Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot and my original characters. Otherwise this would be a spin-off TV show instead of just fanfiction.
Author's Note: I'm just going to go ahead and admit that this fic will not be updated on any sort of regular basis. But I do have every intention of finishing it eventually. Sorry for the wait on this one. The week before last was crazy busy and then last week was my spring break, but I ended up spending it watching some friends of mine in a home school basketball tournament. They won their division, which I was pretty pumped about. :) Anyways. I finally got this chapter done and it's back to more action and intensity. Enjoy!
You Only Live Twice
They're two weeks away from going home when Wash almost dies. Well, technically, she does die. Her heart stops beating for at least a full minute. But Wash is too much of a fighter to stay dead.
To be perfectly honest, Taylor isn't completely sure what happens. One minute they're making a clean getaway from a mission and the next the jungle is exploding with gunfire. What comes next is utter chaos. The rebels are everywhere and their only option is to keep moving. They try to set up an instinctive rotation, two people firing while the others run a short distance and then two more stopping and firing so the first set can catch back up. But that quickly goes down the hole. Before long they're just running for their lives, returning fire over their shoulders as best they can.
And then suddenly they're skidding to a halt at the top of an impossibly tall cliff with nowhere to go but down.
"What now?!" Harrison yells. Collins sticks her head over the edge and immediately jerks back. Of the seven of them, she's the only one with a fear of heights. A very strong fear.
"There's a lake at the bottom!" Beckman yells.
"How deep?!" Taylor calls as he and Wash unleash a hail of bullets into the trees. Reese finally gets his small rocket launcher into a firing position and a second later a portion of the jungle goes up in flames.
A bullet whizzes out of the trees and almost takes of Harrison's head.
"Does it matter?!" Jenkins yells as he snaps in a fresh clip.
"We can't stay here forever, sir!" Wash points out. The rebels are closing in fast. They can either stick around and be target practice until they run out of ammo or they can take a swan dive off the cliff and risk being smashed into bloody pancakes by the bottom of what may be just a shallow pool. Then a grenade sails through the trees and Taylor's mind is suddenly made up. He'd rather be a human pancake.
"Go!" he orders.
Harrison is off the cliff before he's even finished the single syllable. Beckman is right on his tail, pulling a screaming Collins down with him. Jenkins manages to get off a dive that would have been worthy of the Olympics if they were still in session. Wash leaps far out past the edge before falling towards the water below and Reese literally makes a horizontal dive across the last stretch of ground and off into the air.
Taylor is the last one over. He's not entirely sure if it's his own strength or the exploding grenade that knocks him over the edge. All he knows is that there's a boom loud enough to make his ears explode as grass and dirt are flying everywhere and then he's falling through the air. He just manages to orient himself enough to pull in his arms before his legs crash through the surface of the lake. He hits so hard that for a second he thinks he may have just shattered every vertebrae in his back. Then he's sinking rapidly through dark water. His feet touch the bottom and he kicks off, pushing himself back toward daylight. He breaks the surface with a splash, his empty lungs gratefully sucking in the blessed air.
He landed not far from the shore, and a minute later he's slogging his way through the shallows to dry land. The others have beaten him there. Harrison is flat on his back with his arms and legs spread out as if he doesn't have a single ounce of energy left in him. Reese and Jenkins are both sitting in the wet dirt catching their breath. Beckman is busy trying to calm down Collins, who is still yelling at him for dragging her off a cliff. And Wash-
"Where's Wash?" Taylor asks as he steps out of the water into the dirt. Water rolls off his body, forming a large muddy puddle around his feet.
"She's not with you?" Jenkins asks. Taylor shakes his head. Harrison sits up and takes a quick look up and down the stretch of dirt between the lake and the jungle.
"Did she make it off?" Collins asks, momentarily distracted from her near panic attack.
"She was ahead of me," Reese says. "She should be out by now."
Taylor swings back around to the lake. If she's not on the cliff, and she's not on the shore, then she has to still be in the water.
"Wash?!" he yells. There's no sign of life coming from the lake. No bubbles and no movement. Even the ripples he created getting to the shore have all but vanished. There's nothing but open water.
"Wash!" Jenkins yells. He wades into the shallows beside Taylor, his eyes scanning the water. But there's nothing. And if she hasn't come up by now, then that means something is horribly wrong.
"Stay here!" Taylor orders as he turns back and slogs through the shallows. A moment later the lake is deep enough to swim and he launches out into the water. Long, even strokes quickly take him to the area where he surfaced. And still there's no sign of Wash. He sucks a huge breath into his lungs and dives under.
The water is murky and hard to see through. Taylor's eyes swing back and forth, desperately searching for a sign of his medic. There's nothing. Just water. He swims forward and the shadows ahead begin to turn into a shape. It looks like some kind of wreckage. A few strokes more cause the shape to solidify. It's the remains of an army rover. Must have gotten pushed off the cliff. It's obviously been there a long time because there's a small mountain of debris built up around it.
And then he sees Wash floating near the top of the rover. She isn't moving.
