Pairing: Evan Lorne/Jonas Quinn
Rating: PG13 for coarse language and very creative Langaran swearing
Disclaimer: Vague spoilers for season ten of SG1 and season five of SGA.
Author's Notes: With much thanks to taste_is_sweet for excellence in beta-ing.
Summary: Major Evan Lorne doesn't quite manage to rescue Jonas Quinn
The formerly great country of Kelowna looked like a train wreck.
Check that, Major Evan Lorne, USAF, thought to himself as he kicked a piece of brick with the steel toe of his boot. It looks like the Ori used the whole thing for target practice, and then set it on fire, and then blew up the remains.
There was hardly anything left standing. Every single building looked like it had taken fire, and most were damaged beyond repair. Evan had read the mission reports on Langara before his team left for this search-and-rescue, and Kelowna had sounded like it'd been a nice place, once. Kind of like a World War II version of an industrial American city.
But now it looked like World War II had taken place right there. All of it, including the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.
"It's going to be like finding a needle in a haystack, boss," Sergeant Blair Kaufman said, ambling up beside him.
Evan rolled his eyes and looked at his NonCom. "It's 'sir'."
"Yes, boss," Blair said with a huge grin. Then he shivered. "Damn! This place gets cold!"
"It's their fall," Evan shrugged. "You should've worn a jacket."
"I'll bring one tomorrow. Promise," Blair said. He rubbed at the sleeves of his thin uniform shirt, then turned big brown eyes on Evan. "Can we head back to the Gate now sir? We can start looking for the dead guy extra-early tomorrow."
Evan laughed. "Okay," he said. "It is getting dark." He indicated the Life-signs Detector he held in his hand. "This thing's about useless anyway, thanks to all the ambient radiation from whatever it was the Ori did here."
"Yeah." Blair nodded. He looked around, peering into the heavy shadows the fading light was making with the wreckage of the buildings. "Sure is creepy at night."
"Well, you are walking through a giant graveyard," Lieutenant Laura Cadman said, falling into step with Evan and Blair. She rubbed one of the Sergeant's shoulders. "You okay, baby? Not too cold?"
Evan made a face. "Please tell me that was sarcastic."
"Cynic." Laura took Blair's hand.
Evan shot them a look. "Careful, kids. That's fraternization and we're not in Kansas anymore."
"Don't worry." Laura smiled. "By the time we get close to the Gate I'll be ordering him around like usual." They started walking towards the Gate, heads bent against the wind.
"Damn, I miss Atlantis!" Blair moaned, pulling the collar up on his shirt with one hand. "Boss, do you think they'll ever let us go back to Pegasus?"
"No idea, Blair," Evan said. "We've only been in the Bay for a couple of months. You can't expect a committee of bureaucrats to make up their minds that quickly."
"Two months too long," Blair muttered.
"It's actually been three," Laura sighed. "Three months of doing stupid reconnaissance missions that the SGC teams don't want to do." She sighed again. "I haven't blown up anything in weeks!"
Evan chuckled. "Could be worse. You could be stuck at Area 51 like Parrish."
Laura smiled and pushed back a strand of hair that had been pulled out of her bun by the wind. It glinted a soft red in the low light. "Speaking of scientists...Any sign of this guy?"
Blair shook his head. "We haven't seen a sign of any living thing here at all. Mission's a complete waste of time."
"We don't know that," Evan admonished quietly. "Jonas Quinn was a former member of SG-1, and supposedly very resourceful. General O'Neill is sure he's still alive."
"And we don't leave anyone behind," Laura added. She looked around the ruined hulks of the buildings. "Poor guy. To have his whole country reduced to this."
"The Ori sure as hell meant business," Blair said. "Glad they're dead."
"Amen." Laura smiled.
The three of them fell into silence as they continued their walk towards the Gate. The only sound was the crunching of the stones under their feet and the harsh whisper of the wind.
