifeless body.
'Fucking don't touch me!' Scott yelled viciously.

He wasn't going to give up. He wasn't going to give Michael up. He couldn't.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck...

Scott leant down and pressed his lips onto Michael, kissing him, desperately whispering unintelligible nonsense.
'Please Michael, I need you.'

There was no response. He was gone. He was really gone...
Scott looked at his friend, his lover in shock.
'No...' he whispered, eyes clouding over with tears.

Locke closed his eyes as he saw Scott breaking down.
Scott shifted and cradled Michael to his chest, his face buried in Michael's neck.
All was lost...

Martinez and Richmond came back running inside, but skidded to a stop when they saw the scenery in front of them. Richmond clasped a hand in front of her mouth, whispering a shocked 'no'.

Everyone was silent.

And then something happened. There was a shudder coming from Michael's chest.
Then another one and another...
Scott looked up. Michael inhaled another wheezy breath and repeated.
'Mikey?' Scott whispered, not quite believing what was happening.

A soft groan escaped Michael's lips. He opened two bleary eyes and looked at Scott with confusion.
'Why are you crying?' he whispered hoarsely.
Scott heaved out a shaky laugh and ignored everyone around him, hugging Michael to his chest.
Michael whimpered but clung to Scott anyways.

He was finally safe.


Scott insisted on carrying Michael. The man had tried to walk but his knees hadn't been able to support him. Michael would be mortified, but he was exhausted and everyone was already outside. It was just them and Locke.

'The ambulance is here.' Locke said. Scott nodded and bent down.
'Put your arm around my neck, mate.' Scott said to a barely functional Michael. He had given Michael a blanket to wrap around his shoulders. The man had been shivering.
'I can walk.' Michael muttered, knowing full well that he couldn't.
Scott scoffed.
'Yeah, sure you can.' He looped Michael's arm around his shoulder and put an arm underneath Michael's knees and another one around his shoulders.

Locke kept an eye on the both of them, knowing that Scott was over-exerting himself. But he didn't make a comment. He had seen the fear and pain in the man's eyes when he had lost Michael. Their friendship was so much deeper than that. And Locke had seen it.

Michael was resting his head against Scott's neck, eyes pinched close when they entered the bright sunlight. He groaned softly at the incessant light. Scott shushed him and pressed a kiss on the crown of Michael's head.
Scott carefully placed Michael on the gurney, smiling softly. But when he wanted to get in the ambulance he was being stopped by Locke.

Scott looked at the hand holding his bicep with a glare.
'I need to talk to you, Damien.' Locke said. He knew full well Scott wanted nothing more than go along with Michael, but he couldn't.
'Damien...' Michael whispered, looking at Scott.
Scott smiled reassuringly.
'It's okay buddy. I'll see you in the hospital.'

The doors of the ambulance closed and the rig drove away, sirens wailing loudly.
Scott gave Locke a hard look.
'Listen, Scott...'Locke began but was interrupted by Scott.
'Whatever it is, it better be fucking important.'

Locke sighed and rubbed his eyes.
'I just had a conversation with the doctor. She said that Michael's respiration arrest might have to do with the damage done by the neurotoxin. It might be worse than we have originally anticipated especially since he has been exposed to it for so long. We might not know the extent of the damage done to him.' Locke explained and frowned when he saw Scott getting paler and paler.
'It might be so that he won't be able to resume his duties. Ever again. We can't say for sure if he will recover from the paralysis in his arm or lungs. It could be that...'
'That what?' Scott asked with a small voice.
'That he might develop lung-problems. They might seize up again and they won't be able to restart his heart again. We can't say for sure if he survives.'

Scott took a step back, shaking his head in deny.
'No...'He whispered, staggering back, body trembling. His breathing was picking up at a dangerous speed and before both men knew full well what was happening, Scott was caught in a full blown panic attack.


'Scott. I need you to calm your breathing down. Scott? Can you hear me?'
Scott was vaguely aware of a voice talking to him, admonishing him to calm down and breathe properly but it was so hard.
He was sweating and trembling, his chest was in full-blown agony and the scenery was spinning around him. His heart was thudding in his chest and the blood rushed through his ears, drowning out every sound.
He felt himself fall to the ground, legs unable to support his weight any longer.
Michael...he might die...He couldn't die...No...no...no...They had been in time, right? He had given him the vaccine...no...Michael...

