A/N: welcome to my very first Once Upon a Time in Mexico fanfic! Sands may be a bit OOC at first, but give him a chance. enjoy!

Chapter 1: The Salazar Siblings

"So, when is your sister gonna get here, kid?" Sands asked, still leaning on the wall, his sunglasses over his eyeless sockets, blood still dripping down his cheeks.

"Pronto," (Soon) the boy replied. "Va a pasar por este camino en su camino a casa." (She'll pass this way on her way home)

"Why would she do that?" Sands wondered. "If she's heard there's been a coup d'état, wouldn't she stay away from here?"

"Ella puede ser entrometido," (She can be nosy) the boy answered. "Ella va a conducer más allá aquí." (She'll drive past here)

"And you think she'll just let you bring a stranger home, huh…" he trailed off and turned his head in the boy's direction. "I didn't even catch your name kid."

"Jose," he replied and Sands nodded.

"So you think your sister is just gonna let you bring a stranger home outta the blue, huh, Jose?" Sands asked skeptically, leaning his head back again.

"Ella no puede dejar de tartar de ayudar a las personas que lo necesitan, sin importer quiénes son," (She can't help but try to help people in need, no matter who they are) Jose explained.

Sands straightened as best he could, hearing the sound of an engine and tires running over Day of the Dead decorations. Jose turned to look down the street and saw a car coming that he recognized. He ran out in front of it and waved his arms as Sands stayed put, having no choice but to do just that as his legs were in too much pain to walk. The car stopped abruptly from its slow pace and the car door opened to reveal the driver to be a young woman with elbow length brown hair and her brown eyes were wide in astonishment.

"Jose!" she shrieked. "¿Qué crees que estás hacienda? ¿No has oído que ha habido un-!" (What do you think you're doing? Haven't you heard there's been a-!) She stopped short when she saw Sands still leaning on the wall, but his head was facing her direction. "Jose, ¿Quién es este?" (Who is this?)

"Mira, Maria!" (Look, Maria!) Jose quickly called, pulling her by the hand toward Sands as she examined him. "Él está heirdo! El necesita un lugar para quedarse por lo que puede curar." (He's hurt! He needs a place to stay so he can heal)

Maria frowned at his face then looked down to his legs where her younger brother was pointing.

"Dios mío!" she gasped and knelt down to look at the bullet wounds in his legs.

"Su brazo, también," (His arm, too) Jose said, quickly, pulling her arm and she stood to look at the two.

"We'll have to get you to a hos-!"

"No," Sands blurted, shaking his head and Maria looked at him in wonder. "No hospitals. It'll be too hard to get into one right now anyway. Just take me somewhere I can get patched up, please?"

"But, señor," Maria replied. "A doctor would be able to remove the bullets in your wounds. I-"

"Can we have this conversation when I'm sitting down, please?" Sands cut in again. "I'm in just a bit of pain, here."

"Si! Of course!" Maria squeaked. "Jose, que me ayude a conseguir en la parte posterior." (Jose, help me get him into the back)

With Jose on one arm and Maria on the other, Sands shuffled as best he could toward the car with the two leading him. He smacked his head on the door frame but said nothing when Maria gasped. He flopped onto his back across the seats and groaned slightly. Maria hurriedly grabbed Jose's bike and strapped it to the roof of the car as Jose got in the front seat. Once done, Maria got in herself but didn't start driving.

"As I was saying before, señor…?"

"Sands," he replied.

"Señor Sands," Maria nodded. "Your condition is serious. You should be in a hospital, no matter how crowded it may be."

"Maria," Jose suddenly chimed in. "Eres una enfermera! Usted puede quitar las balas y la enfermera le de vuelta a la salud!" (You're a nurse! You could remove the bullets and nurse him back to health!)

"No soy tan experto como usted puede pensar, niño," (I'm not as skilled as you may think) Maria replied, slumping forward slightly.