They turned left down an alley and came out in the courtyard that used to mark the city centre. Once it had a sparkling fountain in front of a majestic memorial of a man on horseback, riding for Kelowna's fallen from some historic war. Now the memorial had fallen itself, the rider and horse broken in giant pieces on the ground. The fountain was filled with rubble and even the paving stones were cracked.
"Look on my works, ye mighty," Evan quoted in a murmur as they walked past the statue. It made him think that maybe Blair and Laura were right, that they were on a fool's errand; no one could have survived this kind of destruction. Maybe we can find his body, Evan thought. But the Ori had been on Langara for two years before they were finally defeated. It was hard to imagine his team would be able to find any trace of Jonas at all.
It was almost full dark now, and Evan ruefully recognized that they probably should have already started the fifteen minute walk back to the Gate. But he'd hated to end the mission for the day with nothing to show for it.
Blair and Laura were talking softly together, their heads not quite touching. Her bright red strands against his dark brown, both shining softly in the low light. They looked good together, and Evan thought about painting them once they got back to Atlantis--
"Shh!" Evan put up his hand to stop Blair's talking. He slowly looked around the courtyard, trying to locate the source of the noise he'd just heard. He made a sharp gesture with his hand and was pleased to note that Laura and Blair immediately scattered for cover among the shadows.
The air exploded with the sound of Ori staff weapons.
Evan ran after Blair and Laura, but he couldn't outrun a staff blast. It slammed into his upper arm, throwing him forward with the force of the impact.
He went down on one knee hard enough that he heard a crack and felt a jolt of pain all the way up his spine. But now his adrenaline was pumping and he scrambled for cover even while the blasts whooshed off the stones around him. Small chips of flint broke off and pelted against his face.
He pulled himself into a hollow between the smashed horse and its rider, out of the line of sight of the shooters, but half-way across the courtyard from Laura and Blair. He could see their position through the flash of their muzzles as they fired their P90s.
His radio crackled by his ear.
Boss! Blair yelled. Are you okay?
"I'm fine," Evan lied. He'd automatically slapped his hand to the wound on his upper arm, and he could feel blood seeping through his fingers, hot and slippery against his palm. His knee was beginning to swell. "You?"
"We're fine," Blair replied instantly, and Evan let out a breath. "And Laura's got a flashbang with her we can use to cover our escape..." He paused, obviously just realizing what Evan already knew.
"I know," Evan said. "I'm on the wrong side of the Square from you. It's okay. Just go and bring back reinforcements. I'll be fine."
"We can lay down cover fire for you!" Blair shouted. "You can run here and we can--"
"No!" Evan interrupted. "Blair, you know I'm too far! You and Laura have a chance to get out of here, and you need to take it."
"That's an order, Sergeant!" Evan bellowed into the radio. "Go now and run like hell! I'll cover you."
"Yessir," Blair replied. "Flashbangs in 10."
"Acknowledged." Evan clicked off the radio. He hunched down in the alcove, squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his bloody hand to his ear. His other arm hurt too much to move his hand to his head.
The sudden noise of the flashbang was deafening and bright enough to leave spots even with his eyes closed. He was up in a second, laying down cover fire as best he could with a P90 balanced on the elbow of his injured arm and firing with one hand.
Their unseen enemy was still firing, but they kept shooting at where Laura and Blair had been, which was great. Every second they spent wasting their efforts was another step closer to the Gate for his team.
The flashbang had deafened his uncovered ear but he could still hear through his right one, and underneath the staccato of gunfire he heard what sounded like a human cry of pain. And then another.
The firing stopped.
Evan lifted his finger off the trigger and waited. There was no return fire.
Then there was the sound of someone running quickly across the courtyard, and skidding to a halt.
Evan froze, forcing his breathing to become quiet. He peered across the dark square, but he was still seeing spots from Laura's flashbang and could only squint ineffectively. He could feel his heart speeding up and he concentrated on staying calm. Slowly, he moved his finger back to the trigger of the P90.