Locke cursed when Scott crashed to his knees, trembling arms feebly trying to keep himself upright.
'Scott, I need you to stay with me. Breathe, for Christ's sake!' He had not anticipated such a reaction coming from Scott. The man was usually all fun and games. He had not thought that his feelings for Michael were so deep. But then again, he had just escaped from prison, unable to stay with his friend and take care of him. He had been sure that Michael was saved when he had donned the vaccine, only to find out that it had been too late?
'Shit.' Locke cursed, two mistakes in one day. This couldn't get any better.

Scott was meanwhile heaving, trying to get some oxygen in his deprived lungs. Is this how Michael had felt? Would he stop breathing too? His breathing had picked up a wheezing tone and he was seeing black spots. He knew he was going to pass out soon.
'Richmond! Get me the first aid-kit!' Locke bellowed, hearing the wheezing.

He needed Scott to calm down.
'Damien, calm down. You need to calm down. Do it for Michael. He needs you. Calm down!'
He saw two panicked eyes flick up to meet his.
Michael...the same Michael that was in the hospital, the same Michael that might die due to complications. He knew he shouldn't have told Scott.

Richmond came running towards them, eyes wide when she saw Scott in distress and Locke seemingly lost, next to him.
'Boss, what happened?' she asked, opening the med-kit, fully expecting a grotesque injury Scott had been hiding.
'It think he's having a panic attack and he isn't calming down. I need to sedate him before the whole situation increases to epic proportions.' Locke gritted. He rummaged through the med-kit and pulled out a vial of Diazepam. He filled a syringe and looked at Scott.
'Sorry Scott.' He whispered and injected Scott with the sedative.

It took the drug a few minutes before the shaking lessened and Scott's arms gave out. Locke caught him easily and placed him in recovery position.
'We need to get him to the hospital as well.' Richmond nodded and with the help of Locke they carried him inside the SUV.
If only Locke had known what kind of reaction this would elicit, he would have never told Scott. It was only now clear to him how close Scott and Michael really were.

They drove to the hospital where they had taken Michael too. Scott was completely passed out in the backseat. Richmond kept shooting glances at Locke, both equally worried about the mental state of the man.
They skidded to a halt at the E.D.-entrance, asking for a gurney.
Two male nurses ran outside and placed the man on the gurney, checking his vitals, asking what had happened and what was wrong with the man.
'Severe anxiety attack. I gave him 50mg of Diazepam to sedate him. His reaction was getting out of hand.'
The nurse nodded and wheeled the gurney inside and out of sight.


Michael woke up with a groan. His head was thumping but he already felt so much better. His arm wasn't seizing up and breathing was a lot easier.
An oxygen mask was placed over his nose and mouth and he could hear the rhythmic noise of a heart-monitor close by.

He blearily looked around, noticing he was not alone in the room. A curtain was pulled around a bed, blocking the other occupant from his view. Then the door opened and Locke came in, carrying a bowl of red and green grapes.
'Boss.' Michael mumbled around the oxygen mask, carefully hoisting himself a bit higher.
Locke smiled when he saw the soldier awake and pressed on the nurses' call button.

'How are you feeling, Michael?' he asked with a smile, setting the bowl on the nightstand at the window.
Michael smiled, pulling off the oxygen mask, mindful of all the wires and electrodes attached to his body and arms.
'A whole lot better.' Michael said.
A nurse came in and gave both men a smile.
'No problems?' she asked as she checked the IV-line and turned down the oxygen, taking away the oxygen mask.
Michael shook his head.
'Cheers.' He said as she walked towards the other bed.

Locke watched her with narrow eyes and followed her into the closed off area. Michael raised his eyebrows.
He could hear them talking, discussing something.
When Locke came back he wore a frustrated gaze.
'What's wrong, boss?' Michael asked.

The nurse came back out and Locke nodded. She pulled away the curtains, revealing Scott.
Michael shot upright, groaning at the muscle aches in his body.
'Easy does it, Michael. He is fine.' Locke said and patted Michael's arm.
The soldier looked at him, his gaze frustrated and filled with concern.
The nurse left the room and Locke pulled up a chair, sitting down and looking at Michael with sincerity.

'Listen, Michael... What happened...today...It had its effects on all of us. Even more so on Damien. I am aware of the relationship between him and you.' Locke explained.
Michael looked at his hands in his lap.
'I am not chastising you or anything. I just didn't anticipate such a reaction coming from Scott. He...he totally broke down, Michael. I have never seen Scott like that. We had to sedate him because he wasn't calming down.'
Michael looked at his mate lying on the hospital bed, pale and sickly. He hadn't thought Scott would break down. He was still alive, so why the reaction?
'What elicited the reaction?' Michael asked, eyes never leaving Scott who was fast asleep.
Now it was Locke's turn to shift uneasily.
'The doctor called when you were transported to the hospital. She explained that the vaccine might have been administered too late. That the damage done to your body was already irreversible. I told Scott, wanting to give him a heads up about you. But I wasn't aware of the state of his mind and the relationship between you both. He crashed down and had a panic attack.'

