Chap 8

Last Chapter!

Someone very kindly pointed out a mistake in the previous chapter. Navy SEALs don't have 'majors', the equivalent rank is a Lt Commander, which I totally brain-farted on when I wrote that. It being a comment made in passing.. I didn't even think about the rank differences. Sorry, my bad! Thank you to cball671 who pointed that out!

* * * *

His alarm beeped at four thirty in the morning, as always. He twisted to reach and groaned loudly. He'd managed to sleep so soundly he hadn't moved, and thus was stiff as all heck this morning. Slapping at the clock, he finally got it to stop beeping.

"Ahh gawd.." Eventually he got his feet on the floor and stood up slowly. Walking a circle inside the small quarters loosened him up. He was dressed within minutes. Moving around found that his belly was extremely tender but he slipped his sweater on over it anyway. His balaclava slipped over his head and he tucked the bottom edge under the neck of the sweater. The tactical vest settled into it's familiar place over his chest and he made sure it's left straps were properly tightened. He needed to replace the adjusters on that side.

"Somethin' else fer me to do." A minor annoyance. His holster harness went on and he checked his pistol carefully before it was dropped into place as well. He wondered if he'd manage to slip out of the Pit for a run without being caught by Lifeline. It was extremely early, but the medic was remarkably persistent when it came to making certain his patients did what they were supposed to.

He cracked open his door, and peered out up the hallway. Not only empty but still dimly lit because it was still technically nighttime in the underground facility. He smiled and opened the door up and stepped out. His security card was tucked into his pocket and he took two steps up the hallway before the slightly amused voice made him whirl.

"Good morning BeachHead. Getting up even earlier than normal?"

BeachHead stared down at the medic seated on the floor on the backside of his doorway. "What? Did you friggin' sleep outside my door? Don't you trust me?"

Lifeline got to his feet slowly, stretching and popping his back with a loud crack, confirming that he'd been there at least a while. "No, and no.. respectively. I just came over here super extra early, and no I don't trust you as far as I could throw you." He held up two laminated pages. "I brought these for you."

BeachHead narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "What's that?"

Lifeline smiled smugly. "Your special condition.. or you can return to the infirmary.. turn around." He showed him the pages.

"Awww.. man.. I hate you.. I really really hate you.. and I hate Doc too, jus' sayin'."

The medic didn't seem at all bothered by his protests. "Uh-huh, so turn around."


* * * *

The Joes were assembled slightly early on the PT course, with the field packs laid out beside them. Shipwreck was getting a lot of sniping and shoving.

"Hey come on!! I didn't know he'd take it all personal! I figured I had some brownie points to use up!" The sailor was pushed aside by Clutch.

CoverGirl gave him a glare from several feet away. "Yeah, cause we all know how many times Beach gives out brownie points to people. You idiot. Had to be mouthy.. my pack weighs over half as much as I do."

Clutch smirked at her lean form. "It ain't as nicely shaped as you are though sweetheart. Besides.. Beach likes you.. he might go easier on you."

She smirked at him. "Yeah right.. he never goes easier on me, he's harder on me than the rest of you guys, and you know it."

A murmur started on one side of the group, followed by snickers of muffled amusement. CoverGirl looked over, peering around people to see a glowering BeachHead approaching.

Once he arrived, he stood in front of the group and waited out the laughter. His chest had a prominent sign reading...

{ Am I running or doing PT? Call Doc. Reward. }

...with a matching one stuck on his back. CoverGirl held back a snicker herself at Doc's creativity. The only thing that BeachHead hated worse than not exercising would be the humiliation of getting caught. She forced her expression sober and gave the drill instructor a calm nod of greeting. She might have seen a flash of gratitude in his eyes.

