"Kind of like that but if you were really usin' it, you would want to grip it a little tighter because if you aren't when this thing flies back, you're going to have one hell of a bruise on your shoulder." Jackson said.
They had stopped for the night to rest, seeing as they were almost halfway to Ramelle. Jackson was showing Desiree how to fire the Springfield, but all she could think about was what had happened earlier.
"I'll leave the sniping to you Jackson." She said with a smile and handed him his rifle.
He laughed as he grabbed it from her. She looked to her right over at Wade. He was sitting down, looking at the ground, his eyes sad as always. She felt a jolt through her whole body as she quickly re-lived the events from earlier that day when he and she had almost been killed, when she had told Wade to come with her and he had refused. She didn't know how to feel. She wanted to cry and scream at him all at the same time. She heard yelling and was brought back to the present.
"I told you to shut up, Reiben." Jackson yelled.
Reiben walked up to Jackson.
"Why don't you take your own advice, Bumpkin?" he said in his face.
"Stop calling me that!" Jackson yelled, pushing Reiben.
Upham ran over.
"Okay. Let's just calm down and…" Upham began.
"Shut up!" Reiben and Jackson yelled.
"Fine, let's all fight amongst ourselves then." Upham said, giving up and walking towards Desi.
"What's going on?" She asked him.
"How am I supposed to know? They just started fighting." He said, sitting down.
"Jackson if you're so goddamn good at everything how about we stay here and you can go find Ryan all by yourself?" Reiben yelled.
She could tell things were about to go downhill. She got up and ran over to the men. Before she got to them Jackson raised his arm and threw his fist into Reiben's stomach. Reiben stumbled back a step before raising his fist too. Desi grabbed Reiben's arm to stop his hit. He turned and then next thing she knew she was on the ground.
"Oh shit. Parker I thought you were…" Reiben started but was knocked to the ground by Jackson before he could finish.
Wade ran over to her.
"Where'd he hit you?" He said, sitting next to her.
She lifted her hand off the side of her jaw and wiped the blood from the corner of her mouth.
"I'm fine." She said, still in shock from being hit.
Jackson and Reiben continued to fight on the ground. No one dared to interrupt until…
"JACKSON, REIBEN!" Miller yelled.
The two suddenly froze. The tone in Miller's voice had even scared her. Reiben let go of Jackson's collar and the two stood up.
"Both of you, over here NOW." Miller ordered.
They walked over to their Captain, ashamed already at the realization of what had just happened. Wade put his hand on the side of her head and turned her face towards him. He wiped the blood off of her mouth with a white rag. As she looked at him she was once again reminded of the earlier events of the day.
"I'm fine, really." She said, standing up and walking away from him, heading towards the nearby trees to be alone. Someone was following her and she knew it was Wade. She stopped in front of a huge oak tree and turned to him.
"What?" She asked quietly.
"I want to know what's wrong." He said.
"Really? You have no idea?" She asked him, with a small laugh of sarcasm.
"I've seen worse than what happened to Michaels. It's going to happen out here." He said.
"No, you almost got yourself killed." She yelled.
"I was trying to save his life, that's my job." He said, calmly.
"No, it's not your job when there's a gun aiming at you. Then it's your job to get out so you don't get shot too."
"Why do you care so much?" He asked her.
"Because I…" she stopped herself. She had almost said it, the thing that would make being here that much worse. She didn't know what to say instead. She could read his face. He knew what she was going to say.
"Me too." He said quietly.
She turned away, not knowing what to do or say. She didn't know how to feel. She turned back and was suddenly in his arms again.
"Please don't do that again." She begged him.
"I won't. I promise." He said.