Someone ripped the gun right out of his hands, and in the next second he was being dragged out of his hiding spot by the elbow of his injured arm. The pain was enough to make him cry out and dark spots to crowd out the coloured ones at the corner of his vision.
"Oh shit! Sorry!" A man said, dropping his elbow but immediately fastening his grip on Evan's other arm. "I thought you might have been hit, but I couldn't tell in the dark. Pretty good shooting, by the way. You even got one, which is impressive considering your arm is all blasted to hell." He kept pulling Evan out of the alcove while he was talking, until they were both standing, still hidden in the shadows of the ruined statue. "Great hiding spot. I would've never known you were here until you fired." The guy shouldered Evan's P90 like a pro, letting it hang just above his sidearm. "Come on!" He tugged Evan's arm again. "Those fucking Ori sons of rabid dogs are everywhere!"
Evan had his hand clamped around the wound on his left arm, and was favouring his right knee. The injuries seemed to be in a competition for which could cause the most agony. His arm felt like it had been torn open with a red-hot blade, while his leg felt like there was a wedge being driven into the middle of his kneecap. Both made him feel like passing out. "Who?" he finally managed to grind out between his teeth.
"Who am I or who was shooting at you?" the guy said.
Evan tried to answer, but it was suddenly too hard to figure out how to form the words.
"Never mind," The guy said. "I'll take you back, and then we'll talk."
He slung Evan's good arm around his shoulder, and put his arm around Evan's waist. The guy was the same height as Evan, and equally well-muscled, but his build was more slight. Evan couldn't tell anything else about him in the dark, except that he smelled like he hadn't had a shower in a long while, or had the chance to change his clothes. The stench plus his pain had Evan's stomach rolling unpleasantly.
"It's great that the SGC finally sent someone," The guy continued. "Well, I could've used you two years ago. But I guess beggars can't pick. 'Beggars can't pick,'" He repeated. "Is that right? I got that right, didn't I?"
"Beggars can't be choosers," Evan forced out.
"Right!" The guy said brightly. He shook his head with a laugh. "You Earthlings and your crazy expressions."
Evan blinked. He knew his hearing was messed from the flashbang, but... "'Earthlings?'"
"Yeah," the guy said. "I could never get used to calling you 'Tau'ri.' It always sounded--" he wiggled his hand by Evan's hip to illustrate, "so alien to me. When we're all just carbon-based life-forms, right?"
"Who are you?" Evan said. He tried to stop walking but the guy was like a bulldozer, dragging Evan with him.
They moved down a second alley, deeper into an area of the city where the buildings seemed to be less damaged. Some of them were still standing, with only chunks torn out. Their pale stone glowed faintly in the radiance of the stars.
The guy walked them between two buildings and then turned a corner, pulling them into what looked like it'd once been a large foyer.
"Oh good," the guy said. "They've left the lights on."
And so saying, he shoved Evan through a doorway where there were no lights at all.
Evan stumbled backwards into the dark. He tried to catch his balance with his injured leg but he heard something pop in his knee and it gave way. He cried out as he fell, automatically putting his arms out behind him to catch himself. The impact jarred all the way from his wrists to his shoulders and instinctively he curled away from the pain that flared through his injury. He ended up on his right side, hand clamped to his left shoulder, panting with agony.
"Sorry!" the guy said, dropping to his side. "Why didn't you tell me your leg was hurt too?"
"Why did you shove me into the doorway?" Evan shot back through clenched teeth. His right knee was killing him, feeling exactly like when he was a kid and he'd cracked his kneecap on someone's helmet during football practice. He'd had to get carried off the field on a stretcher.
His left arm, on the other hand, was its own special form of agony, like getting stabbed with molten steel.
"Because I could hear the Ori coming," the guy replied conversationally. "Fucking mothers of diseased chickens!" He gently straightened out Evan's leg, which made him groan, but did ease the pain a fraction.