Finally he raised his hand for quiet and everyone settled. "Alright.. you got all yer giggles fer the mornin'. Good for you. Put yer packs on.. get 'em on!" He shifted his weight and CoverGirl saw his hand start to his side before he dropped it down again. He had to be in pain, and absolutely refusing to show even a trace of it. "Awww.. are they heavy? Good! Since you all show such grand amusement at me not being able to do anything resembling PT.. you can all do my routine for me. Awww..." He wagged his head in mock sympathy at the protests. "Poor Joes.. drop and gimme a hundred... " CoverGirl lowered herself to the ground, moaning as the weight of her field pack tried to squash her flat. "Ya'll sound like a buncha pogues.. get those elbows straight Jaye!" He moved along the rows, checking out the various soldiers, watching for people hiding injuries equally as hard as he watched for slackers. "Ace.. you been cleared for PT, but that arm ain't supporting you.. stop and step out." The pilot got to his feet and walked to the side. "Shipwreck, get yer butt in gear, you ain't foolin' no one."

The sailor puffed hard as he continued his push-ups. "Awww.. gimme a break Sergeant Major, I got a hangnail!"

BeachHead put a foot on his pack and powered him into the ground once. "Did you say something there, sailor boy?"

"Ugh.. no sergeant major..." Shipwreck's lips were sealed for the rest of the exercise, and Beach moved off to berate Jinx for being practically hidden underneath her pack.

She grunted as she did each push-up, being the smallest Joe of all of them. She was still tougher than most, thanks to the ninja training. She knew better than to complain too, as not only would BeachHead pile something extra on her PT, but SnakeEyes invariably overheard her and would add to her ninja training as well.

Once they were finished, he pointed to the fenceline. "Get it in gear boys and girls.. you can run the fenceline this morning. Ace, ain't nothin' wrong with yer legs.. get moving."

Shipwreck tried to heft his pack a bit higher on his back and Beach walked over and jerked it up into place, tightening the errant strap for him. "Thanks Beach.. you coming along too?" His sly smile made Beach give a boot to his rear, shoving him along towards the groaning pack.

"Shut up you.. keep pushing my buttons, I'll see if you can manage to run it twice.. " He watched them take off running at a moderate pace, twitching with a need to follow along. He hadn't run in days, and it made him itch inside. He'd briefly considered taking a jeep out to follow them, but this wasn't a group of errant greenshirts, it was the experienced Joes, and he knew full well they'd run if he told them to run. Besides, he also knew exactly how long it should take to make it back. Too long and he'd know they'd been slacking.

While he awaited their return, he set up his paperwork, settling into a chair and making sure to look casual as the first front runners arrived back. "Good time.." He watched Ace, SnakeEyes and surprisingly Ripcord and Flint. "Nice to see you extending yourselves." He noted the times on a sheet for his own records. SnakeEyes.. Jinx making it?" The commando gave him a curt nod, not even breathing hard after the long run laden with a full field pack. BeachHead had long since given up trying to push the ninja to his limits. The man just didn't seem to have limits like normal people.

BeachHead got up and watched the rest straggle in. "Alright.. do I gotta count heads here? Get it together.. LadyJaye.. did you walk the whole danged way? CoverGirl.. yer over eight minutes late.. you got long enough legs to make that trip in waay less time." He stalked among them, once again covertly checking for any weakness or injuries.

He stopped at Jinx staring down at her slight form. "You're struggling to carry that pack."

She nodded slightly. "Yes Sergeant major.. it's as heavy as I am. I need to do more training for carrying weight."

He nodded. "We'll get you up to speed. You're just too danged small to make it easy." She glared but refused to rise to his bait. He twisted around and winced as it pulled on the stitches. "Form up in fours.. first group out!" He marked the time and started to trot over to the end of his obstacle course and heard a loud chorus of hooting erupt. "I ain't runnin' so shut yer yaps!"

Ace grinned at him. "I'd call that a run.. it wasn't a walk!" Several others agreed loudly and BeachHead clenched his jaw. "It was a run!! Definitely a run!"

