Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and I don't make any money off of them.
A/N: As always, thanks to my wonderful beta and sounding board, ritt, for all of her help!
Don barely registered his father's soothing voice over the pounding in his head and the throbbing in his leg as he struggled to keep up with the older man's steps.
"Nice and slow," Alan whispered in his son's ear.
"Not too slow if you want to make it out of here alive," an angry voice growled behind them.
Don's heart sped up at the threat, knowing the man ushering them forward wouldn't hesitate to shoot Alan – or to put another bullet in him. Biting his lip and increasing his concentration, Don managed to speed up his gait. He felt a sharp pain followed by a trickle of warm blood as he bit through his lip. He stifled a moan as he squeezed his father's shoulder against the rising level of agony.
"It's okay," Alan said firmly as he tightened his grip around Don's waist. "We'll get there when we get there."
"I said faster," the man behind them hissed as he stepped closer. He callously pressed the barrel of his gun against Don's neck. "Or should I just eliminate the problem all together?"
Alan cast a look of anger mixed with worry over his shoulder at the gunman. "Maybe if you hadn't shot him in the first place," he growled.
"Watch it, old man," their captor sneered as he cocked his gun. "Or I will take care of the problem, once and for all."
Alan bit back a retort, sensing that it wouldn't take much more to set the man off, and returned his focus to Don. "Almost there."
Don weakly raised his head and squinted through a haze of pain at the manager's office that lay several feet in front of them. "Are not," he breathed.
"Don't talk back to your father," Alan gently chided. "Actually, don't talk at all. Just keep breathing – nice and slow – and putting your feet forward."
"Yeah, listen to your daddy, Fed."
Don silently cursed the man, wanting nothing more than to smack the smug look off his face, and punch his lights out for threatening to shoot his father. He opened his mouth to speak but only managed to gasp as a fresh wave of pain radiated upward from his leg. His good leg buckled, and Don clung to his father's neck like a drowning man to a life preserver. "Dad," he whispered desperately.
"I've got you," Alan promised him as he tightened his grip on the arm draped across his shoulders. "Just hang onto me, okay?"
Don nodded as he let his head sag onto Alan's shoulder. At his father's urging, Don somehow managed to keep his feet moving forward.
"Aww, how sweet," the man behind them sneered.
Alan snapped, "We could go faster if you'd help."
"You don't want my help. My help involves putting a bullet in his brain."
"And mine too, I suppose," Alan spat.
"No, I do need at least one living hostage."
"How smart of you..." Alan trailed off. "What am I supposed to call you anyway?"
"How about the man with a gun?" he growled in response. "The man who decides if you live or die? Take your pick."
"How about Barry?" Alan answered, slightly out of breath from supporting almost all of Don's weight.
"Whatever floats your boat, old man."
"Good," Alan grunted as they reached the office door. He leaned his son against the door jamb and caught his breath. "I once had a friend named Barry."
"Touching," the gunman drawled, gesturing for Alan to carry Don to the back of the office.
"Dumbest guy ever born," Alan snorted as he gathered the younger man against him. "Used to drag race down the roads in the mountains. Made a big mistake one day that cost him his life." Alan pointedly stared at Barry. "Hate to see that mistake repeated." Alan gently led Don further inside the office, effectively blocking their view of the outside world, as well as the world's view of them.
"Yeah?" Barry snarled. "Well I ain't dumb." He followed them into the office and ripped the manager's desk phone and fax out of the wall, tossing it into the store area. He unplugged the internet and power cables from the office computer and they soon joined the telephone. Scanning the office for any other forms of communication and finding none, he smiled at his captives. "I'll leave you two be for now." He turned on his heel to leave when Alan's voice stopped him.
"Wait! We're in a convenience store – can I at least get some water and medical supplies?"
"I said I ain't dumb," Barry hissed. "The weaker your boy there is, the less likely either of you two are to try to escape." He laughed at the angry look that appeared on Alan's face. "And a warning – if I even suspect that you're thinking about leaving this office, I'll put three more bullets into your son, one at a time in his knees and stomach. Got it?"
Alan swallowed down a sick feeling and meekly nodded.
"Glad we understand each other." With that, he closed the office door and locked it, leaving his hostages alone while he checked his weapon and waited for the police to arrive. He'd made sure the clerk had seen him shoot the Fed before letting the pregnant young woman 'escape'. Truth be told, he had no qualms about injuring her, but he knew a father and son being held hostage together would be easier to control. Hell, with any luck, he might even get the FBI themselves down here for the big show. Smiling, he went about making his preparations for the upcoming standoff.