"I thought they were dead," Evan panted. He hadn't heard anything, but then again his recent exposure to the flashbang may have had something to do with that. With the guy's help he managed to manoeuvre himself to a sitting position. The room was still incredibly dark, but there was a light coming from somewhere deeper inside the building, and as Evan's eyes adjusted he could tell that they were in a foyer that led to some stairs leading down into shadows.
The guy was shaking his head vehemently. "Just the Priors. Well, they didn't die," he corrected himself. "They just got their heads screwed on right. Unfortunately that didn't convince all of the converted that they should lay down their weapons."
"It didn't?" Evan said, confused. He was sure that all the Ori-dominated worlds had returned to being governed by their rightful owners, and that their followers stopped fighting once the Priors were no longer commanding the armies.
"Not here," the guy said. "But then again, here it's more political than fanatical. Although those are probably the same thing." He paused, tilting his head to one side as if he was thinking about that, which made his head look misshapen in the dark. "Yeah, that's the same thing."
"Political?" Evan repeated stupidly. His wounds were beginning to hurt in earnest, like all the pain from before was just the preview for the main event.
"Stop asking questions now," the guy said. "You need medical care." He rose and jogged the few steps to the stairs, leaning so far down that Evan thought for a moment that he'd fall. "Kianna!" he called softly. "Get Jos! We got a visitor!"
There was an inaudible response from somewhere far below, and then the sound of feet on the steps. The building creaked ominously and Evan glanced up at the ceiling in concern. But his companion didn't react, so Evan forced himself to relax, assuming it'd be okay.
The indistinct shapes of two people appeared at the top of the stairs.
"What'd you find this time?" A man said, stepping further into the foyer.
"A Stargate Command soldier," the guy replied proudly. "Told you they'd come!"
"Stargate?" the man said, surprise in his tone. "I thought they were a myth."
"They're not a myth," Evan's rescuer scowled. "We've talked about them more than once."
"They're not a myth, Jos." A woman's voice agreed. "I told you that I met them, before the war."
"That wasn't you," The man called Jos replied. "You had a snake in your head."
"Be nice!" the guy said. "For sure he's from the SGC." He turned towards Evan. "You are from the SGC, right?" He half-lifted the P90. "Because if not, how the hell did you get one of their weapons?"
"I'm from the SGC," Evan confirmed. Dimly he wondered how the guy would know that, but it was too hard to think through the pain. It seemed like there was a lot of blood seeping through his fingers and soaking into the cloth of his sleeve.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," the guy said. He turned to his companions who were still standing around, staring at him. "Told you they'd come for me."
Jos shrugged. "There's only one, and he's wounded. Some rescue."
The guy's tone was sharp. "They'll be back. They never leave a man behind."
Evan felt his head snap up at the man's words. "Jonas?"
Jonas turned to him, his teeth glowing white in the low light. "I knew you'd come looking for me." Suddenly he froze and raised his hand, reminding Evan eerily of his own actions with Laura and Blair just minutes earlier. "They're coming," Jonas whispered tightly. "Get him downstairs."
And without another word Evan was scooped up and half-dragged, half-carried down the stairs, deeper into the building.
Evan must have passed out at some point, because when he came to he was lying on the floor of the basement, staring up at a ceiling that looked like it was held together with paper-mache and chicken wire. His jacket was off and he shivered. The temperature was significantly cooler this far underground. Someone had put a folded blanket under his head.
Jonas was kneeling on one knee right next to him, close enough to make Evan jump.
"Good, you're alive," Jonas said. "I thought you might have died on us there, but you were still bleeding so I figured maybe not."
"All bleeding stops eventually," Jos called cheerfully from somewhere else in the room.
"Thanks for the newsflash, you pig-sucking whore!" Jonas shouted back. He turned to Evan. "Seriously. Jos has no manners at all."