He swims toward her as fast as him arms will go. When he gets closer he sees that her foot in caught in some sort of net that is tangled in the wreckage of the rover. He grabs hold of her arm and gives it a tug, but her foot won't budge. By this point his lungs are screaming for air. He forces himself to let go of Wash so he can swim back up to the surface. After a few quick breaths he takes another gulp of air and dives back down into the murky water.
He swims down to the bottom to try and get a better look at Wash's foot. The net is a tangled mess that he has no hope of undoing. Wash's foot is caught fast, refusing to budge no matter how hard he pulls. Taylor grabs her wrist only to find that her heart has already stopped beating. She's already been under far too long. Time is running out fast.
A shadow appears and Taylor looks up to see Beckman beside him. He's the best swimmer after Jenkins, so it makes sense that he's the one who came in. He pulls a knife out of his belt and motions at the net. Taylor nods. He moves up and slips his arms under the unconscious medic's while Beckman begins sawing through the tangled mess. It's made of tough fiber designed not to tear, so Beckman has to work to cut through it. Time is quickly running out. Wash has been under for way too long and Taylor's lungs are starting to burn. Beckman is going as fast as he can, but the net is a mess. Taylor is on the verge of having to abandon Wash for another trip for the surface when Beckman finally makes it through the mess of netting. He grabs Wash's body and together they rocket towards the sunlight.
They break through the surface sputtering and gasping for air. Wash still isn't breathing. That's a bad sign. Taylor and Beckman haul her through the water towards the shore. They lay her on her back in the dirt, her feet only just out of reach of the water. The others quickly gather around them.
"Is she okay?" Harrison asked, worried.
"She's not breathing," Beckman says. He grabs Wash's medical bag and throws it to Collins. After the young medic, she's the one with the most medical training. "See if there's anything in there!"
Taylor has already started CPR. He pushes down on Wash's chest over and over before leaning down and pressing his mouth to hers. There's no reaction. No coughing up of water, no sudden intake of breath. Nothing. So he starts it again.
"Come on, Wash," he says as he repeatedly presses down on her chest. "Don't you give up on me." He tries mouth-to-mouth once more, but again there's no reaction. "Damn it!"
"Here!" Collins yells. She crouches beside him with an EpiPen. "Epinephrine."
Taylor quickly pops the cap and positions the needle over Wash's heart. He knows administering adrenaline directly to the heart can be dangerous, but there are no other options. Wash is already dead. And if they don't get her back fast, she'll stay that way. Taylor has never been a praying man, but he sends up a quick plea to whatever deity is listening as he jams the plunger.
They all wait with baited breath. For a painfully long second there is no reaction. Wash doesn't move. Taylor swears under his breath. She doesn't get to die here. Not like this. She's too young, damn it! She still has her entire life ahead of her!
He has his hands over her chest ready for another round of CPR when Wash suddenly begins to choke furiously. Water spurts of her mouth as she struggles to get air into her lungs. Collins gasps aloud and the others let out audible breaths of relief.
"Get her up!" Taylor orders. Harrison grabs her arm and they pull her into a sitting position. She hacks and coughs furiously for a moment until her lungs are finally emptied of water. Then she pulls in long gasping breaths of air. Finally she's able to breathe again.
"You alright?" Taylor asks. Wash nods. "You gave us quite a scare."
"Welcome back, kid," Jenkins says warmly.
"What happened?" Wash asks, still a bit disoriented.
"You got your foot caught in some wreckage and couldn't come up for air," Beckman explains. He motions at himself and Taylor. "We had to cut you out."
"Your heart stopped beating," Reese adds. "You were actually dead for a few minutes."
"Dead?" Wash asks. Collins holds up the used EpiPen.
"We gave you a shot of epinephrine to the heart," she explains.
"So what's heaven like?" Harrison asks with his usual cheek. Wash looks down at her water-logged clothes and then back at his grinning face.
"Wet," she says flatly. That gets a good laugh from all of them.
"Yep, she's fine," Reese says with a grin.
"We should get moving," Jenkins says. "We have a long way to go before nightfall."
The others nod in agreement and get to their feet. Taylor holds down a hand to Wash and she takes it, letting him pull her up.
"You are one lucky medic," he tells her with a shake of his head.
"She must be part cat," Harrison jokes as he picks up his bag.
"One life down, eight to go," Collins adds warmly. Wash turns back to Taylor, taking in his own soaked appearance.
"Thank-you, sir," she says. Taylor gives her a nod.
"I owed you one," he says lightly. "I think this makes us about even. Although if you go dying on me again, all bets are off."
"No promises, sir," Wash says, picking her medical bag. "Besides, I couldn't die yet."
"And why's that?" Taylor asks curiously as they start off into the jungle.
"Who would keep you out of trouble, sir?" Wash asks. Her tone is serious, but there's a twinkle in her eyes. Taylor laughs and claps a hand on her shoulder.
If you are enjoying this story, please leave a review. They guilt me into writing the next chapter faster. :P