"I wasn't running! That was.. a really.. uh.. a really fast walk.. " His protest went unheard. "Dang it.. stupid danged medics." He decided to ignore it and made his way over at a walk to keep to the restrictions. "Alright.. " He barely made it to the end ahead of the Joes on the course. "Decent times.. Ripcord.. what did you do to yer arm? Ain't you learned to bellycrawl under razor wire yet?" He walked over to take the man's arm in hand and looked it over. "Go have it checked at the infirmary.. give them danged medics something to fuss over other than me." Ripcord nodded and trotted off towards the Pit without any protests over being sent off.

BeachHead lifted his voice up and bellowed across to the start line. "NEXT FOUR!!! GO!!" He saw them startle and then take off. He clicked the time and flipped a page back to check the last times he'd clocked on this particular course. Watching the group, he noted who had issues with which obstacles. "JAYE!! If you can't climb that wall, we'll arrange for extra training time to teach you how it's done!" He saw her gritting her teeth and struggling and made a note on his board next to her name. She was one of the shorter, slighter-built women, and as such, she had some problems with certain obstacles. Rather than accepting that she couldn't quite make it as fast or as well as the rest of the team, he singled her out and helped figure out what method she could use to keep up. At this point, he'd decided to pair her up with Jinx, who was even smaller than her, but never had issues climbing anything, no matter how tall or how vertical.

The currant group was nearing the finish and he bellowed over again for the next group to start, clocking the Joes in as they crossed the line. "Jaye.. see me after training." She was ribbed by a few of the others and he glared them silent. It only took a look or two to settle most of the team down.

The Intel operative stalked over and glared up at him. "What? I made it! Why are you picking on me?!" He looked at her with an annoyed expression. "No way! You're making some big deal out of the fact that I can't do it as fast as everyone else!"

He suddenly swung around on her, making her back up. "Yeah, I am! Do you want to delay the whole danged team on a mission so they can cover your butt while you bounce around trying to jump a wall? Maybe you don't mind putting folks at risk instead of putting in some extra time training! Well I DO!! If you can't keep up, if you can't do the work, you ain't gonna go on missions and risk everyone else!" She clamped her mouth shut. "Don't get all sulky on me, girly! You chose to join this elite group, and you'll pass muster here in physical training or you ain't gonna pass at all!"

Flint stalked over and Beach turned to him. "That's enough BeachHead! Leave her alone!"

The sergeant narrowed his eyes. "I ain't leaving NO one alone, not out here on MY training courses! Not Jaye, not you, not NO ONE! You wanna make some points for your ladyfriend, you go do it during your off time! Not here!"

Flint turned redfaced. "Everyone knows you hate having women on the team! Maybe you should let someone else train the women and leave them alone since you insist on holding them up to such high standards!"

Beach stepped up to his face. "I don't care who's on this danged team! If they can't hack it, they don't belong here! HIGH standards?? So what? You think they can't do the same work, just cause they female?! Is that what you think?!" His shouts carried to the rest of the Joes, including the group that had just crossed the finishline unnoticed.

The warrant officer was just as oblivious to the onlookers as the drill instructor. "YEAH! Yeah!! I think they need lower standards!! They can't ALL keep up with us! They're smaller and.. " He suddenly heard himself and clamped his jaw shut.

Beach looked smug. "Well.. it's nice to know you think our Laaaady Joes can't hack it. JINX!! Front and center!" The tiny ninja stalked up looking furious. "Since you can't hack it against the guys.. you can go show off exactly how weak you are.. against Flint here." Flint opened his mouth to argue. "What's wrong Flint? Don't you wanna show off how much stronger, faster, and better you are? Cause I know just how useful yer dick is in climbing and jumping. We ALLLLL wanna see how you use yer balls to run faster than the chickies here."

Flint was nearly ready to explode now. "I never said they can't hack it!" BeachHead glared at him. "That's not what I meant and you know it!"

