Disclaimer: I do not own KND
There was so much blood; it was splattered on the floor, on the orange fabric of his hoodie, on the skin of his hands. Kuki gasped in horror, ignoring the chaos around her and dropped to her knees beside him, her hand shaking as it reached for him, pressing her palm to his forehead briefly before trailing it to his neck, her fingers digging into his skin.
"Wally," she sobbed in relief, feeling a strong and steady beat under her fingertips and her head dropped as she silently counted his heartbeat.
"Kooks?" Her head snapped up at the shaky voice and she found herself looking into green eyes, so bright and vibrant, showing the pain that he must be feeling at taking the laser hit. "You okay?"
For a moment, she felt anger well up in her as she looked at the lean sixteen year old laid on the floor, "Okay? Wally, are you seriously asking me that question?" She seethed, quickly moving her hands down his body and trying hard to ignore his rasping cough and wheezing breaths. Just as she was about to pull up the material of his orange hoodie, his strong fingers wrapped around her dainty wrist and pulled her hand gently away.
"Kuki. Are you okay?" He asked with conviction and Kuki sighed in resignation.
"You're so stupid," she sobbed, wrenching her hands from his grasp and yanked his hoodie away from his chest and pushed it up, her fear and concern making her actions rough.
"If you wanted me...You should have...said…" He tried to joke, but Kuki barely heard it - her eyes were focused on the slight gash on his chest. "Kooks. Please."
"I'm fine." She replied, recognising his tone and knowing that he needed to know about her welfare. His protectiveness was going to get him killed…
She closed her eyes tight at that thought, replaying the reason why she was sat here in the first place, how the laser beam had been heading right for, five voices laughing in synch, a scream of her name, two hands pulling her away and she was spun behind someone - Wally - as he took the hit for her.
"Wally...I can't fix this, I don't know...Wally, I can't…"
"Numbuh Three!" Kuki looked up sharply to see Numbuh Two gesturing wildly before her, but before she could even see what the trouble was, she was being rolled onto her back and she was looking up at Wally, who was breathing heavily, his eyes clenched shut tightly, fighting the flair of pain in his chest as a fireball blasted past him – if she hadn't have been moved, it would have hit her. "Come on, Kooks. Let's get out of here."
Kuki couldn't agree more. "Abort! Guys, get back to the plane! Numbuh One, Numbuh Two, help me!" She yelled, shimmying out from underneath Wally, knowing that he didn't have the strength to move right now and she was instantly being flanked by the other two teenagers, Wally being hefted up between them as Kuki reached for her weapon and helped Numbuh Five cover the boys. Once the three boys were on the plane, Abby and Kuki reversed, shooting towards their enemy, Kuki's mind swirling with thoughts of Wally and what they were going to do - the gash was out of her medical expertise.
The second they had boarded their ship, the doors slammed shut and Kuki moved to Wally, not even taking notice of the taunts from the Delightful Teens, instructing Hoagie to go, move, get out of here, now!
"Wally, we're gonna get you fixed up, okay?" She couldn't remember a time when any one of them had been this hurt and she felt helplessness swell up inside her that she just wanted to curl up in a ball with one of her rainbow Monkeys and cry.
But that wasn't an option right now. Her best friend needed her.
She knew that he was uncomfortable and he seemed out of it, his green eyes blinking lazily at her, cataloguing her every movements. She stood quickly and grabbed the water bottle that Numbuh Five kept at her station and ran back to Wally to see him struggling to sit up.
"Wally, get back down," she hushed him gently, cupping his jaw and pressing the water bottle to his lips, "small sips."
Somewhere in the recess of his mind, she knew he was yelling at her in his adorable Australian accent that he could drink by himself and that he didn't need her help; but right now he didn't put up a fight, slumped against the metal wall of their plane and, once he was quenched, he moved his head away from the stream of water and pressed his cheek to the metal.
Kuki didn't know what to do, so she grabbed the First Aid kit and prepared to do the basic; disinfect the cut. "This is going to sting." She warned and, hating herself slightly for this she cleaned the cut with the alcohol swipe, hating how the blood soaked into it, staining it pink.