"That'll do," Sands said. "Just…no hospital. I…can't…"

"Señor Sands?" Maria called when there was a long pause then turned to look at the man. "Señor Sands?"

"Creo que se desmayó, Maria," (I think he passed out, Maria) Jose said, looking at the agent also. Maria sighed in hopelessness then turned to face forward and started driving.

"Casa es, entonces," (Home it is, then) she grumbled and started the car again, Jose grinning up at her.

One hour later...

"Vamos a ponerlo en el sofá, por ahora, Jose," (We'll put him on the couch for now, Jose) Maria strained as she and her brother carried the unconscious Sands into their little house. They gently laid him down on the couch and Maria ran into the kitchen for water to clean his wounds, Jose following to get him water to drink when he got up. Maria hurried back with a basin full of water, and set it on the small table in front of the couch.

"Jose, el botiquín de primeros auxilios se encuentra en mi habitación, debajo de la cama," (Jose, the first aid kit is in my room, under the bed) she said, dampening a cloth in the water. "Ve por ella para mí, niño." (Go get it for me)

Jose nodded and ran toward her room as she squeezed the cloth into the basin then turned to Sands and wiped the blood from his cheeks. Once the cheek facing her was clean she sat herself on the couch and tried to wipe off the other side but found it difficult because of the sunglasses he still wore. She moved to take them off but his uninjured arm suddenly came up and gripped one of her wrists making her gasp.

"You don't wanna do that, trust me," he warned and she frowned down at him but he only let go of her wrist and struggled to get up.

"No, Señor Sands, please! Don't move!" she pleaded, moving anyway but placing her hands on his shoulders. "Lie down and rest. I'll do what I can for you, but I'm only a nurse."

"Where are we?" he asked, laying back down.

"Our house, where Jose and I live," Maria explained, cleaning the cloth of blood in the basin to clean the other side of his face.

"Your parents aren't home?" Sands guessed, turning his head to the side so that she could clean the blood from his face. Maria paused as she wrung out the cloth and swallowed but moved to clean his face.

"Our parents died a year ago," she replied in a hollow voice, wiping his face off. Sands lifted his hand and gently touched one of Maria's making her freeze and look at him.

"I'm sorry," he murmured then lowered his hand again.

"Thank you," she smiled slightly. "But, really, how could you have known?"

"Maria!" Jose called once she finished cleaning his face. "Aquí está el botiquín de primeros auxilios." (Here's the first aid kit)

He set it down on the table and opened it and Maria tossed the cloth onto the table then asked him, "Obtener las Tijeras del cajón en el studio de papa." (Get the scissors from the drawer in papa's study)

He nodded and ran back into the hall where the rooms were. Sands groaned as he tried again to sit up.

"No! Señor Sands-!"

"Just, Sands will do," he groaned as Maria placed her hands on his shoulders to keep him still. "I need my phone."

"Where is it?" she asked.

"My pocket…" he trailed off, placing a hand over his pocket as he laid back then hissed, "Shit! It's not there!"

"You must have dropped it in the car," Maria reasoned. "I remember you had it in your hand when Jose and I helped you in. I'll get it for you, just stay still."

"No," Sands ground out in pain, lifting his hand to grip her wrist before she could move away. "Stay here, please?"

Maria stared at him with wide eyes before nodding and resting herself back onto the couch, his hand loosening on her wrist but not letting go.

"I'm sorry," he breathed. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"You didn't scare me," she replied, honestly.

"Your English is pretty good," he noticed, changing the subject. "Your accent almost completely disappears."

"I lived in America for a while before I came back to take care of my brother," she explained. "I was all he had after our parents died, and I didn't want him to try to cross into America to find me. He'd only get into trouble."

"So you came back for him," Sands murmured. "That's some family love."

"How did this…happen to you?" Maria wondered, changing the subject.

"It's a long story," he replied vaguely. "I might explain after you fix me up. Your brother's coming."

Maria frowned in wonder before she heard Jose's footsteps behind her.