"Oh? Now I'm psychic! I'm supposed to know what yer thinkin' in addition to not listening to what you actually SAY!" He stepped up close to the warrant officer now, lowering his voice to between the two of them. "Back the heck off, Flint. You put yer foot in yer mouth, so take it like a man and shut up. Your attempts to get into Jaye's pants need to happen in friggin' private, not out here on my course!"

Flint exploded, swinging at the sergeant and landing a punch on his face before he could duck. Beach grabbed his arm on the next swing and tossed him aside hard, gritting his teeth against the pain in his side. "Stand down, Flint!" He shoved him aside again as he barreled in. "FLINT!! Stand down!!" His bellow finally cut through. The paratrooper got to his feet and took a deep breath.

He wiped sand off the side of his face. "Sorry. Just... blast it..." He turned and walked away, walking himself down to the fenceline and back to cool off.

BeachHead turned on the rest of the group. "Get back to it! If you ain't gone through the course, you don't belong over here! Get back in place! Ain't nothin' to see over here! NEXT FOUR!! GO!" He watched the Joes mill a little bit but settle to muttering among themselves a little. "Shut it down! You got breath to chatter, you got breath to run laps! Ace! Clutch.. gimme three laps!" The ringleaders of the talk sent off on punishment laps, the rest stopped and got back in line.

Flint walked back up after a few minutes. He stood next to the drill instructor who ignored him, watching the four Joes rushing the mudpit instead. Finally the warrant officer spoke to him quietly. "Sorry.. lost my temper."

Beach didn't look at him any more than Flint looked at him. "Sorry.. goaded ya into it." He watched as Shipwreck fell into the mud as always. "You gotta keep yer dick in yer pants, Flint. I don't care how protective you are off-duty. You ain't protecting Jaye on a mission, and she ain't gonna be thanking you for thinking she needs it. Get yer danged head straight."

Flint clenched his jaw but nodded. "Crude way to put it. I'll work on it." He paused and then looked over at the imperturbable Ranger. "How do you do it? How do you not give a crap whether she's struggling to make it?"

BeachHead finally looked at him. "I do care. But I know she can make it, on her own. She just has to work harder to get there, and she has to figure out how to make it happen with her own limitations. Extra training will get her there. Holding her hand and patting her on the head won't."

Flint took a deep breath. "Yeah, I know." He glanced at him. "Sorry I punched you in the face. Are you okay?"

Beach sniffed derisively. "I think ya broke my danged nose again." Flint looked at his face as he turned his head towards him. He could see a dark stain on the cloth covering his nose.

"Ahh.. sorry.." He felt bad now. "I didn't mean to break your nose."

Beach shrugged at him, reaching up to finger the bridge of his nose. "Yeah you did, that's why you punched me there. You always punch right for a guy's nose. It's alright.. I got tired of it bein' crooked to the left anyway. Having it twisted to the right'll be a change." He snorted lightly through his nose. "Besides.. now I just gotta get Hawk to break it, I'll have the whole danged set of commanders. Duke already broke it once, and this is the second time you've done it." He turned back to the obstacle course. "Makes a guy feel downright unwanted at times."

Flint shook his head. "Beach.. you're downright scary at times. You should go get that fixed. Your facemask is getting soaked with blood."

That got the instructor to grunt and reach to pinch his nostrils shut through the mask for a couple minutes. "It's fine." He suddenly pulled hard on his nose and Flint winced at the crunch of the bones realigning. "Gawd.. " The Ranger suddenly bellowed across the course. "CoverGirl!! JUMP! Jump dang you!" He watched the tank jockey leap up onto the wall and grab the rope to clamber over. "She can do better."

Flint watched. "She does pretty well, looks like she out-does a lot of the guys."

BeachHead grunted dismissively. "She danged well better, she's taller than half of 'em. Pushing on wrenches don't build a lotta muscle though. She needs to work harder."

Flint sighed heavily. "You think everyone should work harder."

"Everyone should. Go get back in line. Don't stay back afterwards with Jaye neither. She don't need you to watch her working extra time."