Evan finally had a chance to look at his rescuer. Jonas was handsome; with even, straight features and a strong jaw that Evan would've enjoyed sketching. His hair was shaggy and he had at least two days worth of beard, but somehow that only added to his appeal. What did mar his good looks were the deep circles under his eyes and the exhaustion that traced every line of his body. He looked worn out, like he needed sleep, a good meal and a shower and not necessarily in that order. He looked like every day for the last two years had been a war all by itself.
But he smiled when he saw Evan staring at him.
Evan sucked in a breath. Jonas was handsome when he was serious, but completely gorgeous when he smiled. His eyes glinted bottle green, dimples popped in his cheeks, and the fatigue seemed to drop away, showing a glimpse of who he must have been before the devastation of the Ori.
"Hold still," the woman said, breaking the moment. She pressed a wet cloth to the wound on Evan's arm. He reacted to the sudden bolt of pain and clawed at the floor with his good hand, trying to stay as still as possible.
"Seriously, Jonas," the woman said. "I said 'hold still.' You're blocking my light."
"Sorry!" Jonas said and moved to Evan's other side. "Kianna's a good medic," he said, settling down by Evan's head again. "You won't lose the arm. He won't lose the arm, right, Kianna?" he asked her.
"Not if you let me finish," Kianna replied, wiping at Evan's arm again, making him yelp.
Kianna had dirty blond hair that hung long and limp over her dirty face. She was pretty in a hard, sharp-edged way, but she was too thin. And just like Jonas, she looked exhausted. Her eyes were like Jonas': a mix of blue-green that reminded Evan of the Lantean ocean.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," Jonas said. He patted Evan firmly on his good shoulder. "Right as rain."
Evan's teeth were beginning to chatter with the cold.
Jonas looked at him. "Oh shit," he said quietly. "Jos, bring me the blankets."
Jos was there in an instant, arms pilled high with blankets that looked like they'd been stolen from the homeless people who had them last.
"Thanks." Jonas flashed a smile at the other man, and then started layering the blankets gently over Evan, saving one to prop up his uninjured leg. "Now," he said conversationally to Evan. "You're getting cold, and it could be that your going into shock--which would be really bad, because all the first aid books I read back on Earth said that you have to call 911 when someone is in shock and we really can't do that. So don't. Okay?"
"Okay." Evan nodded. The blankets were making him feel better, even if they smelled slightly worse than Jonas and his companions. His hearing was slowly returning as well, and thankfully the coloured spots were also fading. It made him think of Laura and Blair, and he hoped they were okay.
"I never did understand what calling '911' would do," Jonas continued. "What's the point of just hollering '911!' when someone's wounded? How can that help?"
"It's a telephone number," Evan said. "You call it, and they send help."
"Of course!" Jonas said, breaking into a wide smile. "I should've thought of that."
Evan found himself smiling back, although it was made difficult by Kianna swiping at the small cuts on his face with her cloth.
"You're a mess," she muttered under her breath, and turned her attention back to his arm.
Evan looked up at Jonas. "Can I have some water?"
Jonas blinked. "The first aid books say we can't give you anything by mouth if you're in shock."
"Give him some tea with sugar," Kianna said without looking up. "At least he'll die with something in his stomach." She finally finished torturing his wound with the water and seemed to be tying something around it that Evan assumed was a bandage. "This thing is bleeding like a motherless pig fucker." Kianna mumbled.
"I'll get the tea," Jos said, and moved out of Evan's line of sight.
"Thanks," Evan muttered. He was feeling sore and thirsty and really tired, which he knew were all results of his injuries. His arm felt only marginally better now that Kianna wasn't prodding it anymore, and his knee was aching and right at that moment he thought he might actually kill for one of those painkillers that Keller was always trying to force down his throat. He let his eyes drift shut.
"Who are you?" Jonas said suddenly.
Evan's eyes flew open. "Major Evan Lorne," He said. "United States Air Force."
"Oh," Jonas said, sounding disappointed. "I was hoping they'd send those tough guys. The Marines."
Evan frowned. "We are tough."
"Right," Jonas said, clearly not agreeing.
Evan's frown deepened. "O'Neill is Air Force."