'He is okay now, right?' Michael asked, wanting to go over to Scott and see for himself.
'Yeah, he is sedated, but physically he is perfectly fine. '
Michael stared at Locke with that impenetrable look of his.
'Will there be consequences?'
'Consequences about what?'
'Our relationship. Scott's breakdown. This whole situation.'
Locke glanced at Scott, who was still in a drug-induced sleep.

'No. No there won't be any consequences as long as things like these don't happen again. I can't have Scott breaking down every time you get hurt or shot.' Locke huffed.
Michael cracked a smile.
'I will have a word with him, boss.' Michael promised.

There was a short silence, where they were both staring at Scott.
'So what's the prognosis?'
Locke raised his eyebrows.
'Well, I wouldn't call it a mission failure. They have a weapon but we have samples and Valnir, the Swedish doctor. I might get something out of her. Richmond, she's with the NATO forensic computer team. See if they can find the clean schemes uploaded by Andersson.'

Michael smiled.
'Actually, I was asking about my prognosis.'
Locke looked up.
'Oh! Aah, you'll be fine.' He got up and looked through the window.
'It's nothing to worry about. It was a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. It was a close one.'

'What about Leo?' Michael asked.
'There is no news. If it wasn't for him, you'd be dead. He risked his life. He did everything he could from stopping them getting the virus and I didn't trust him. I thought it was-'
'This is not on you.' Michael interrupted.

Locke nodded and sighed.
'I have to get going now. I will check on you later today. And on Scott.' He added.
'Boss.' Michael nodded, noticing the slump in the man's shoulders.
Then he left.


It was an hour later when Scott started showing signs of coming around.
Michael had been dozing, trying to sleep off the lingering effects of the bacteria. His lungs still weren't fully cooperating and had been given a nasal cannula to help his breathing. Granting, the tube was bothering him, itching terribly but it did help him breathe better.

His eyes snapped open when he heard a soft groan coming from Scott's bed. The man was shifting uneasily in the bed. He mumbled something that suspiciously sounded like 'Michael'. After a bit more of mumbling he finally opened his eyes.
Not as dramatic as Michael had expected him to be but silent, still, as if he hadn't wanted to wake up in the first place.
He gazed at the ceiling, completely unmoving, not aware of another presence in the room.

Michael shifted in his bed, throwing aside the blankets, initially wanting to get up. But a wave of dizziness washed over him. Apparently being bed-ridden for an entire day, still healing from some bacteria, his energy had been drained to zero. But the sound had made Scott look up. He stared at Michael as if he was seeing a ghost. His face drained and his mouth was slightly ajar.

'Mikey?' he whimpered.
'Hey Damien.' Michael smiled. The man had really thought him to be dead.
Scott threw the blankets off of his legs and got out. He teetered a bit to the side, but the adrenaline was rushing through him and there was nothing stopping him now. He grabbed the IV-pole and dragged it along, precariously leaning on it.
He stumbled over thin air but Michael managed to grab his arm. Scott latched onto it, not interested in wasting time and pressed his lips against Michael's. Michael melted into the touch, holding Scott at the base of his head, carding through his hair.

They both had their eyes closed but Michael opened them when he felt something wet rolling down his cheek.
Michael broke apart, holding Scott's face in his hands, watching the man sob in silence.
'Sshh, Damien, it's all right. I'm here.' He whispered, placing little kisses all over Scott's face, wiping away the tears.
Scott wrapped his arms around Michael, embracing him in a tight hug.
'I thought I had lost you.' He whimpered, inhaling Michael's scent, content with the soft, warm skin against his. Signs that Michael was here, alive.

Michael pulled him onto the bed, trying to sort out the tangle of wires and catheters. They held each other tight, not wanting to let go.
It was Michael who broke the silence first. He wrapped the blanket around Scott and looked him in the eye, his hand stroking Scott's hair.
'You know, there was a...a moment...where I could feel myself going. And I wanted it to end. Better dead than broken, you know...' he said.
Scott sniffled.
'But then I thought about you. I...I knew you'd find a way back to me. It's what you always do. I didn't give up on you, even though I wanted to. I...I need you to do the same for me.'
Scott closed his eyes.
'When Locke told me...that...you might...d-die...I just couldn't...I tried to race against the clock to get the vaccine to you...and I believed you were saved until...you just stopped breathing. A-And I nearly lost it...but I just kept going y'know? Because I owe you that much. But then...Locke...and I...had it all been for nothing? Had I been pushing everything I had...just to lose you in the end...I couldn't...I wouldn't...'