Flint looked at him frankly. "We okay? I shouldn't have lost my temper."

Beach turned to look at him. "I'm fine. Ain't the first time we've gotten into it. Won't be the last, I'm sure. Next time I'll try to get the first lick in."

Flint snorted. "You never throw the first punch.. you really suck that way. You get under my skin worse than anyone else, and you NEVER throw the first blasted punch, so I'm always the wrong one."

BeachHead grinned under the balaclava. "Irritating ain't I?" Flint grumbled and turned away.

Beach stepped up as the group crossed the finishline. "That SUCKED! I oughta put the whole lot of you through it again! Go gimme five laps! While yer runnin, start thinking of how you need to be working HARD out here! Slackers!" CoverGirl tried to lift her backpack up into a better position and BeachHead stalked over. "Gimme that." He jerked her around and yanked the waistband looser and then lifted and wrenched the shoulder straps tighter. Pulling the belt tight again, he grabbed the pack on one hand and shook it hard, yanking her back and forth to check that it was snug. "There.. if you don't adjust the straps right the whole pack is gonna make you off-balance. Next time you let me check the straps first."

She nodded, looking a little disoriented. "Yeah.. dang Beach.. I'm not a dogtoy.. don't shake me like that."

He gave her a push. "Get out there.. go on. You wanna make it ten laps instead of five? GIT!" She took off running, sprinting to catch up to the rest doing their punishment. "Danged Cinderella.." He forbid himself to reach for his side. It hurt and he wondered if he'd pulled a stitch out when he'd tossed Flint aside. His face hurt a lot too, and he grimaced thinking of the lecture he'd get when he went in to the infirmary at five.

It wasn't long before the last Joes had gone through the course, and everyone with laps was done. He pointed at Jaye. "You stay behind. Jinx.. JINX!" The slender ninja looked at him. "Stay behind. TunnelRat! Stay behind. The rest of you are dismissed." He took the sheets on his clipboard and shuffled them to bring the one to the top he needed. Without looking up to see, he spoke loudly. "Anyone else who wants to stay behind can run laps, since they got nothin' better to do." He listened to the feet shuffle and leave. He was left with the three smallest Joes.

"Alright. Jaye, you gotta start doing better on these courses. Jinx and TunnelRat do fine on them, heck, Jinx does better than most of us. So they're gonna help you." He saw Jaye lean back and stretch her back trying to ease the cramped muscles. "Drop the packs, you're gonna have to learn what to do before you can do it with a field back strapped on you." He started to walk towards one of the vertical walls and Jaye suddenly gasped.

She trotted after him and pulled his arm to make him stop. "Beach! You have blood on your side.."

He tugged himself free and looked down. "Aww great. More yellin' by Doc. It's fine, I probably just pulled stitches.. go on." She started to speak and he pointed. "Go on, get over there. Jinx.. I want you to show her how you run up the side.. and if she can't do that, TunnelRat can show her his methods." He ignored the seeping feeling on his side.

Jaye shook her head at him. "You're too stubborn for your own good!" He pointed and she shook her head at him. "You have blood all over your mask, and all over your side."

He raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "Look girly! I got blood on my danged face from yer boyfriend breaking my danged nose again! So I suggest that you get started on this, and stop trying to point out what's going on with me!"

Jinx suddenly crossed her arms, standing in front of him. Jaye stood next to her. "No. You go get that looked at, and we'll work here. Otherwise, we aren't doing anything."

He growled at her and Jinx shook her head. "Danged buncha stubborn women.." He turned on TunnelRat. "You just shut it!"

TunnelRat held up his hands. "I didn't say nuthin! Don't be taking it out on me! You can go ahead and bleed fer all I care!"

He narrowed his eyes. "I'm gonna go see Doc.. but I'll be back." They all nodded and turned to head for the wall on the course. "You better have something to show me when I get back!"