Jonas smiled. "I miss Jack. How is he?"
"Good," Evan mumbled. He actually had no idea; he'd never met him.
"Tea," Jos said, plunking the cup down on the floor by Evan's head. Jos was large: as tall as John but as wide as Ronon. His hair was a shaggy dark brown and he had a full beard, both of which looked like they had been recently cut with a dull knife. Evan's aesthetic sense told him that Jos was probably fairly handsome without all the excess hair, but that was only a guess.
"I'm gonna check the medical supplies," Jos said. He left for somewhere else in the room, and Kianna moved off with him.
"Keep him warm," she said to Jonas as she left. "And try not to move his leg. I need to find something to splint it with."
"Thanks," Evan said to both of them, and attempted to push himself into a sitting position. It was a struggle with only one good arm.
"Easy, big guy," Jonas said, slipping one arm behind Evan's back. He shifted the blankets and supported Evan until he could sit. "Here." Jonas said, handing Evan the tea. He had made sure to hold the handle towards Evan's good hand.
"Thanks," Evan muttered. He could feel himself blushing from the combination of his helplessness and the feel of Jonas' arm around his back. He sipped at the tea to hide his embarrassment. It was steaming hot and cloyingly sweet, but he had never tasted anything better.
Now that his arm was a bit less painful, his knee was really starting to hurt. He could feel it as it continued to swell, the skin tightening unpleasantly as it filled with fluid. He hoped Kianna could find something to splint it with, because otherwise there was no way he was going to be able to walk to the Gate.
Jonas moved one of the blankets to cover the top of his head and his shoulders, and wrapped another around his upper body, like a cape. "It gets cold down here, especially in winter." Jonas explained. "Hugh died that first winter, just from the cold. We found him in the morning, staring up at nothing with big, empty eyes." Jonas smiled, but it was perfunctory at best. "He'd given his blankets to Aundra, to help keep her warm. Stupid idiot always had more guts than brains."
"I'm sorry," Evan said quietly. He'd lost team-mates too, but never like that, where you'd go to sleep at night expecting them to be alive in the morning, only to discover to your horror that they weren't.
"Me too," Jonas said. "It was hard for me to sleep after that for a while. I kept waking up to check on everybody, make sure they had blankets." He laughed but his eyes were sad.
Kianna and Jos came back, each one carrying a piece of wood and some strips of cloth.
"This is all I could find for splinting," Kianna said. "Jonas, you'll have to help me with the knots because you read all those books when you were on Earth." Jonas nodded, and took the piece of wood from Kianna, gently placing it on one side of Evan's injured leg.
"We have to hurry," Jos said grimly. "Kianna and I heard them outside."
Jonas looked sharply at him. "How long?"
Jos shrugged. "I don't know, but it sounds like they've brought the big guns."
"Sons of diseased roosters!" Jonas swore. He turned to Kianna and Jos. "Get out of here," he commanded. "Head for the Gate. I'll take care of the soldier."
"Jonas--" Kianna said. She put her hand out.
"No," he interrupted her, but he grabbed her hand. "You and Jos are all I have left. I won't let anything happen to you."
"Don't make us leave without you!" Kianna pleaded.
Now Jonas was smiling at her, one of his brilliant smiles that lit his whole face. "I'll be fine." Then he pulled her in for a kiss.
Evan blinked and looked away, allowing them as much privacy as he could for their good-bye.
"Be safe," she whispered as she gently disengaged, trailing her hand along his cheek.
Jonas nodded, then stood and turned to Jos.
"I have the GDO," Jos said, showing it to Jonas and then slipping it back into his pocket. "I'll leave it for you by the Gate for when you arrive."
Jonas shook his head. "Take it." He gestured at Evan with his chin. "We'll use his."
And then Evan found himself looking away again as the two men kissed their good-bye in an equally passionate fashion. If the situation hadn't been so dire, Evan might have been a little bit turned on.
"Now run," Jonas said. "I'll see you on Earth."
