A/N: "Detonation of nitroglycerin proceeds as follows…"
Physical pain is inconsequential.
He ain't the thinkin' type, for sure, but that much is certain. Blood and ragged skin burning like its on fire only makes him madder. It lets him know he ain't dead yet – lets him know there's still a man needs killing, although it's a rare thing for said man to be standing right in front of him. He's been shot before, been kicked and hit, stabbed and smashed over the head with glass bottles. He's been slapped, pinched, bucked by his horse, and fallen out of a second story window. Hell, he's even been lit on fire a few times – he knows pain, and pain knows him.
But this? This is different.
This hurts. And he doesn't know why. It burns in his stomach and it burns in his chest. It even burns behind his eyes, and that's what bothers him most of all. He hasn't felt this way since… well, he can't remember how long it's been. It feels suspiciously like crying, but crying is completely alien and he isn't sure he even knows how one goes about doing it.
What's more, he ain't really sure what he's done wrong. It doesn't matter, either way – all he's ever done has been to benefit only himself. It's the only way to survive in this world, after all. Can't be a Good Samaritan and expect to wind up as king of the mountain. A man's gotta battle his way to the top, and if that means fightin' dirty then God bless his soul for doin' what's necessary. There ain't any excuse for givin' up before becoming number one – struggle 'till you're dead and maybe your legend will surpass those folks you couldn't beat in life.
Climbin' up the bloody food chain of outlaws is his specialty. He's good at killin' and thievin' and not much else – never did a thing that didn't involve death in some shape or form. He ain't even much good at findin' lady friends – something about his eyes, or so he's been told.
When he met Ben Wade it was the first time he'd run across a man who he couldn't outdraw. It peeved him and he lost more nights of sleep over it than he cares to recall. He's fast, damned fast – Ben Wade is just that much faster.
But after a while, he was fine with second place. His spot in the gang was secure – no man ever dared contradict him, not with the divine wrath of Ben Wade backing him up. He was good at takin' orders as long as he could keep on shootin' his Scofields and takin' money. A good haul and a fair share were always guaranteed – Ben Wade never shorted his gang and they loved him for it.
He knew a lot about pain before he joined up, and he learned a lot more after, too. Ridin' with the best means bein' in the most danger, and there's been a few hard lessons for all of them. He knows he's more ruthless than the rest, though, and as spineless as they are they couldn't injure him even if they tried. Except for the boss, of course, who is God in their eyes. Ben Wade is the provider, the giver, the redeemer, the almighty and the all-powerful. Ben Wade's word is law, and Charlie Prince is his right-hand man.
He's had his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, and he's never given any of it much thought before now. It all had to do with power – he knew what Wade was thinkin' before that bastard shot him with lightning speed. He never had a chance to get his revolver out of its holster, and if he had to do it again for sure he'd make sure he put a hole in Wade first. You don't cross Charlie Prince but once, after all. You don't cross Charlie Prince at all. You don't hurt him unless you want a bullet right between your eyes. Apparently, word got around – he had never been wounded bad enough that the doc can't patch him up, though for sure there've been some close calls that make him cringe just thinkin' about it.
He ain't exactly the thinkin' type, but in all his years, nothing has hurt as much as betrayal, especially betrayal by God.
A/N Redux: STOP MAKING ME PROCRASTINATE.