He grumbled to himself, finally giving in to put a hand over his side. He was startled at how the sweater material squished under his fingers. It was soaked through and he hoped he hadn't pulled more than one or two stitches. "Dang stupid Flint.." Striding down through the motorpool, he ignored Clutch's shouted greeting. CoverGirl wasn't so easily put off and came trotting across to walk beside him smiling.

She nudged at his arm as if to get his attention as he hit the switch for the hydraulic lift to take the panel down. "Hey Beach.. that didn't take long.. is that blood on your mask?" He grunted at her, glowering darkly. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine Princess. Flint broke my nose, and I pulled a stitch on my side. Happy? Now you know what's going on."

She frowned at him and reached to tug at his facemask. "Flint broke your nose?! You wait until I get a hold of him!" He pushed her hand away irritably. "No way! That jerk.."

He caught her wrist when she tried to reach for his mask again. "Cut it out! I don't need you rushin' off to defend me neither. So you just keep your tongue still, and don't let me hear about you talkin' to Flint 'bout nuthin'." She glared at him. "Stop it. I appreciate that you care. I'm fine. It's the second time he's broken my nose.. and heck it's been broken enough times to not make no big deals over it anyway." He turned her loose and turned aside. "I can't get no uglier, and at least it'll be crooked in another direction a while."

She sighed at him. "You're not ugly at all. And I don't care how many times it's been broken, Flint had no call to hit you."

The lift stopped on the lower levels and he stalked off. "Leave it alone, CoverGirl. Personalities clash, it happens. It's no big deal." She grumbled under her breath. "I said.. leave it."

She suddenly glared at him. "What makes you think you can tell me what to do?" He stopped and looked at her. "Yeah yeah.. sergeant MAJOR and all that junk. That doesn't mean a blasted thing this time. Don't tell me I can't be upset when someone is being a jerk to you. And don't think that I don't know that you didn't hit Flint back because he's a higher rank than you too. Yeah.. think I don't know these things.. I'm in the blasted Army too you know." She stood there looking stubborn at him, daring him to say anything.

He finally showed a hint of a smile. "You know, you're really gorgeous when you get all angry." She looked shocked. "Your cheeks get all red and you huff all up, and your eyes get crinkley.. just so darned cute." He reached out and patted her shoulder twice. "I gotta go.. stay outa trouble, 'kay?" He walked away without waiting for a reply. She stood in the hall for several minutes before she turned to head back up to the motorpool.

Her snarling under her breath made people get out of her way. "Stupid sergeant majors.. dumb rocks.. stubborn MEN!"

* * * *

"BEACHHEAD! How can you pull out ALL the stitches?? What were you doing? Did you TRY to rip them out?!" Doc was irate and then threw his hands up when the sergeant major peeled off the balaclava and he spotted the broken nose. "What did you DO?!?"

BeachHead frowned. "I didn't try, I didn't run, and I didn't do any PT. Wasn't my fault."

Doc shook his head and probed at the open gash. "First I have to stitch up Ripcord.. now I have to restitch you. And a broken nose! How anyone can get into as much trouble in such a short time.. I KNEW I should have sent Lifeline with you."

"Ow.. just stitch it back together. And I already pretty much straightened my nose out." He felt it. "I hope I don't get black eyes again."

The doctor just growled, walking out briefly to return with a suture kit. "I'm gonna stitch this ONE more time. You tear out even ONE stitch, and I'm going to glue it, and then I'm going to order bed rest until it heals. And if you try to escape, I'll put you in four-point restraints for the entire time. I'm sick of you wrecking your body and thinking I'll just fix it again and again." He gave the Ranger a hard shove. "Lie back. And if you think you're getting anesthetic, you're a nutcase."

Beach winced and protested. "It's not my fault.. ow, ow.. Flint's the one what hit me! And I had to give him a toss or he'd have tackled me.. wasn't my fault!!"

