This was one of those 'I started writing and this is what happened' stories…hope you guys enjoy!

This story was not beta'd

It was cold.

Snow was gliding down from the dark grey clouds above him – blue frosted crystals landing on Sam's eyelashes and melted away as he stared up at the breath-taking sight. It would be peaceful if Sam could breathe. The back of his uniform was soaked through with icy slush, the numbing chill spreading throughout his skin deep into his core.

Somehow Sam couldn't bring himself to care that he was freezing.

Blinking when a flake fell against his eye Sam let out a shuttering gasp – something was wrong.

They had been short handed, Team Three was being assembled to take over Team One's shift after Jules and the Sarg had fallen ill. Food poisoning – Sam had winced with sympathy. Leah had just officially resigned from Team One leaving Ed, Spike, Wordy and Sam the only guys able to respond to the Hot Call.

The call had come in fast and the other team hadn't been able to respond – so what was left of Team One had.

"Sam, what's your position?" Ed's voice filtered through Sam's muffled thoughts. Dulled blue eyes expected to see the Team Leader hovering over him in concern – only the sky remained in Sam's blurred view.

Sam had been hit several times in the vest – the wind knocked straight from his lungs. The memory came back slowly to Sam as he struggled to refill his lungs. "Ed – " He managed to form the name in a raspy voice before he started coughing weakly. God he sounded terrible.

When they arrived only minutes before everything seemed pretty routine except for being short on SRU officers.

With a limited number of SRU officers Ed quickly paired each team member up with a uniformed officer. There had been three exits to the house – the front door, the side door and the back door. Sam and his uniform had been sent to watch the back of the house, Wordy at the side/garage door with Ed trying to negotiate from the front of the house. Spike was shuffling from working in the truck and managing the different technologies being used to try to resolve the situation peacefully.

Originally they had thought there was only one man inside holding an ex-lover at gunpoint. Before Sam and the uniform he'd been paired with could even get settled into position they found out that the hard way the initial intelligence had been wrong.

Three men rushed out the back while Sam and his uniformed officer were scoping out the best vantages. Shots were fired – Sam clearly remembered the Uniform go down in a spray of blood. Headshots were anything but beautiful, but effective – the men fleeing the home had been trained.

Sam shot swiftly and efficiently – eliminating the man who had shot the Uniform and wounding another before the first bullet struck his chest. Two other bullets followed knocking Sam onto his back and into the snow.

For a long minute Sam laid there frozen, unable to call air back into his lungs or really pay attention to the world of chaos around him. Finally, when he could draw in a pain filled breath, Sam could feel his other senses slowly return to him. Vaguely Sam was aware that he was being moved, dragged through the snow limply. The crackling sound of gunfire continued, shouts and yells muffled.

A stranger's hand removed the device in Sam's ear, silencing Ed's frantic voice. "Ed – " Sam managed to gasp again before dissolving into a painful coughing fit.

"Shut up!" A harsh voice sounded above the gunfire and the other white noise.

A cold pressure on Sam's forehead and a familiar click caused dazed blue eyes to open and stare up at the barrel of a gun.

"Let me finish him off, the son of a bitch shot me!"

Bad guy, Sam thought numbly – obviously the owner of the gun was a bad guy. Sam's dazed mind was coming back into clarity as he waited for a bullet to lodge itself inside his brain. The pressure on his forehead was removed without warning as a few shots were fired off – the close proximity leaving Sam's ears ringing painfully.

It took a moment for Sam to realize he hadn't been the target for those bullets.

"We can't kill him yet, we need some leverage to get out of this mess." Another voice hissed back.

Things were getting clearer to Sam now as he blinked his eyes slightly faster – his body still remained frozen, which was worrisome to the former soldier. Sam needed to be able to move and defend himself against the enemy.

It wasn't that Sam didn't have faith in Ed as a negotiator but these guys didn't seem like the talking type.

A shudder tore through Sam's body as hands grabbed him, pulling him into a sitting position. Sam's head spun with the rough and unexpected movement – his stomach flipped dangerously and the sniper struggled to swallow back the nausea.

"Check him for anything useful." The 'leader' said. At least Sam figured he was the leader – if he wasn't Sam was pretty sure he'd be dead like the other guy wanted.

The intruding hands of the other man were anything but gentle as they probed Sam's person.

Sam's head finally seemed to react to his brain's commands, his eyes able to watch the stranger – the enemy work. Still too dazed to do anything about what was happening to him, Sam managed a weak glare and focused on reclaiming control over his breathing and the pain blossoming from his chest.

The man searching him came into fuzzy view as Sam's eyes cleared a bit more. He was older, dark hair speckled with gray tones and skin rough and scarred. They were strong – maybe ex-military.

By the time Sam realized he should try to talk his way out of the situation a gag had found a way into his mouth canceling out the idea. Groaning Sam tried to ignore his rebelling stomach and closed his eyes against the spinning world. Had he hit his head? Or was he so winded it actually had made him sick? There was also the possibility of having that damned stomach bug Jules and Greg had caught – not a positive thought.

"Let's get him up and get out of here. They won't risk shooting their own man." Leader said to Minion.

Injured and bitter Minion grunted and grumbled as he roughly moved to get Sam to stand – which did nothing for Sam's poor stomach or the pain in Sam's chest.

With Leader under his left arm and Minion under the right Sam smirked a bit into his gag – his limbs were starting to obey him again.

