Warning: Character Death.

Kinkmeme prompt: "Desmond and Shaun have to do some errands, and end up getting in to a fight(shaun has to start it). Desmond tries to appease Shaun, but he hears a really high pitched whine (ever notice the high pitched whine in eagle vision when you're near a feather or a target? You know, the one that makes you want to vomit after extended use?) and notices they're surrounded.

Desmond tells Shaun to run, because they will kill him, and that Desmond will be safe since they want him alive. Desmond gets hit by a tranq, notices a sight targeted at Shaun's chest and shoves Shaun out of the way and gets shot instead.

Desmond has to be mortally wounded and in and out of almost dieing constantly with Shaun freaking out trying to get him to safety AND save him from bleeding to death.

No fluff, slashy angst is a given, but for the love of god no fluff... I'm a monster like that."

It isn't until the red starts spreading across Desmond's chest that Shaun regrets not listening to Desmond when he begged Shaun to let it drop, to stop giving him shit because it's not his damn fault Lucy made him tag along, and certainly isn't his fault the Templars are after him.

His vision is blurred behind his glasses as he dumbly stares at the hole in Desmond's shirt, and wonders why he hadn't paid attention when he'd told Shaun they weren't safe, quietly insisting he could sense an enemy nearby; and now, crouched in the middle of a deserted alley with Desmond's head lolling on his lap and several bodies bleeding out onto the pavement nearby, Shaun can't even remember why it had been so important to belittle every breath the man took to the exclusion of all else.

The bag of groceries Desmond had been carrying is torn and abandoned in the middle of the alley, slowly absorbing the water from a pothole, the last remains of yesterday's rain soaking into the brown paper, contents (milk, carton of eggs, loaf of bread, peanut butter, nutella, jam) scattered, but Shaun only vaguely notices these things because now he's dragging Desmond as carefully as he can into the shadows, the illusion of security under a rickety fire escape, trying to ignore the blood that smears on his palms as he struggles to gain purchase on Desmond's clothing without hurting him further.

Desmond is slowly opening and closing his mouth, and Shaun can't tell if he's gasping for breath or trying to say something but he can't afford to work it out because there might be more Templars nearby, since he's sure he can't have taken all of them out in the sudden cold fury that gripped him when he saw Desmond crumple in front of him, fury and horror behind a wall of false calm as he pulled his gun out and fired, standing protectively over the bleeding body at his feet.

And Shaun curses Desmond for stepping in front of him, for taking the bullet that should have killed him, and it's a sort of gasping half-sob half- self-deprecating laugh that suddenly forces itself out of his chest because he doesn't want this, and he swears that if Desmond will just open his eyes he will never say an unkind word about him again.

But no more Templars arrive, and he finds himself sharply patting Desmond's cheek, trying to force the man back into consciousness because he can't handle the thought of Desmond never waking up again, and if he doesn't open his eyes soon they might stay closed, and all thoughts of professionalism and work have fled from Shaun's mind; they seem so insignificant when compared to the fact that this is Desmond and he's so much more important than just what the Animus can extract from his memories, and why couldn't he have figured that out sooner?

He's saying Desmond's name over and over again, and he can't hold back the sigh-sob of relief that gusts out of his lungs when finally those dark eyes crack open again, unfocused, and though his tanned skin is frighteningly ashen and his breaths are far too shallow, he's awake and for now that is enough.

Shaun manages to prop Desmond up against the brick wall of the building and tries to explain to him that he has to cut up Desmond's shirt to bind the wound, and every time those eyes slide shut his stomach plummets and he curses that red sight that made Desmond shove him aside, the tranq dart that keeps tugging him into unconsciousness and he has the most horrible suspicion that all his efforts are in vain, and maybe he deserves this for being so mercilessly cruel to Desmond.

But Desmond doesn't deserve it, hadn't asked to have genes that made him the most valuable lab rat on Earth; he'd just wanted a quiet life free from the Assassins where he could do what he liked and not worry about those bloody Templars coming after him, where things like the bleeding effect didn't even exist, and it isn't fair that after having the world dropped on his shoulders he should fall like this.

Desmond is as compliant as he is able to be through his weaving consciousness, and somehow Shaun binds the bullet hole in his chest, staunching the flow of blood, and he's lost too much blood already, so much that his painfully simple bandaging might not be enough.

With what remains of Desmond's shirt, Shaun binds up Desmond's arm as well in a makeshift sling; tries to tell Desmond they have to move, they have to get away before the Templars come back and finish the job, but Shaun can tell by the unfocused look in his eyes that Desmond barely registers his words, that he's on his way out because that bullet is so close to vital organs, and Shaun feels like he's watching Desmond's life trickle out before his eyes, soaking into the tattered bandages on his chest that only serve to delay the inevitable, and he's completely helpless.

He can't call Lucy, because the Templars could trace the call and find their safehouse, and no matter how skilled Lucy and Rebecca are, the Templars have the resources to make short work of the remains of their little team, and he isn't strong enough to carry Desmond to safety, to a hospital, to anywhere beyond this dirty back alley, surrounded by the corpses of their attackers and the ruined remains of their groceries, cold brick at their backs and damp asphalt below them.

He can only pull Desmond into his arms and press his lips into coarse, dark brown hair and whisper broken apologies and confessions of guilt and love into unhearing ears, feeling the faint, uneven heartbeat stagger and weaken with each passing moment, and wait for the end.