Michael shushed him and pressed another kiss on Scott's temple.
'I'm here now, my love. It's okay. We're all okay. I'm not going to leave you.'
'And I won't leave you.'
Scott caressed Michael's face, gingerly letting his fingers brush over the cut on Michael's head. He leant over and kissed it. Michael scrunched his nose and chuckled.

'You need to promise me something.' Michael said as Scott laid back, looking him in the eye.
Scott nodded.
Michael grabbed Scott's hand and rubbed his knuckles.
'There is going to be times where...where our luck turns sour...where either of us get hurt...-'
Michael shook his head.
'You know it is very possible. I need you to promise to keep going. No matter what the cost. I need you to keep fighting. For us. For me.' Michael whispered.

Scott looked at him and nodded.
'I will always keep fighting for you. And I will be there for you, always. I need you to not give up on me, no matter how grave the situation seems. Promise me this, Damien.'
Scott swallowed thickly.
'Promise me you keep fighting.'

Scott closed his eyes for a few seconds and when he opened them again, they were shining brightly.
'I promise you. I will keep fighting. For us.' He said, kissing Michael passionately.

Both had not seen Locke standing just outside. He had come to check up on both of them but had halted in his tracks when he had heard voices. He was not an eavesdropper but he needed to know more about the link between Damien and Michael.

He knew that he couldn't have one of them having a breakdown whenever the other got hurt. But when he heard the conversation, he understood. He understood what each of them was going through if the other got hurt. Had he not felt the same when his only child had gotten ill? Had he not broken down completely too?
He could not blame them for loving each other. Richmond would feel the same way if Martinez got injured. They had become great friends. So he couldn't possibly blame Scott for his meltdown. Not after all that had happened before. His nerves had been frayed and then when it seemed all was lost, they just snapped.

No, he couldn't possibly separate them or make them quit. Relationships were no more than normal. And Michael knew how to keep Scott in reign. He needed them as much as they needed each other. They were damned good soldiers and without them the world would have ended long ago.

They were like the two sides of a coin. The one could not live without the other. The minute he would relieve one of them of their duties, the other would follow.
So he did what he could do. Keeping them together.

They promised they'd keep fighting, and he would keep their word to it. He smiled fondly when Scott hugged Michael tighter to his chest and sighed contentedly. He had never seen both of them so at peace. He didn't have it in his heart to disturb them now. He'd let the nurse do that. Besides, he wasn't quite fond of seeing Scott's naked buttocks when he tried to get out of the bed.

He left the hospital, leaving a note to contact him when the doctor had checked upon Scott and had given his consent from him to leave.


The nurse had nearly dropped her tray when she had seen both men lying in bed. She had been fussing over Michael whose IV-line had detached, an was dripping blood all over the white linen.
She had sent Scott back to his own bed, not quite interested in his sweet talk. Scott had given her a childish pout but had retreated to his bed, his lily-white arse clearly visible in the backless gown. Michael had been chuckling but had quickly shut up when the nurse put in a new IV.

She checked both their vital signs, humming contentedly as she saw progression in both their vitals.
When she looked at Scott, she huffed, obviously not pleased with the red eyes and bags underneath them.
'The Diazepam really got a knock on you. You need to rest properly. In your own bed.' She punctuated, giving him a stern look. Scott gave her one of his pouts but complied, making himself comfortable in the bed, albeit keeping an eye on Michael.

'I know you both just woke up but you need some more rest. I am going to give you a sedative to counter the effects of the botulism and help you sleep better.' The nurse told Michael, and injected the medication into the IV-port. Michael sighed, not quite wanting to sleep again but the nurse placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled fondly.
'You'll feel a whole lot better. I promise.'

'Thanks.' He smiled and leant back against the pillows.
She then turned to Scott, giving him the eye.
'Just rest. Your friend needs it and you need it as well. We can spring you earlier if you are well rested. The doctor will be here in a few hours and see whether you are fit enough to leave.'

She then left the room, dimming the lights.


'...a severe panic attack. Thankfully there were no issues and you should regain full health after a few weeks of good rest. Was this your first panic attack?'