They both nodded and fled towards the back of the room, where Evan assumed there had to be another exit to the outside.
"Be safe," Jonas whispered, looking at the way they had gone. And Evan had a sudden flash of sending Laura and Blair off to the Gate as fast as they could run, with no idea if they had made it or not.
Be safe, he prayed silently for his team-mates.
Jonas turned back and looked at him, his expression grim. He picked up the second piece of wood. "Now this is gonna hurt."
It had hurt, and by the end Evan was sweating with the effort of keeping still. His lip was cut where he had bit it until it bled, but now that his leg was immobilized the pain was suddenly tolerable and he felt weak with relief.
"Can you stand?" Jonas asked, bending over him. His entire body was nearly vibrating with urgency. "Because we really have to go now."
"Yes," Evan said, giving Jonas his good arm so the other man could help lug him to his feet. He wasn't actually sure he could stand, but he would, or die trying.
Because now he could also hear the sound of heavy footsteps somewhere just outside the building, and it was probably only a matter of moments before they found the doorway.
Jonas pulled him upright, tugging Evan's good arm over his shoulder. He had to drop the blankets to do that, and the cold air was miserable against his thin t-shirt and bare skin. It was impossible for Evan to put weight on his bad leg, but with Jonas' help he was able to hobble towards the door at the back of the room.
But it was taking forever and certain death was only a few feet above them.
"We'll never make it," Evan said, digging in his heel. "Go to the Gate. I'll give you my GDO. You can send someone back for me."
"No." Jonas shook his head and didn't stop walking. "That's not a good plan. They'll think I killed you and stole your GDO and then they'll lock me in one of the stockades on level 16 of the mountain."
That was completely not the argument that Evan was expecting, but now that he'd heard it, he thought Jonas might be right. "I'll explain when they find me. They'll see that I was wounded--"
"You'll be dead," Jonas said. "You won't be able to tell them anything."
They were almost at the doorway now, but it was painfully slow-going, and even those few steps had Evan panting with effort. "It's a risk you'll have to take," Evan wheezed. "Because I can't do this. Either you escape or we'll both die."
Jonas' mouth became a hard line. "Shut up and keep walking." He pulled Evan forward, and Evan's left foot slipped. Instinctively he put his right foot down to catch his balance.
The pain was excruciating. Evan's leg immediately gave way and he pitched forward, his weight dragging Jonas down with him. Evan hit the ground hard on his right side, which was great for his injured arm but pretty shitty for his injured leg. Only the solidity of the splint preventing his knee from bending stopped Evan from blacking out from the pain.
Then Jonas landed squarely on Evan's injured arm, and the agony was so exquisite that Evan greyed out for a second.
"Rabid chicken eaters!" Jonas swore, scrambling off Evan. "I'm so sorry!"
"It's okay," Evan whimpered. Gingerly he rolled onto his back. "You have to leave me Jonas," he said. "Please."
Jonas wasn't listening. He was looking up at the ceiling, an expression of dawning horror on his face.
And then Evan heard it, too. The distinctive whoosh of a rocket heading towards its target.
"Get down!" Jonas screamed, and threw himself over Evan.
Which was exactly when there was a deafening boom and the ceiling above them collapsed.
It took Evan a moment to realize his eyes were open because the whole world was pitch black.
Evan groaned with the effort of clawing his way to consciousness. His left arm was ablaze with pain, his right knee screaming for his attention, and something heavy was lying across his chest, preventing him from breathing.
With tremendous exertion, Evan managed to squirm out from under the weight and get himself into a sitting position. There was something flat and solid that he could lean on behind him. By pushing hard with his one good arm and leg he was finally able to get his back against it, but by the time he managed it he was shaking from the exertion.
He could feel the blood seeping through the bandage and down his arm, pooling in the crease of his elbow.
The dead weight was now lying firmly across his lap, and Evan traced it with his good hand, trying to figure out what it was and how he could get it off.