Doc cursed a great deal, but drew up anesthetic in a needle. "I'm only numbing this because it's the humane thing to do, not because I think you don't deserve some pain for being stupid."

"Uh-huh!" Beach held still, gritting his teeth as the needle stabbed into him a few times. "It's good.. thanks.."

He was growled at again. "Don't you thank me. Just lie there. Don't even talk to me." He began to stitch, tying neat knots in a row. "Go and tear out all my work, come in here bleating about how's it's not your fault, think you're so clever, getting around all the restrictions, wanting to rush right out and get some new injury or wound, sending me paratroopers with cut up arms, getting your nose broken, but hey.. you 'set it myself', so I don't need to worry over it.. I shouldn't give you a danged thing for pain.. I oughta salt the wound. That's what I should do.. salt it and pour some alcohol over it.. maybe then you'd pay attention when I say not to over-do it."

Beach clamped his lips shut and tried not to wince. When Lifeline arrived, Doc began to lambast him as well. "I told you that you should have just shadowed him! No, you said you had an idea.. well, see how well that worked?"

The medic looked over the doctor's shoulder. "Umm.. did he pull some of the stitches?"

"Some? No! Try ALL of the exterior stitches.. ALL of them! And he was bleeding all over. If I hadn't been overly concerned enough to put in all those internal stitches, he'd have had his intestines hanging out, and probably would have stuffed them back in and put duct tape over the hole!" Doctor tossed aside the suture. "There. Now you're sewn back together." He picked up his instrument tray and chucked it over onto the counter out of the way. "Sit up."

BeachHead gingerly levered himself to a sitting position, keeping his eyes low. "I'm sorry I pulled them out.. but it wasn't.."

Doc snapped at him. "Shut up. I do NOT want to hear an excuse. I can guarantee that if you'd been sitting behind your desk, it wouldn't have happened. But do you listen? Nooo, you have to go out and supervise the PT. Show me your face." He grasped the hapless man by the jaw and tilted his face up to the light. "Your nose is broken.. again." He pinched it carefully a few times. "Looks like you straightened it pretty well. It's gonna be crooked to the right now." He pressed his fingers in, ignoring the jerk of pain. "There.." He taped over the bridge of the slightly swollen nose. "Don't get hit in the face.. and sleep face up. Breathe through your nose." Beach obliged him, listening to the slight whistle. "It's fine. Where else did you get hit?"

"No where." Beach cut his eyes at Lifeline who had jumped at the comment.

"You got hit? Who hit you?" The medic seemed outraged on his behalf.

"Don't matter.. it's over and done with." BeachHead looked at Doc. "Am I done?"

Doc glowered at him and leaned so his face was inches away. "Yes. And if you pull another stitch out.. what happens?"

"You'll tie me to a bed until the end of time."

"Right. So what are you going to do?"

"Be really really careful, and not over-do it, and not do anything to make you mad at me."

"You got that right. Stubborn Ranger. You can go." Doc stepped aside and let him escape the room. He ducked back in and grabbed up his bloodstained sweater and head covering.

"Sorry.. forgot my.. yeah.. bye.. thanks.. and .. uh.. thanks." Beach dodged back out. Doc watched him walking quickly down the hallway towards the quarters.

He turned to Lifeline. "Well.. that went well. You'll have to find some other way to keep him in line. Clean this mess up, I'm going to lunch."

Lifeline nodded and then sighed as he picked up the tray and discarded bloody gauze. "Yes... because I have such control over what he does. We'll be lucky if he doesn't manage to put out one of his eyes."

* * * *

End Chapter:

Well.. that about wraps up this fic.. Beach is mostly fixed up again. He's also managed to do his typical one step forward- three steps back with CoverGirl. Flint probably isn't gonna get laid until LadyJaye finishes being mad at him, and he might end up with a black eye from CoverGirl as well. (You can probably tell, I'm not a huge fan of Flint.. )

I'm glad to have shared this with you guys, and hope it was enjoyed. I'll find something else to write about!