A strange voice drifted into his subconscious, lulling him out of the medicine-induced oblivion he had been in.

'Yes. It was my first panic attack.' Scott answered.
'Do you have any idea what might have triggered this attack?' the doctor asked, carefully watching Scott's face. He didn't miss the little flick of Scott's eyes when he quickly glanced at Michael.
'I've been under a lot of stress lately. And I guess I reached the breaking point yesterday.' Scott shrugged. It was close to the truth anyways.
'Are there family members who have also suffered from panic attacks or a panic disorder?'
Scott looked at him.
'Not that I know of.' He muttered.
The doctor noticed that this was a particularly painful subject to his patient. But he really needed to know more about the man's state of mind. He needed to know if a psychologist was necessary or not.
'One last question: has someone you care a lot about died recently? Or was there a serious illness involved with around that person?'

Michael peeled one tired eye open to see Scott's reaction. It was as expected. It was a typical Scott reaction.
The man would freeze for just a split second and then give everyone his shit-eating grin.
'Not at all. I don't make good friends.' He lied smoothly and even added a smug wink for good measure.

'All right, mister Scott, you are good to go. I shall send the nurse to get you ready and sign your discharge papers. She will also give you some tips to follow through in case you might have another panic attack.' The doctor shook his hand and moved over to Michael.

He smiled when he saw that Michael was slowly regaining consciousness. The doctor pulled up a rolling chair and sat down.
'Hello mister Stonebridge, can you hear me?'
Michael nodded and blinked profusely. The doctor checked the dose Michael had been given and jotted something down on his paper.
'Are you with me?' he asked, looking Michael in the eye.

'Yeah, I'm with you. Sorry. That's some pretty heavy drugs.' He said and yawned.
The doctor chuckled.
'No need to apologize, I am doctor Evans. How are you feeling, mister Stonebridge?'
'A whole lot better, actually. Still a bit sore and tired. Oh, and please call me Michael. ' Michael answered.
The doctor nodded.
'Well, I am afraid we need to keep you here one more day, just to keep an eye on you. It has been a very close call, Michael. If the vaccine had been given a few more minutes later you wouldn't have made it. Your lungs still aren't on their fullest capacity, which means we can't take you off the oxygen just yet.'

Scott shifted uneasily when he heard that, apparently feeling guilty about all of this. He could have easily disarmed Pirogova and gone after Michael.
When he looked back up he saw Michael looking at him. There was sincerity in his eyes and he gave a slight nod. The doctor had seen it but made no remark.
'As you already might know you have been infected with the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. We managed to give an extra vaccine on top of the one you have already gotten to make sure the bacteria can't cause any more problems. You might want to take it easy for the next two weeks. This means no work, no heavy sports or sexual activities. Any more questions?' He got up when Michael shook his head.
'Mister Scott, the nurse will be here soon to unhook you from the IV. She will also help you with your clothes.' He shook Michael's hand and left the room.

Scott sighed and smiled when Michael looked at him.
'Seems you have to stay in the hospital just a little while longer.' He chuckled. He threw up his hands when Michael glared at him. 'Just be glad they didn't give you a Foley.'
The thought only of a stranger putting a tube...down there...made him squeamish. Thanks, but no thanks...

A different nurse entered the room half an hour later. She was holding a stack of folders and her little cart.
She smiled at both men and disinfected her hands. She put on a pair of gloves.
'Let's get you freed from that IV, shall we, mister Scott?' she said and carefully took the arm where the catheter was situated in. She peeled away the tape carefully and threw it in the little bin attached to the cart. She took a little wad of sterile compresses and as soon as she took the catheter out, she put the compresses on the little pinprick.

'Could you please put pressure on this?' she asked and moved Scott's arm upwards so he was holding his shoulder, the little wad firmly caught in the crease of his elbow.
She opened another package that revealed some tape. She unbent Scott's arm and checked the little wound, content when the bleeding had dimmed down. She took a new compress and taped it down.
'There we go.' She smiled and looked at him, pulling off her gloves and throwing them in the bin.
'Shall we get you sitting up?' she asked and when Scott nodded she raised the head of the bed a bit more. She placed his legs a little more to the edge and offered him her arm.
'Now, we'll do this nice and easy. As soon as you start to feel dizzy or nauseous we'll put you back down and wait for a moment, okay? There is no need to rush.' She told him.