"Aquí tienes Maria," (Here you go) he said, handing the scissors to Maria who jumped when he was suddenly next to her and took them with one hand.

"Gracias," she nodded, before setting them on the table and standing, Sands' hand finally slipping from her wrist. "Necesita que mire a su alrededor en el coche de se teléfono, ok?" (I need you to look around in the car for his phone, ok?)

Jose nodded and hurried to the door as Maria stepped to Sands' feet to pull off his boots.

"You didn't have to do that, you know?" he sighed, facing the ceiling.

"I'd rather him look for a cell phone than watch me work," Maria replied, tossing one boot away before working on the other.

"Don't like an audience, do you?" he smirked.

"Not when it's my little brother," she admitted, tossing his other boot away and reaching for the scissors and started cutting his pant leg right away. "I still have some of papa's clothes you can wear when I'm done."

"Reassuring," he muttered, then added, "Gracias."

"De nada," she smirked, carefully cutting the material above the wounds of his leg before starting on the other pant leg.

"Damn," he sighed, making her frown in wonder at him before he explained, "I really liked these pants."

Maria scoffed, still cutting at his pants, replying, "We'll find some new ones for you."

"Maria!" Jose called, running in just as she'd finished cutting at his pants. "No he podido encontrar su teléfono." (I couldn't find his phone)

"Dammit," Sands growled, moving to get up again. "I need it!"

"Would you stop trying to move?" Maria snapped, setting the scissors down and standing over him to shove him back again as gently as she could. "You'll make it worse!"

"I need my phone-!"

"I will get it after I tend to your wounds," Maria cut in, then turned to Jose who was staring at them with wide eyes. "Corre a la tienda y obtener más vendas y cuando vuelva, obtener algunas de ropa de papa para él." (Run to the store and get more bandages and when you come back, get some of papa's clothes for him)

"Hermana, ¿por qué tengo que-?" (Sister, why do I have to-?)

"Por favor, Jose. Haz lo que digo por ahora," (Please, Jose. Do as I say for now) Maria cut in and Jose nodded, reluctantly before heading toward the door again. "Tenga cuidado." (Be careful)

"Si," he called back before the door shut behind him and Maria sighed as she stood and stepped away from the couch.

"I'll be back, Sands," she assured him, touching his hand before hurrying around the couch to the connected kitchen, kneeling to open the cupboard under the sink. She grunted as she pulled out the heavy, red tool box, making Sands frown from his spot and shift to move, but the pain in his limbs made him atop and lay back again.

"What are you doing?" he called, instead.

"I need the pliers," Maria called back, the box clattering as she opened it and she instantly found what she was looking for. She hurried back to the couch and knelt down next to him again. "I don't have anything for the pain."

"That's fine," he sighed. "Believe me, I've had to handle a lot of pain today…without pain killers. Just do what you have to."

"I'm sorry," she murmured before crossing herself and kissing her hand, praying for a good job on her part. She turned to the first aid kit and pulled out the iodine, untwisting the cap and warning, "I'm going to disinfect your wounds."

"Like I said, just do it," Sands replied, and Maria noticed the hand closest to her grip the edge of the couch cushion.

Her heart clenched with guilt at not being able to give him anything for the pain, but she had to get those bullets out of his legs. She unceremoniously poured some iodine on each wound and winced when she heard Sands hiss in pain, his hand turning white from gripping the couch. She set the bottle down and grabbed the pliers to begin the operation.

"I hope you pass out, Señor Sands," Maria murmured, and when he didn't respond, she looked to his hand that had been gripping the couch before and now fell limp beside him. "Señor Sands?"

She soon realized that he'd done what she'd hoped, and it made her feel a little better that he wouldn't be feeling the pain she was about to inflict on him.

A/N: like i said, he's a bit OOC, but we never really saw him this injured before. i figure he'd be less sassy and energetic when he's that beat up, ya know? reviews?