She looked at Wally to see that his head was pressed against the wall, his teeth gritted against the pain, his back bowed, his fists clenched. She couldn't help the sob that escaped her vocal chords and she threw the swipe to the side roughly and yanked the orange material of his hoodie over his head, leaving him in his black T-shirt. She got some cling film and put it over the cut so that his T-Shirt wouldn't stick to it and it would stop it bleeding so harshly.
"You know...I never thought you'd be so rough," he teased again and Kuki wondered how he could be so calm and cool when he was hurt and there was nothing that she could do to help him.
"Shut up." She said gently, knowing that the position he was in must have been so uncomfortable so she did the logical thing; she got behind him.
"Kooks...What?" He was so fatigued that he couldn't even put together a full sentence right now and Kuki shushed him quietly, letting her legs lay on either side of his body, taking his uncomfortable position as his tall body rested against her slight frame.
They stayed this way for a while until the pain was too much for Wally and he started showing it in the way his body moved - his head dug into her collarbone, one of his hands was on her thigh, squeezing her flesh and his body thrashed trying to get away from the pain, to escape it.
Kuki did all she could to ease his discomfort, whispering to him that he was okay, he'd be okay, they were getting help, just hold on...She pressed her cheek to his temple, she stroked his chest above the gash, hoping to offer comfort and to monitor his heartbeat, her other hand pressed to his forehead, keeping the bangs away from his face so that she could read his eyes.
"Guys! Are we nearly there!?" She yelled when she saw a tear fall down Wally's cheek. She dropped the hand on his chest to rest over the hand on her leg and link their fingers; her palm resting on the back of his hand.
"Almost. Two more minutes!" Hoagie yelled back and Kuki closed her eyes, feeling the tears drip off her chin and land on Wally's shoulder.
"You hear that, Wally." She whispered desperately, pressing a kiss to the top of his head, feeling need swell up almost painfully in her ribcage, "almost there."
"Shhh, no talking. You're fine." She said with conviction, hoping that Wally didn't hear the quiver in her voice.
He did. Of course he did, he could read her like a book, always had been able to. "I know." He said, his other hand (the one not on her leg) reached up and behind them both, his fingers tangling with the obsidian curls, his large hand cupping the back of her head, "Don't...Worry...Ko...It'skayItruslovyou…" His words were becoming jumbled together, mixing into one and Kuki sobbed again, aware that her face was soaked with her salty tears and she could feel it, feel his will slipping away, could feel it leave him as the hand at the back of her head loosened its grip and his arm fell to the floor, his fingers curling across the cold floor as his body went limp against hers just as the plane touched down onto Moon base and the doors were pulled open harshly, the medical team pouring in and Wally was ripped from her grasp.
"No!" She cried, trying to stand but her legs had gone to sleep from Wally's weight and she struggled; she was aware of Numbuh One beside her, holding her up and she turned and cried into his red button down shirt, trying to ignore the sentence that flew around and around her mind that Wally had uttered mere moments ago.
It'sokayItruslovyou. She could read him just as well as he could read her. It's okay. I trust you. I love you.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Wally tried to open his eyes to see what that annoying noise was, but his eyes seemed to be stuck together his eyelids felt so heavy and it was a struggle to lift them up and over his green optics.
The room was dark was Wally's first thought as his eyes slowly roamed from one side of the room to the other, registering that it smelt like a mix between Chlorine and disinfectant. Hospital.
Why was he here? The last thing he remembered was the briefing that morning, play fighting with Hoagie and teasing Kuki.
Kuki? Where was she? Was she here? What happened, was she okay?
He was vaguely aware of the beeping getting faster and faster and he struggled to sit up.
The door was pushed open and a rectangular slant of light cut across the dark and Wally let his eyes see who was coming into his room. "Wally, what are you doing?" Relief blossomed in his chest at hearing her voice and he allowed himself to collapse back to the bed, ignoring the twinge in his chest.
"Kooks, are you okay?" He asked, looking up at her. She didn't look well – her normally pale skin looked almost see-through, she had dark circles under her eyes and she looked bone weary tired; she was carrying around an aura of sadness that didn't fit her sunny disposition – the first thing on his mind was getting her to smile, seeing the chipper, happy Kuki come back.
Instead, he got blind rage.
