"Hustle, Cody, let's get out of here!" Nick yelled, even though he knew that his friend would not be able to make out his words over the noise of the Mimi's rotor blades. But Nick could feel the slight impact when Cody jumped into the cargo hold and immediately pulled the chopper off the ground, leaving the three thugs that had cornered Cody staring after them.
A second later Cody's head appeared under the foldable passenger seat and he climbed up to the cockpit with a sigh of relief.
"Well, that was close. Good timing."
He collapsed into the seat beside Nick. The pilot was too busy maneuvering the Mimi between the nearby houses to look at his friend.
"Yeah, I though you would need some help right about now. You okay?"
Somehow his voice sounded strained though and being finally high enough off the ground to be clear of any obstacles, Nick turned his head to check on his friend.
"Is that your blood?", he asked, trying to keep his voice as level as possible, trying not to sound as panicked as he suddenly felt, his chin pointing at the angry red stain that dyed Cody's t-shirt on his left side, under the armpit.
Cody looked surprised, then winced.
"You know ... it might be. Think one of the guys nicked me with his knife."
He pulled up the shirt to inspect the damage, sucking in air when the movement hurt him. Nick craned his head but could not get a clear look at the wound.
"How bad is it?"
"'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a churchdoor, but it's enough", Cody said.
Nick felt a cold shudder running through his body, when he recognized the line.
"Don't joke like that!"
"It's not a joke. It's a quote."
"I know it's a quote, you moron. And I know where it's from and what happens to the guy who says it."
He reached unter the pilot seat and pulled out a first aid kit.
"Here, see if you can stop the bleeding. I'll get you to a hospital asap."
He watched Cody taking out a sterile pad and pressing it to the wound. His hands were shaking slightly and Nick could see some sweat on his forehead, but at least it did not seem like his friend was about to pass out on him.
Once Cody had secured the pad with a bandage, he leaned back in the seat, trying to divert his mind from the pain that was slowly but surely mounting up in his side now that the adrenalin was leaving his body.
"I didn't take you for a Shakespear lover", he said.
"I'm not. I dated a girl named Sarah during my senior year in highschool. She played the Juliet in the school production of Romeo&Juliet and made me watch every single performance", Nick explained with a sigh.
"Well, it's a masterpiece. It get's more enjoyable, the more often you watch it, doesn't it?"
Nick looked at Cody as if he had lost his mind.
"It is the most miserable story ever. Everybody dies. Watching it more often doesn't make it any better. Everyone still dies."
"I played the Mercutio in our high school production. I loved the fencing scene. We drove our drama teacher crazy by changing the choreography of the fight around every time. The outcome always remained the same, though, of course."
Cody smiled at the memory, but a spasm of pain brought him back to the present and the color drained from his face. Nick pushed the Mimi as hard as he dared.
"Well, Mercutio", he said. "Let's make sure that we change the ending this time."