Scott wanted to say something along the lines that he had been already running around, but he thought it to be best not to mention that fact.
He exhaled when he was sitting upright.
'Feeling all right? No light-headedness? No nausea?' she studied his face for any signs of vasovagal syncope.
Scott flashed his ever so brilliant smile and shook his head.
'I'm super.'

She then helped him getting on his feet and was pleased when he was standing firmly.
'Wonderful. Now, how about we get you to the bathroom and you take a leak. I will also give you your clothes so you can get dressed in private. If you need any help, any at all, don't hesitate to give a call! And don't lock the door, okay?' she said and handed him a plastic bag which contained his clothes.
She walked next to him and made sure the gown was shut, so he wasn't flashing his butt.
Scott thanked her and did what he had to do.

Whilst he was in there, the nurse went to Michael, disinfecting her hands again.
'How are you doing, mister Stonebridge?' she asked, and looked at the chart that was hanging on the bed.
'I'm good. Actually wanting to leave the hospital too.' He said.
The nurse offered him a smile.
'I'm afraid that's against doctor's orders. But we can start on lowering the oxygen. Let's see how that goes.' She meddled with some buttons and Stonebridge felt the flow of oxygen slowing down, having to depend more on his own intake of oxygen.
'How is that for you?' she asked.
'It's actually harder than before.' He answered truthfully.
'Your lungs were compromised by the bacteria. They need some time to get back to their full capacity. But a young and vital man like you should have that under control in no time.' She smiled again and patted his shoulder.
'If it really gets too hard to breathe or if you need anything, please let me know.' She said, pointing at the little button to his right.

Scott came back out of the bathroom, fully clothed and looking gradually better.
'Everything went okay? No problems with urinating?' she asked.
Scott shook his head and handed her the gown.
She placed it on his bed and handed him the folders about panic attacks.
'Doctor Evans would very much like you to read through these. Just so you know how to treat panic attacks or how to calm down. If they keep reoccurring we might have to take other measures. Now, when you get home I want you to eat something and go to sleep. It's best to take a shower tomorrow. I know you think you've been sleeping enough, but you've been quite out of it and panic attacks are nothing to laugh at.' She informed him.
'Can't I stay here?' he asked and looked at Michael who was frowning.
'I'm sorry, mister Scott. Mister Locke will be here soon to pick you up and drive you home. He has asked to be informed if the doctor has seen you. He can be any minute here now. You can wait here if you like.' She said and motioned to the chair next to Michael's bed. She took her cart and left.
'Thanks.' Scott and Michael said in unison as she left.

Michael looked at Scott, who was furiously trying to ignore it. Michael extended his hand and smiled when Scott took it, their fingers intertwining.
'You saved me, Scott. Stop beating yourself up over it. One more day and I will be up and at 'em.' He joked and gently squeezed Scott's hand.
Scott flashed his grin and pressed a kiss on Michael's knuckles.
'I hope Locke has picked a nice stay, seeing as you are not allowed to perform heavy duties for two weeks.' Scott muttered.
'Oh, but he has.' A voice said and both men looked up, seeing Locke leaning in the doorway. He smiled when he saw both of his man awake and looking a whole lot better than 5 hours ago.
Scott quickly let go of Michael's hand, looking slightly panicked but Locke raised his hand.
'It's okay Damien.' He said. 'Are you ready to go?'
Scott looked troubled for a minute as he looked at Michael, not quite wanting to leave him alone. Images of a deadly ill Michael flashed through his head.
It was Michael who spoke first.
'Could you give us a moment, please, Boss?' he asked.
Locke nodded and left the room, most likely heading towards the nurses' desk to sign the discharge papers.

Michael grabbed Scott's hand again.
'Hey, remember what you promised, mate. Don't let me down now.' He said, looking Scott intensely in the eyes.
'I just can't leave you alone, Mikey.' He whispered.
Michael shook his head.
'You will have to, Damien. One more day and then we can be together again, okay? I don't like it as much as you do, but this is the way it happens. Please, Damien, go home, eat and sleep.'
Scott looked at him, his under lip quivering ever so slightly. He leant over and pressed his lips onto Michael's. The kiss was needy and desperate but it was both soothing, and a promise.
'You better be ready when I'm coming to get your ass tomorrow. Okay?' Scott falsely threatened and kissed him again.
'You can bet on it, Damien.' Michael said.
When Scott left the room, holding the stack of folders, Michael called out to him.
'Hey Scott?' Scott turned around.
'Yeah buddy?'
Michael smiled.
'I love you.'


