Can't Stand the Sight of Blood

Disclaimer: I own nothing, nothiiiiiing!

Summary: When Newkirk is wounded on a mission, LeBeau has to get him back to Stalag 13. Unfortunately for the squeamish Frenchman, head wounds tend to bleed quite a bit.

OK, so they had to admit, they really should have been on a reconnaissance mission. But two beautiful German girls were just too tempting to pass up. Most of their on-duty hours had been spent in a tavern doing anything but their duty. Now corporals Newkirk and LeBeau had to get back to camp before evening role call.

Silent though they should have been, the two best friends couldn't help but giggle like school girls about their double date.

"Mine was gorgeous!" LeBeau bragged. "And just the right height, too."

"I've always been partial to the blonds meself," Newkirk replied. "But that li'l brunette you had your arm around was no bad looking bird."

"Oui, a real score for the French," the shorter man said. "What should we tell Colonel Hogan?"

"That our mission was a success, and we have nothing to report."

LeBeau grinned mischievously. "He will not let us outside the camp for at least a week."

"Prob'ly have ole Klink lock us in the cooler," the Limey added. "But those gels were worth it, don't you think, Louis?"

"Oh, they were worth it alright! When do you think we can get back to see them?"

In response, Newkirk stopped abruptly and held up a hand. LeBeau froze, fully alert. In the distance they heard shouts.

"The Krauts!" Newkirk whispered fiercely. No sooner had he said it than a bullet took a chunk out of a tree not two inches from his face. The two allied soldiers turned and fled the other direction.

"We'll circle 'round and head back from the east!" Newkirk called over his shoulder. LeBeau was breathing too hard to reply, having to move his short legs faster to keep up with Newkirk.

Bullets whizzed past them as the two men ran through the forest, jumping logs and boulders. They came to the top of a steep hill and skidded to a stop.

LeBeau chanced a glance behind them and saw two men with rifles fast approaching. He shoved Newkirk, and the two began rolling down the hill.

About halfway down they regained their footing. Newkirk pulled LeBeau to the left, and they began sideskirting the hill, trying to get into the trees. Suddenly Newkirk's foot caught on a branch, and he rolled head over heels to the bottom of the hill. LeBeau scrambled after him. When he reached the bottom of the hill, he found Newkirk unconscious. Cursing in French, LeBeau dragged the Englishman into the bushes and crouched down beside him. He held his breath as four...no, five Germans in Gestapo uniforms ran past their hiding spot. As the Nazis' footsteps and shouts faded, LeBeau turned to check on his friend.

"Newkirk? Peter?"

Newkirk stirred and groaned. As he lifted his head, LeBeau could see plain as day the crimson red patch that stretched from Newkirk's eyebrow to his temple. Blood ran plentifully down the Englishman's left cheek. LeBeau grabbed a tree branch to steady himself. Now was not the time to pass out.

"Blimey, what a landing," Newkirk moaned. "Are we clear, Louis?"

LeBeau didn't respond at first. When Newkirk said his name a second time, the Frenchman shook himself and responded. "Th-they passed us."

Newkirk put a hand to his head. When he felt the blood, he pulled his hand away. "Must've hit me head on a rock." He glanced at his friend. "You alright, LeBeau? You look like you're gonna be sick."

LeBeau feebly nodded. He felt like he was going to pass out. He mentally scolded himself. There was nothing wrong with a little bit of blood. Besides, if Newkirk had a concussion, he would need help getting back to Stalag 13, and LeBeau was the only one who could help him. He had to pull himself together.

"I'm fine, mon ami," LeBeau said with a slight smile.

Newkirk chuckled and shook his head. "Blimey, mate, you're doing no better now than you were with that scratch you got a while back. What's the big deal about blood?"

LeBeau swallowed. Honestly, he didn't know the answer to that question. "It's not a big deal. What is a big deal is that you have a head injury, and we need to get you back to the camp so you can rest."

"Thanks, doc," Newkirk muttered.

"I am just trying to help!"

"Hey, sorry! No need to go bite my 'ead off. Although I wish someone would do that literally."

LeBeau scowled. "Come on," he said, standing and reaching out to help Newkirk do the same.

The change in altitude caused Newkirk's already pounding head to swim, and for a moment it seemed he would black out. But he regained his composure and staggered forward.

"Now, which way is camp?"

LeBeau rolled his eyes. He put Newkirk's arm around his own shoulders and directed him back up the hill.

The going was excruciatingly slow. As the two men staggered through the woods, they broke tree branches, rustled bushes, and stirred up just about every creature in the woods. After an hour, they stopped to rest.

"It'll be daybreak by the time we get back to camp," Newkirk complained. He cradled his aching head in his hands.

"We're making too much noise," LeBeau added. "The Boche must hear us coming a mile away."

Newkirk tried to wipe some of the blood off his face. "At least my head's stopped bleeding. I think."