As soon as Barry had left, Alan wasted no time in turning his attention back to his injured son. He gently gripped Don's arm and pressed him to sit on the floor with his back against the wall. Carefully gripping his injured leg, Alan straightened it so that it was lying flat on the floor. "Sorry," he choked out as Don gasped in pain. "I need to check your wound."
"I know," Don whispered faintly, his fists clenched at his sides. "Go on."
Alan took a deep breath and lightly tugged at the torn and bloody denim covering Don's right thigh, forcing himself to ignore the way his son's entire body tensed against the pain. Rather than apologize again, Alan concentrated on being as quick and gentle as possible. Moving the fabric to the side, he saw a small, bloody hole where the bullet had entered his son's body. It was bleeding, but thankfully not too heavily, and Alan suspected continued pressure on the wound would stop it. He released the denim and let it slide back in place as he looked Don in the eye. "Do I need to...?"
"Check the back," Don grunted. "Yes, you do."
Alan somehow wasn't comforted by his son's familiarity with examining gunshot wounds, and made a mental note to discuss the matter with Don once they were both out of this awful situation. For now, he placed a hand on Don's right shoulder and hip, slowly nudging him to roll onto his left side. He let his hand remain there as Don's breathing sped up in reaction to moving. When his son's breathing had reached a more normal rate, Alan patted his shoulder. "Try to hold still and I'll be as quick as I can."
Not trusting himself to speak, Don merely nodded and clenched his eyes shut. Where the hell was Charlie with one of those boring math lectures when he needed the distraction? His thoughts were yanked back to his present situation as a white hot fire burned in the back of his leg. "Ah!"
"I'm so sorry, Donny," Alan spoke with tears in his eyes. "Almost done." Alan pulled on the denim again until he could see a large bloody hole where the bullet had left his son's body. His heart sank as he saw how much heavier the bleeding from this hole was. Placing a hand on Don's shoulder, he gave it a light squeeze. "Can you hold this position long enough for me to find a bandage of some sort?"
Don was gritting his teeth against the pain, but shakily nodded to his father. Alan sprang up and looked around the office. All hopes of finding a first aid kit were dashed as he saw a hook on the wall with a sign that read 'Kit under cash register.' Of course it is, he thought bitterly. He scanned the office, his eyes landing on a long sleeved, plaid shirt. Alan grabbed it and began tearing it into long strips as he knelt by Don's side. Once he completed his task, he patted Don's hip. "This is going to hurt."
"I know," Don groaned. "Just do it, Dad."
Alan nodded as he wadded up a strip and placed it directly over the front of his son's leg. He placed a second bundle over the exit wound and wrapped a third strip around the leg to hold those in place. Taking a deep breath to steel his nerves, Alan prayed for forgiveness and cinched the strip as tight as he could. Despite Don's best efforts to remain stoic, a sound of pure agony was ripped from his throat, followed by muffled moans as he buried his face against the wall. Alan hurriedly tied a second, third, and fourth strip around his son's injury, completing the makeshift bandage. He reached up and eased Don back to a seated position on the office floor. "How's that?" he asked as he gently caressed the side of his head.
"Not too tight," Don panted as sweat rolled down his face. "Good job."
"I hope I never have to do that again," Alan whispered as he took a left over strip of cloth and mopped at the moisture.
Don wearily smiled as his eyes slid shut. "...Makes two of us."
Barry, real name Chris Rutherford, was busy at work on a sensitive project as well. He sat on the floor in the middle of the store, surrounded by a massive assortment of wires, circuit boards, and a large satchel of goodies acquired especially for this occasion. He periodically glanced up from his work, checking to see if the small town sheriff and deputies had showed up yet. He chuckled as the station remained deserted, knowing that it would take the pregnant girl a while to get help as she was having to travel by foot. Even if she had thought to grab her keys before fleeing, she would have been shocked to see that they were no longer under the counter where she usually kept them. Chris had made sure to grab them when he'd helped the girl pick up the display of lighters that he'd 'accidentally' knocked behind the counter. He glanced up toward the road, making sure his sign was still in place: Gas Leak! Station Closed Until Further Notice. He and his hostages would have some nice, quality alone time while they waited on law enforcement to arrive.
Yes, Rutherford thought to himself with a dark smile. So far my plan is going perfectly.