The doctor called, saying Michael could be picked up at 6 PM the next day. Locke had given Scott the task of picking him up, knowing full well Scott wouldn't have it any other way. Scott arrived at the hospital approximately 10 minutes after the call. He might have broken a few speed limits, but what the hell. Michael was already dressed, sitting in a wheelchair, holding a cup of water. He smiled brightly when Scott entered. To his dismay, Scott noticed that Michael was still hooked to the IV. Michael saw him frowning at the offended saline-drip.
'No need to worry mate, I just have to wait until it is empty. I don't think they expected you to be here so early.' He joked.
'How are you feeling? Did you get something to eat? Have you been sleeping okay? Were there complications?' Scott rambled, sitting down on the other chair.
Michael smiled at him with mirth.
'Calm down, mom. I am fine. Yes, I have had dinner, breakfast and lunch and I slept as well as you can sleep in a hospital.' He reassured.
Scott exhaled and kissed Michael on his forehead.

'So how is our stay? No cockroaches to be found?' Michael jibed, trying to lighten Scott's murky mood.
Scott chuckled.
'No more than usual. No, our stay is really decent. We have a view over the city.' Scott muttered.
Michael looked at him.
'What is wrong, Scott? Did something happen?' Michael queried, looking surprised when Scott pulled away his hand and got up, all fidgety all of a sudden.

Scott racked his fingers through his hair, over and over again, one of his nervous habits. He stared out of the window.
'I'll tell ya when we are back at the hotel.' Scott finally replied.
'No mate, you are going to tell me now.' Michael interjected but right on that moment the nurse entered.
She smiled when she saw Scott.
'I wasn't expecting you so soon, sir.' She said and gathered her tools to unhook Michael from the IV.
'Yeah, I was around.' Scott muttered, watching her every step.

'You know what we discussed Michael. Take it easy the first couple of weeks. No arduous work or heavy duties. It is absolutely important that you don't overexert yourself.' She said and taped a compress to the puncture wound on Michael's arm.
'Could you please sign this form? They are your discharge papers.' She said and handed him a clipboard with papers. He clumsily took the pen and scribbled his name on the consent forms.
'This is the date when you need to get a check up. Your own doctor can do it but the tests are necessary. They are to rule out any complications.'

'Alright, let's get you out of here.' She said and took the handles of the wheelchair.
'Is the chair really necessary?' Michael asked.
The nurse nodded.
'Sorry, hospital policy.' She answered and started pushing him out.
'It's okay. I've got him.' Scott said and took the wheelchair over from the nurse.
'Of course. You can leave the wheelchair at the reception. I wish you the best of luck for the both of you.' She said.
'Cheers.' Michael said and granted her a smile. Scott nodded.

When they were outside, Michael inhaled the crisp air. He leant back in the wheel chair and closed his eyes.
'You alright, Mikey?' Scott asked concerned.
Michael hummed.
'Yeah mate, just tired. I'm glad when I can sleep in a bed which doesn't smell of antiseptic.'
Scott rolled the wheelchair towards a black Volkswagen Touareg. He opened the door at the back seats. Michael opened his eyes and saw the back seats were laid flat. There were two pillows and blanket.
'Seriously?' Michael muttered and eyes the makeshift bed.
'Doctor's orders.' Scott said and helped Michael get up. He was still feeling rather weak and his knees were trembling. He had to say, the backseat was rather comfortable, especially with the blanket and pillows. He leant against them and exhaled deeply.

When Scott returned, Michael was fast asleep. As suspicious as he was, Scott checked Michael's pulse before getting in the car and driving towards the hotel.



'Michael...wake up, buddy.'

Michael flicked his eyes open and saw Scott leaning over him.
'We're here. Let's get you inside and in a decent bed, yeah?' he said and carefully helped Michael sitting upright.
They went inside at a slow pace, Michael's good arm slung around Scott's shoulders.
It was a good thing there was an elevator. Scott doubted Michael would have been able to take the stairs. They were almost inside when Michael started trembling, sweat trickling down his forehead.
'Almost there.' Scott gritted out as Michael started to lean down heavily on him. He opened the door with one hand and dragged Michael towards a large bed. He laid Michael down and as soon as the man's head hit the pillow he was fast asleep. Scott took off Michael's shoes, shirt and pants, leaving him clad in his boxers. He threw the blanket over Michael and closed the blinds. Fatigue was gnawing at him but he shoved it aside and pulled out a beer of the fridge. He sat down on the couch in the dark, watching Michael throughout the entire night.