They had stumbled a few feet before Sam was confident enough to make his move. Although he'd been as weak as a kitten minutes before Sam's strength was returning with the help of growing adrenalin. Thankfully it seemed Leader and Minion hadn't planned on the injured SRU officer recovering so quickly.

With a swift confident movement Sam locked his two enemies heads in the grip of his arms and drew them together swiftly – knocking Leader and Minion's heads together with a satisfyingly loud crack.

All three men collapsed in the snow – only two remained conscious. Sam found himself face to face with a rather pissed of Leader who tried to bring his gun up to finish the job he'd started. Without really thinking about it Sam tackled Leader. A shot blasted from the gun after the initial impact and the wrestling match began.

The two men rolled around in the snow each man trying to over power the other – both unaware that there were others near them now.

Ed was livid – the whole call had gone to hell from the moment they had arrived. The original information they had gotten from the uniforms had been wrong – wrong enough to get his man grabbed and a uniformed officer killed minutes after arrival.

"Sam, what's your position?" Ed barked into the comm. link as the remaining SRU officers moved around to the back of the house.

It took a few more calls before Sam responded, voice breathy – he'd obviously been hit in someway. "Ed – " Coughing followed, a harsh terrible sound – Ed preyed the man was only winded from a vest hit.

The visual when they arrived on scene was not a friendly one. The uniformed officer Sam had been paired up with was dead, blood from the man's shattered skull painted the white snow deep red. Another unidentified man lay in another pile of crimson not far from the house – probably Sam's handy work.

Sam was nowhere in visual sight and Ed immediately hoped that his friend was alive – just taken hostage or better yet hold up somewhere safe.

Gunfire rained towards Ed and the others causing them to seek various shelters. Unwilling to lose his vantage Ed ducked behind a tree instead of retreated back to the side of the house. Wordy didn't look happy about his Team Leader being out in a less then protected area – Ed ignored him.

Wishing Parker was here to be the negotiator Ed growled a bit before yelling out to the two remaining subjects. "My name is Ed Lane I'm here with the Strategic Response Unit, we want to resolve this issue with no more lives being lost today."

Ed's answer was more bullets thudding into the tree he'd stationed himself behind. They weren't amateurs with weapons – possibly military or at least trained.

"Something tells me they aren't the chatty type." Spike mused weakly from behind Wordy who nodded silently in agreement as he tried to get a visual using a mirror stick.

"Sam's with them, he's not moving but I think he's conscious." Wordy announced after a pause. More gunfire caused the men to shrink back a bit to avoid being hit. "Wait, they're getting him up, they must be retreating thinking we won't risk Sam to take the shot." Wordy tensed, waiting for Ed's order.

"Alright, let's follow and wait until we can corner them and get a clean shot – " Ed started only to be interrupted by Wordy again.

"Wait, they went down!"

Spike leaned to get a better look in the mirror, "Samtastic! He lives!" The bomb/tech specialist cheered excitedly despite the still tense situation.

The echo of a gunshot made the three SRU officers flinch and start running towards the scene their own guns up and ready. Behind some trees they saw Sam and a subject tussling in the snow – it was difficult to tell who was winning.

"Sam!" Ed tried to get through to the younger man who seemed to be in fight mode wrestling around with a man twice his size in red snow. Wordy moved to cuff the second man who was still down for the count.

Spike raised his gun, but didn't dare risk a shot without Sam being clear.

"Stand down Sam!" Ed shouted again, this time the military order seemed to pierce though Sam's unbelievably thick skull. Sam fell back in the snow, pushing away from the man he'd been fighting. Apparently the subject hadn't realized he was surrounded and moved to grab at Sam again. "Spike, Scorpio." Ed announced quickly and a single shot fired and the subject went down.

Scrambling to his feet Sam's breathing was erratic and painful sounding as his shaky hands ripped the gag from his mouth – blue eyes focused on the man lying dead in the crimson snow.

No one moved for a moment, Ed motioned for the others to stay back until Sam acknowledged them. It was dangerous to startle someone with Sam's military training when still in fight mode.

"Sam?" Ed asked carefully, using his most calming voice as he slowly moved closer to his friend. Ed's eyes carefully glanced over Sam's soaked uniform, trying to discern if any of the blood leaked out on the snow belonged in Sam's body.

Slowly Sam turned to face them, "Ed." The younger man gave a weak smile as he wobbled on shaky knees.

Without hesitation Ed and Spike moved forward to assist their comrade in standing. "You alright buddy?" Spike asked over Ed's own concern.

"Yeah," Sam shook his head – one hand firmly on his chest as he coughed. "Hit a couple times in the vest."

"And the side." Ed growled noticing the deep red stain accompanied with a rip in the material of Sam's uniform.

Dull blue eyes glanced down as Sam struggled to stifle another coughing spell. "That's just a scratch." He grinned back up at Ed who looked less than impressed at Sam's deflection and more than impressed at Sam's ability to take care of himself - even in a daze.

Okay, I know that the technical term of the 'mirror stick' is not a mirror stick…but alas, I'm too lazy to figure out the actual name…..I'm sure the slip up made at least a FEW of you giggle.

I hope you liked my little story – it's complete for now. I might add a bit of hurt comfort onto it someday…but right now it is finished ^^

Reviews are like cups of coffee – they inspire and make me hyper…