It was a body.
"Jonas!" Evan cried, shaking what he now knew was the shoulder of the other man. Jonas didn't move. Blindly Evan felt around for Jonas's head, and realized that Jonas was laying face-down on Evan's thighs, his arms out in front of him. He stroked through Jonas' hair, and his fingertips came back wet with a warm, slippery liquid that Evan knew was blood even without the benefit of sight. Desperately he felt down from Jonas' ear to his jaw-line, his fingers searching for the pulse-point at the junction between the jaw and neck.
After what felt like an eternity, Evan found Jonas' pulse. It was steady and sure and Evan breathed a sigh of relief, letting his head rest against the stone behind him.
Far above, he could just make out the cold white glint of stars in the night sky. The Ori soldiers had used their rockets to raze the building to the ground.
And Jonas may have saved his life by throwing his body over Evan's to protect him from the brunt of falling stone.
Saved my life again, Evan amended to himself. Jonas had shot the remaining soldiers who'd been firing at him and his team in the court-yard, when all Evan had managed to do was to get himself injured.
It was like Jos had said: Some rescue.
Jonas moaned softly and began to move on Evan's lap, which put pressure on his knee, which really hurt.
"Easy!" Evan hissed, and hoisted Jonas as upright as possible using his good arm. Jonas sagged against his right side, resting his temple against Evan's bare upper arm. Evan could feel the blood from Jonas' head wound smearing against his skin.
"Jonas," Evan said forcefully. "Jonas, you need to wake up." He gave him a gentle nudge with his shoulder.
"M'wake," Jonas said. Evan felt Jonas move beside him and could picture him rubbing at his eyes. "Gods my head hurts."
"The ceiling fell on you," Evan said. "Thanks for covering me, by the way. I think you might've saved my life."
"The ceiling?" Jonas said. His words sounded thick, like it was taking time for him to find them from the recesses of his mind. "Gods on fire! Were you hurt?"
"Not worse than I was already," Evan said. "How are you? Besides your head, I mean."
He heard Jonas give himself a pat-down, and then heard him hiss in pain. "I think I broke my funny bone."
"Your funny bone?" Evan repeated. "Which arm. Left or right?"
"It wasn't my arm," Jonas said. "It's the other funny bones. The ones in your chest."
Evan blinked. "Your ribs? You mean your ribs?"
"Yeah," Jonas agreed. "Because my side hurts like the daughter of a pig-fucker."
"Can you breathe?"
He heard Jonas huff out a laugh. "Well enough." He coughed.
"Good," Evan said. "Because you have to get out of here before the soldiers come back."
"I'd love to," Jonas said, and coughed again. "But I can't for three reasons."
Evan made a face. "What?"
"One," Jonas said. "I won't leave you. Two, I don't think I can get out."
"Can't get out?" Evan said, hearing the note of desperation in his voice. "What do you mean? I can see the sky!"
"Thence my third reason," Jonas said, and suddenly the space was lit with the beam of a flashlight that Evan immediately recognized as SCG issue. "Well, part of it."
And Evan saw with dawning horror that the ceiling had fallen all around them, missing them by mere inches, but creating a box of solid stone reaching from the ground almost as far up to what was once the second floor of the building. It was like being in an aquarium made of concrete. It would be difficult to climb if they were both healthy, but injured it would be nearly impossible.
"What's the other part of reason three?" Evan said quietly, his eyes still searching for a break in their prison.
"My chest," Jonas said simply. "I don't think it's that funny anymore."
Evan snapped his eyes to Jonas' face. "Jesus." There was a small trickle of blood making its way from Jonas' lip to his chin.
"More comes up every time I cough," He said and coughed. Blood sprayed from his mouth to speckle against his hand. "And it really hurts."
"Oh my God," Evan breathed. "We need to get you to a doctor."
Jonas smirked and gestured at their prison. "That might be tough."
"Yeah," Evan replied softly. "It might."
( Some Rescue - Part 2 of 2 )