When Michael woke up he was lying on his side. He opened his eyes and frowned when he saw Scott slouched on the couch, head lolling uncomfortably to the side. He glanced at the clock on the wall. It was 3 AM.
Scott looked like a wreck. Something else had happened when he was in the hospital. Something bad for it had obviously upset Scott. He had not been able to believe it when they told him Scott has had a panic attack.

Michael turned onto his back and stared at the ceiling. It was obvious that they were in love but had never thought that Scott was so fragile. Despite his cocky exterior, Scott really deeply cared for him. He dared not to think about what would have happened to Scott if he had died. Would Scott have committed suicide or just have given up, right there? He had found out that the fact why Scott slept with so many girls was a way to let go of all his pent up anger and feelings. He didn't want to stow his crap onto Michael, so he found another way of letting go. Not that Michael liked it, but that was Scott for you.

On the couch Scott shifted. Michael look up and saw the creased brow indicating uneasiness. He mumbled something incoherent, then stirred some more. And then Scott jumped up and dashed towards a room, which was the toilet most likely. Michael heard him retching and scrunched his nose.

He swung the blankets off his legs and got up, he used the walls as a prop as he padded towards the bathroom.
It sounded as if Scott was heaving up his guts. Michael flipped the lights on and took a towel, wetting it. He crouched down next to Scott, ignoring the putrid stench and placed the damp towel on Scott's neck. He started rubbing soothing circles over Scott's back. Scott heaved a couple more times and then slumped forwards, tears rolling down his cheeks.

Michael flushed the toilet and helped Scott leaning against the wall, mindful of his own arm that was still stiff and sore. When he proceeded to clean Scott's face, the man raised his hand. He grabbed the towel himself and wiped his mouth clean. Before Michael could stop him, Scott got onto his wobbly feet and brushed his teeth.
'I am sorry for waking you. Let me help you get back in bed.' Scott muttered as he finished cleaning up.

He carefully helped Michael onto his feet. His silence was very unsettling, his eyes hollow and bleak.
'Scott...' Michael said but Scott shook his head and deposited Michael onto the bed and went to the kitchen to grab a glass of water for Michael.
'Michael...can I stay with you tonight?' Scott whispered as he placed the glass on the nightstand.

Scott stood completely still, back turned towards Michael, face shielded in the dark.
'Yeah sure, come here.' Michael answered and scooted a bit over.
Scott crawled into the bed next to Michael and without saying anything he wrapped his arms around Michael's torso, pressing his face against Michael's warm chest.
'Scott...you've been acting off the entire day. Did something happen?' Michael whispered and caressed Scott's hair. Scott sniffled wetly and looked up.
'Kamali...they...I...He's dead, Michael.' Scott whispered, tears filling his eyes.

Michael pulled back in shock.
'No...' he stared at Scott with unbelief.
'They sent...a livestream. They...they shot him in the head, Michael...He's gone. And Ester...what am I going to tell Ester. I promised I would keep an eye out for him and he is dead, Michael. She will never forgive me. I am such a failure...I can't save anyone.' He rambled, tears spilling down his cheeks, clinging onto Michael desperately. Michael was completely flabbergasted, to say the least. Kamali was gone...The man had saved his life and now he was dead. Michael stared at the wall in front of him. Scott looked up.
'Mikey? Are...are you okay?' he asked, placing a hand on Michael's cheek.

Two eyes flicked down to look at Scott, perplexed and unbelieving. Then two strong and muscular arms hugged Scott more tightly against his chest. Neither of them was okay. They had been physically and mentally tortured. Scott had believed to lose Michael only to hear that Kamali was killed. This day had been one of the worst they had ever encountered. Porter, Grant, Dalton, Sinclair, Baxter, Kamali...their colleagues and friends were dropping left and right and there was nothing they could do to prevent that. So no one could blame them.
Scott stroked Michael's neck and pressed a kiss to the man's collarbone.

'We're going to be okay. Just...just not tonight.' Scott whispered and closed his eyes, listening to Michael's alive and strong heartbeat. Michael nodded and closed his eyes too, content with Scott having with him, knowing he was still here with him.
'Just not tonight.' Michael agreed and exhaled deeply.

They both fell asleep like that, cradling each other, needing to feel each other's warmth, the reassurance...
They had each other and for tonight it was all they needed. It was all they ever needed.


And if all we've got, is what no one can break
I know I love you, if that's all we can take
The tears are coming down, they're mixing with the rain.
I know I love you, if that's all we can take.

Maybe it's all gone black but you are all I see
maybe it's all we've got but it's all I need...
You're all I need...