A/N: Little backstory:
Yesterday, some guy was shot on the street where I live, and my father and mine's apartment was the first one he found, so we helped him until the paramedics came. A few hours later, the power went out, and my computer had a lot of battery, so I started typing this baby. I let it marinate on my computer for a while, finished, posted, and viola!
Dedicated to Glenn, the guy who got shot. The guy was strong as hell, and I was honored to hold his hand.
Timeline: Jack, as a teenager in a America. Pre-canon, and later on, Jack in mid-canon, soon after Alex was hit by a sniper.
"What the hell?" Jack said, looking out her apartment window. Gunshots?
She saw a car, and some guy getting out. Hm, must've been the car backing up.
"…so I got like a 29, and a 30, straight A's, ya know?" her friend said, completely oblivious to it.
"Oh, yeah," Jack said, sitting back on the bed. "Sounds awesome."
"But, the studying part was pure shit, man. And I started my period right in the middle. Ugh."
"Oh my god, I know what you mean," Jack said into her phone. "Because-"
She frowned at her dad's yelling. "Hold on," she said into the phone, running to the edge of the stairs.
She heard and unfamiliar voice, and suddenly her dad was yelling, "CALL 911!"
"I have to go," Jack said absently into the phone as she ran down the stairs. "What the-"
And then she saw it, the guy was standing there. Blue jeans, red jacket, white shirt – which was covered in blood, and he was clutching his chest.
Two round sources of blood. They looked like…like…bullet holes.
"Here," Jack said, handing the phone to her dad while running to the guy's side. Oh god, oh god, oh god.
"What's going on?" She heard the neighbor's voice through the door as she helped the guy down. The neighbor gasped and helped immediately. Putting a pillow under the guy's chest, and a lounger behind his head, she laid him down in the middle of the living room floor.
"I'll get a towel," Jack said, running into the downstairs bathroom, grabbing the towel, running back out. Holy shit, stuff like this didn't happen here! She knew this city was dangerous, but this neighborhood was fine. It always had been…
"Please," the guy said. Early twenties. Twenty-five, maybe. He can't have been more than a decade older than her! "Don't let me die."
"You're not going to die," Jack said, slipping her hand into his.
"We have to press down on the towel," Jack said, already doing so. She pulled up the shirt, carefully, sticky with blood and sticking to his chest.
Oh god…oh god…oh god…
Two bullet holes. And they weren't bleeding profusely like in all the movies – she could see them clearly. The holes were circles, uneven, and dark around the edges of the skin, from the slight burn of the bullet, and dark inside, from lack of light pressing on the blood. The holes weren't even that big – one the size of her thumb, the other the size of her middle finger – but she could see the muscle clearly-
"Even pressure on the wound," Neighbor said breathlessly.
Jack nodded, before looking the guy, and pressing the towel against the hole in the center of his chest, the smaller one, almost right in the sternum. Neighbor pressed the other one against the wound in his side, the bigger one.
Holy fuck. Things like this didn't happen here!
"Please, I don't wanna die," he said.
"You're not going to die," Jack said. She slipped her hand into his clenched one. "Squeeze if it hurts."
That's how it was in all the movies. But this guy couldn't squeeze much, if at all.
"It burns," the moaned. Jack took a deep breath and pressed down.
"What's going on?" Neighbor's Husband asked.
"He was shot! What does it look like?!" Neighbor said.
Jack didn't hear, focused almost solely on the guy.
"…yes," she heard her dad. "Some guy got shot. Two bullet wounds, I think-"
Her dad ducked back in. "Where are the wounds?"
"One on the sternum," Jack called out, steady voice. How the hell was she calm?! "Center of the chest. Another one, left side of the rib cage – few inches away from the heart…"
She turned back to the guy. What the hell was she supposed to do?
"No exit wound," the neighbor called out. "Not too much bleeding."
"It burns…please, lemme die…"
Same pain, different words.
"You're not going to die!" Jack said, squeezing his hand.
This time, he squeezed back. Not much, but enough to know he felt it.
He half-moaned again, obviously trying to stifle a whimper, and Jack tried to come up with a way to get his mind off the pain.
"Did you see what your shooter looked like?" Jack said. Okay, maybe not the best way, but it was all she could think of. Because holy shit, this wasn't real.
"S-some Mexican guy…" he said. "Some Mexican guy."
"What did he look like?" Jack said. "Tell me what he looked like."
"Some Mexican guy…" the guy said again.
"But what did he look like? What kind of hair? How old?" she asked, as Neighbor just nodded at her in support and focused one hand on the rib wound, other hand right next to Jack's, pressing down on the chest. "Focus away from the pain, all right?"