"Will you stop worrying about me and focus on yourself for once?! You're such an idiot, Wallabee! You just have to play the hero don't you? Just have to push the 'damsel in distress' away and take the hit yourself! Well guess what mister, I can take care of myself! You all treat me like I'm stupid, like I'm an airhead or something but I know how to duck!" She raged and Wally felt the memories return to him and he grimaced as he remember the paralysed look of fear on Kuki's face and the fire that erupted across his skin as he took the hit for her.
Didn't she get it? He'd always take the hit for her.
"I don't think you're stupid, Kooks." He said slowly, pushing his body up to lean against the headboard and he saw her, her arms crossed at the foot of his bed, tapping her own foot as her purple eyes narrowed in his direction.
"So why do you do it?"
"Better me than you." He shrugged, getting a glimpse of his injury – the cut on his chest had tiny small stitches across it in a neat even line, but he couldn't feel it right now.
"No, Wally, no! You're wrong! You're so wrong it's unbelievable!"
"How am I wrong?" He asked, unsure of how to deal with an angry Kuki – while she got angry at him a lot it was always over something small and non-meaningful (to him, anyways) that he knew she'd forget in about an hour but this…This would stay with them for some time.
"If I used that argument against you there is no way that you'd accept it." A sudden flare of anger and slight fear rode up inside him and he found himself actually growling at the thought of Kuki taking a hit, almost dying – he had to stop, the thought to much for him to bear. "Why should I accept it for you?"
"I've told you, better me –"
"Oh, because you're a guy? Because you're supposed to? Is that it?"
"No! Kuki, I did it because I couldn't see you hurt!" He yelled at her, needing her to understand, to know how he felt, why he had to protect her, because he couldn't live without her – she'd been a permanent person in his life for over eleven years and he couldn't let anyone rip that away from him. No-one.
"And you think it was easy for me? Wally, they might as well have hit me, I think that it would have been far less painful!" She cried and that was all it took – the tears fell thick and fast and her body curled in on itself, her shoulders hunching as her hands came up to cover her face. Wally reacted instinctively, reaching for her and guiding her around the bed so that he could pull her into him, offering her comfort.
"I just…I know that this, being in the TND is dangerous but please don't put yourself in harm's way." She muttered against his skin and he felt her wet eyelashes brush his pulse point.
"I can't promise that." He whispered, his cheek pressed against the smooth silk of her hair, "I'll get in between you and any threat. I always have and I always will."
"But why?" She whispered, closing her eyes, letting her weight rest against his strong body and he took it willingly, always ready to bear her weight and carry it without complaint.
"Who else is gonna fight over the remote with me? Who else is going to force me into trick-or-treating or make me have rainbow monkey tea parties? Who else is gonna drag me to the mall at too-early-in-the-morning so that she can get the latest teen pop CD or girly dress or make me take her to the cinema to see the new Rainbow Monkey movie which promotes the magic of Friendship in every. Single. Second?" He whispered to her, tightening his grip on the small girl in his arms. He was 117% sure that he wouldn't do those things for any other girl, but for Kuki he'd do all of that and more. The funny thing about Kuki is that she can subdue that bonehead Neanderthal inside of him that just wants to create havoc and chaos every-time that he gets bored and make him want to become a better person.
"So I think it's pretty obvious why I'll always keep you safe." He said, moving her away from him slightly so that he could look her in her eyes.
"…Because I force you to do things that you don't wanna do?" She asked in confusion, wiping her face with her long sleeve. He smiled sadly and reached up, pushing her hair over her ear.
"Because I wouldn't change who you are." He said truthfully, internally fascinated how when he was ten, he'd have gladly stabbed himself in the forehead with a screwdriver than have this conversation. "And I won't lose you."
At that, Kuki burst into tears again and rather than wait for him to pull her to himself for comfort, she just threw herself at him, clutching onto his neck as she sobbed into his shoulder.
As he comforted her, shushing her and stroking her black hair, he realised that when he was ten he wouldn't have had this conversation not because of the girlyness of it, but because he was scared. It seems that time had made him a hell of a lot bolder than he already was as a child and he'd grown the hell up.
Because this? The feel of Kuki in his arms?
Was so worth taking that hit.
A/N: This has been sat on my computer for a while and I just couldn't seem to get past the half-way mark – but I did! Yay!
So, here is another Kuki/Wally One-Shot that I am so found of.
In this story I'd put them at about eighteen.
Hope you like it!