Just wrote this on a whim listening to 'I Need A Doctor' by Eminem and Dr. Dre. I know there are alot of stories like this, but I really wanted to write one of my own.

Excuse any mistakes - it was written near midnight. Why do I always write stories when I'm so darn tired? Gah.

I do not own anything, and Scott Westerfeld owns the series and characters.

"No, no! Alek!" Deryn screeched in agony. An unmistakable pain ripped in the tender muscles of her side.

His head whipped back in an instant, his muscles stopping mid-swing and eyes widening.

Hah. She must have been a pitiful sight, sitting there and not even being able to get up. Deryn silently cursed herself for being so careless as she watched him dive under speeding bullets to get near to her.

With all the deafening gunshots and bloodcurdling screams, she marveled at how he had even heard her. That didn't matter now, though – the pain was too much to handle.

"Dylan, what's wrong?" his voice was clouded with worry, probably realizing that the Dylan Sharp he knew never called for help. She heard his knees hit the rope-covered deck and thought that she felt him support her head on his lap. Her head felt raised…

"Augh… I've gone and fallen like a bloody barking idiot. My side hurts, is all. Nothing to be worried about. Just help me up," her gruff voice ripped through the tension.

Deryn drowsily gazed up at her best friend. His eyes averted to her abdominals and he immediately turned stark white. Not good.

"Uhm, Alek-" her voice squeaked up in fear.

"Y-you've been shot."

In her grogginess from blood loss and bewilderment, all she could utter was, "Oh."

Then she made the mistake of looking down.

Her side was a bloody mess, a rather large hole protruding and showing reddened muscles littered with shrapnel. A crimson liquid flowed freely from her wound, soaking her midshipman uniform and bloodying up the back of the Leviathan. Deryn gaped.

"We have to get you out of here," Alek whispered. She could barely hear him over the roar of bustling warfare. His solid arms, strong from years of fencing, wrapped around her limp body and picked her up, causing the young midshipman to let out an agonizing scream.

It took every ounce of Alek's willpower to ignore her screams and keep trudging on to the interior of the ship. He tried to keep calm, but on the inside his heart could not be assuaged. "Shh, Dylan. We're almost there." She met his comforting whisper with a pained moan.

After what seemed like forever, he spied the entrance to the insides. Alek carefully scrambled down the ladder, cautious not to bring about any more pain to Deryn. Or cause any unwanted attention from her cries.

He swiftly weighed his available options. Dr. Barlow was locked up safe in one of the small, unnoticeable cabinets that lined the Leviathan. So, she couldn't help. Count Volger was ordered to translate for the captain and his men, so he was out. His forehead scrunched with worry. No one would be able to help them, Alek realized.

Still holding the writhing solider in his arms, he kicked the door open to his chambers and heard the doorknob snap with a crack. Alek raced past the fabricated wood door, setting her on his intricately-made bed.

Deryn let out a hiss, her face contorted into a look of pure concentration and agony. She reached out to grab at her open side, but Alek swiftly caught her hands.

To his surprise, she squeezed his strong fingers, her face slowly beginning to relax as she held on for dear life. He took this brief moment to study her face. Tears leaked from her bright blue eyes, and he felt a surge of unknown sadness.

"Dylan," he gently inquired.

Her eyes traveled to his emerald ones in alarm and her grip intensified. She knew what was coming.

"Now, Dylan…" He had no idea what kind of reaction this would create. His voice quivered. "I'm going to have to take the bullet out."

Deryn managed to snarl. "Don't you dare take that bullet out, Aleksander. Don't you dare. Wait for Dr. Barlow. Do you hear me?"

Alek sighed in disappointment. "Dr. Barlow's in hiding, and we have no idea how long the fighting up on the deck will last. If I don't remove it now…" He couldn't bear to finish the sentence. Didn't want to even think about the possibility.

"Take my rigging knife." A weak voice rang out in the dimly lit room, causing Alek to twist his head in surprise.

Deryn, arm trembling, held out her knife to Alek. As he grasped it, her voice regained the missing gruffness it had mysteriously lost for a long stretch of time.

"Just do what you have to do."