She paused. "What's your name?"
"G…Glenn…" he said.
"They're coming!" her dad suddenly called out from the doorway, where he was standing to alert whoever came as to where he was.
She just sighed and turned back to Glenn. "Is there anything you need?"
"Can I get some water?" the guy asked.
"Of course!" Jack said in a rush, already getting up, running to get a glass. She nearly dropped it as she filled the large glass. She was practically falling next to the guy when she ran back, as she lifted his head.
"Sorry I don't have a straw…" she said pathetically, bringing the glass up to his lips. He didn't respond, just letting some of the water dribble past his lips as he gulped desperately, polishing off half the glass in seconds.
He pushed it away with his lips, and Jack set it down behind her, turning back to the guy.
"Please," the man said. "Take me to a hospital…lemme die…"
"I told you," Jack said. "You're not going to die."
This was so not like in the movies.
"OUT OF THE WAY!"
Her head snapped up, if somewhat belatedly, at the sound of the cops coming in. No paramedics yet.
"Get his legs up," one of the cops suddenly said as she kneeled by Glenn's head, pulling out some little pad of papers and a pen. "He's going into shock."
She nodded, letting go of the guy's hand long enough to lift his legs and get a chair under his feet, going back to holding his hand and the towel as the cop took the statement.
Mexican guy. Mid-twenties. Short, spiky black hair. Drove off in a car with same major back-end damage.
And that was it.
"Please don't let me die," he said, sounding on the edge of crying.
"You'll be just fine," the cop said, generically, as she instructed them to press harder.
"I already told you," Jack said. "You're not going to die. Focus on your breathing. In…out…in…out…"
The cop actually looked at Jack weirdly, though somewhat impressed.
Jack ignored her, continuing to focus on the guy, kissing his fingers, despite the blood. He needed it.
Suddenly, that cop was shoving Jack away, who was indignant, until she saw the paramedics swarming in.
She held on for as long as she could, letting go only as another paramedic pushed her back.
Jack watched from a distance away as they peeled back his pants and shirt to get a good look at everything. Blue briefs underwear, with white squiggly stripes. Normally, she would've found them funny.
Wasn't her heart supposed to be pounding or something? But her heartbeat stayed the same all throughout. She didn't get that.
They put him on stretcher, which went on a gurney, an oxygen mask on his face.
She looked down at herself. Her hands had a little blood on them, not much. All of her clothes - all of them - were spot free.
On the carpet, the stain was probably only about twice the size of her hand. And there was no blood on the pillows or lounger.
The flurry of police statements and explanations to neighbors afterwards left her somewhat dizzy by the end, and glad for all the coffee and hot chocolate flying around.
Everything was over in less than an hour.
Not even an hour.
Jack held onto Alex's hand, and stared at the bandages on his chest, covering the bullet wound. Though there was pale-tan and white in front of her, all she was red.
She never saw the bullet wound herself, but it didn't take much for her to imagine, as she remembered Glenn from so long ago.
God, Alex, please be all right… she said, as she shifted in her chair for her continued vigil. Look what you did, Ian…
But she wasn't sure how much she meant that. Ian needed to be here, right now. She hoped he was silently in here, acting as Alex's guardian angel.
She smiled, slightly, remembering calling Glenn's mother the next day, who called Jack a guardian angel. God, Alex needed one right now.
The boys paralleled each other, so weirdly. Both in the chest, both surviving by a sheer miracle, when both were hit so badly that they were both supposed to die…
Same shooting too – both were shot by someone in a gang. Street thug gang, international Intelligence gang, same difference. Neither one knew who shot them. Neither of them really deserved to be shot.
Both of them were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oh, god…from what he'd told her about Eagle Strike, and what MI6 had told her about him and Scorpia…had he been just a few minutes off from seeing that Russian guy…
None of this would've happened.
Had Glenn left a few minutes earlier or later…
She kissed Alex's fingers as she waited for the sniper victim to just wake up, and did the only thing she could do for Alex, and the only thing she really felt she had truly done for Glenn.
She held his hand.
A/N: Er, yeah…for the first part, just replace Jack with me, and that's basically what happened. That last part actually was what came first in my head, the first part was build-up, and so things would make more sense. I figured that's probably how Jack felt about Alex getting shot and all.
For anyone who's interested, I called Glenn's mom. Apparently, the guy turned slightly when he heard the click of a gun. Bullet went in, hit a bone, and ricocheted out of the side of his body, missing all vital organs. Right now, not a full day later, he's still in ICU, and so far, doing great. If you liked this fic, thank him - Glenn.
They're invited to dinner. :D I'd invite you too, but I doubt many of you live in the greater Los Angeles area...