LeBeau glanced at his feet rather than look at the blood crusted on his friend's face. He was just barely making it.

Taking a handful of snow, Newkirk wet his hands and tried again to wash some of the blood off. He had more success this time, and he discovered that holding a cold object against his head stung somewhat, but it helped ease the throbbing. He grabbed another handful of snow and held it to his temple.

"We should go, mon ami," LeBeau said. "Colonel Hogan was expecting us back at sunset. Now we'll be lucky to make it by sunrise."

Newkirk nodded and allowed LeBeau to help him stand. When he did, he swaggered again and sat back down abruptly.

"Newkirk, break time is over. Come on."

In response, Newkirk leaned his head against a tree and closed his eyes.

It took LeBeau a moment to figure out that the Englishman had blacked out. It took him several more moments to wake Newkirk up. Newkirk muttered an apology and stood again. This time he stayed on his feet. LeBeau took his arm again, and they began to repeat the slow and somewhat noisy process they'd been using. LeBeau slowed down even more and began picking his way more carefully through the underbrush. Newkirk grumbled. LeBeau caught some of what he was saying, but didn't respond. He hated the idea of slowing down as much as Newkirk, but they couldn't risk being heard and caught. They had already missed roll call, and Klink's guards must be looking for them. Who knew whether they had orders to shoot first, ask questions later?

A few hours later, LeBeau could make out the barbed wire of Stalag 13. The trip back hadn't taken as long as they had feared, and for that LeBeau was grateful.

"Look at that, mon ami," he whispered. "We made it. We're just a few yards from the tunnel entrance."

Newkirk grunted in response. LeBeau glanced at him, and immediately wished he hadn't. Blood was still clearly visible on Newkirk's face, and some of it looked fresh. LeBeau planted his eyes firmly on the path in front of them and swallowed hard. Just a few more yards...

Ducking to avoid the sweeping search lights, LeBeau and Newkirk made their way to the tree stump that hid the tunnel entrance. Shouts and dogs could be heard in the distance as guards tried to pick up any sign of the missing prisoners' trail.

LeBeau carefully lifted the top of the stump and gestured to Newkirk. The other man glanced around, as though he'd just come out of a trance, and rubbed his head.

"We 'ome free, Louis?"

"Yes, we're home. Come on, down the tunnel."

Newkirk stumbled over to the entrance and gingerly climbed in. LeBeau grabbed his arm to help him down, all the while trying not to look at the blood on his friend's face.

Once down in the tunnels, LeBeau steered Newkirk to the communications room below their barracks. They were greeted by Baker and a rather irate Colonel Hogan.

"Took you long enough," the commanding officer said, the anger in his voice unable to completely conceal the concern. "What were you doing, picking berries?"

"Mon colonel," LeBeau began, "We had to avoid the Gestapo. Newkirk fell and hit his head."

"I just thought it was a lovely evening for a roll down a hill," Newkirk joked.

Hogan squared his jaw. He seemed to believe the story. LeBeau and Newkirk remained silent. Perhaps they shouldn't mention that they were followed from town as a result of spending their on-duty hours flirting instead of spying.

Hogan nodded in the direction of the ladder to the barracks. "Okay, let's get Newkirk upstairs and have Wilson check him for a concussion. I'll take him off your hands, LeBeau."

LeBeau gladly surrendered his burden, and Baker and Hogan helped Newkirk up the ladder.

"At least he didn't pass out this time," Baker commented when they made it into the barracks.

"Who, Newkirk or LeBeau?" Hogan teased.

"Ol' Louis was marvelous tonight," Newkirk said. "Kept his 'ead and everything. Isn't that right, Louis?"

Having been distracted by the conversation and the task of getting Newkirk up the ladder, no one had noticed that LeBeau hadn't followed. Baker glanced back down into the tunnel. "Colonel, I think we have a problem."

Hogan peered down into the tunnel and saw LeBeau, lying face down in the dirt, out cold. Hogan and Baker glanced at one another and started laughing.

"Should we go get him?" Baker asked.

Hogan thought about it for a minute. "Nah, let him sleep. He earned it. Putting up with all that blood for so long. It really takes it out of you." He flashed a grin at Baker and Newkirk.

Newkirk shook his head in dismay. "I can't believe it. He'd gladly take a bullet for his 'omeland, or even a good-looking bird. The only problem is he just can't stand the sight of blood."

AN: According to Major Winchester, when a person faints, he falls forward. I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule, but the idea of LeBeau doing a face plant at the sight of blood is more entertaining than having him stumble backward and slump down against the wall.

For those of you who are Carter fans, I'm sorry there was no Carter in this story. Maybe next time. We'll pretend he was outside, trying to distract Schultz or something. Or maybe Thomas Foster was there in his place (see season 3 episode, War Takes a Holiday, featuring William Christopher).